After a decisive loss for former Democratic Presidential Nominee Hillary Clinton in the Electoral College, it is quite easy for her supporters to call for the Electoral College to be abolished. “A democratically indefensible anachronism that dilutes minority votes while disproportionately amplifying whites votes,” as Slate.com described it. Never mind the fact they said it should remain in 2012, but that was an Obama victory. Also, I would like to point out for the record that I have supported keeping it in 2012, and 2016, looking at only the system itself and not the victor. Clinton did win the popular vote against President-elect Trump, but before you attack the Electoral College as an “instrument of racism” (because it supported Trump, so it obviously must be racist) or an “archaic mechanism of the eighteenth century” here are four reasons the Electoral College should stay.
1. Smaller states have a voice
Without the Electoral college, large states would pick the President and small states (in population) like Alaska, Delaware, Vermont, North and South Dakota, Hawaii, and Idaho would have no say in electing the president. The Electoral College does favor larger states, but it gives some voice to the smaller states and insures they have a stake in this election.
2. The midwest would have no say
In 2000, 50 percent of the U.S. population lived on the east coast and the Gulf of Mexico, and 16 percent of the population lived along the Pacific coast. With 66 percent of the population living along the coastlines, the midwest would have no part in the election process as the coast has a decisive advantage in the popular vote.
3. States maintain sovereignty in elections
The Electoral College gives the states an added level of sovereignty in the elections process. State by state control of the elections is far more trusted than a completely federally operated system. The states can pick their electors, decide when to vote, how the polls will work, and what times they will open and close. Not to mention, decentralizing control of the elections mitigates issues concerning election machines and recounts. If a nationwide recount had to occur, elections would be even more laborious and take much longer. Being able to isolate an issue down to one state insures that other states aren’t affected by the issue.
4. Candidates can strategize campaigns
The Electoral College forces candidates to appeal to “swing states” states with a diverse racial, socioeconomic, and political palate. Trump campaigned heavy in Pennsylvania, Ohio, and in the last few days Michigan to sway voters and was successful in doing so. With a system based on popular vote, candidates could go to heavily populated areas and turn large amounts of highly partisan voters instead of appealing to diverse populations. It allows for general support over the nation instead of increasing sectionalism.
The Electoral College isn’t a tool of racism or an archaic system designed to keep power in the hands of wealthy elites, it is a system that insures states are involved in Presidential elections and forces candidates to unite the nation by developing a national strategy than focusing on heavily partisan areas.