The founding fathers couldn’t decide whether to let the president be elected by popular vote or by congress. This led to a compromise called the electoral college, this system may be outdated George Edwards says “they were tired, impatient, frustrated. They cobbled together the plan because they couldn’t agree on anything else.”
So the electors are really the people that vote for President. These people are chosen based on who wins the popular vote by the people in each state. Then “loyal” representative electors from that party are chosen to go vote. If the majority of people vote for one candidate the selected number of electors for that state officially cast their vote for President on behalf of the “winner take all” popular majority.
There are a total of 538 electoral college votes; one for each member of congress. There are 100 Senators and 438 Representatives in Congress. If a candidate for President earns the majority electoral college votes (270) then they win the race. It’s difficult because a presidential candidate can get more votes from the people and not win. In the most recent election President Trump won the electoral college vote despite the fact that he earned less than the majority of the popular vote. Is this a problem? Many say yes.
2016 Election results:
Hillary Clinton (D)
62,523,126 Popular Votes
61,201,031 Popular Votes
Is it fair to all citizens when they vote? Maybe the turnout rate would be much higher if it felt like you weren’t fighting your own state. People living in states that have the majority vote one way may feel like they have no impact and will not vote. Or even worse when people feel they have no say because the electors are the vote that counts the most. And this really is a game- if a presidential candidate wins the majority of that state they get it all. So it’s a game of winning states with higher numbers of electors as well as winning the swing state.
So is this the best way to do things? Should it really stay this way when it’s really not the American people’s decision?