Hillary Clinton blamed the Electoral College for her stunning defeat
in the 2016 presidential election in her latest memoirs, “What
Happened?” Some have claimed that the Electoral College is one of the
most dangerous institutions in American politics. Why? They say the
Electoral College system, as opposed to a simple majority vote, distorts
the one-person, one-vote principle of democracy because electoral votes
are not distributed according to population.
To back up their claim, they point out that the Electoral College
gives, for example, Wyoming citizens disproportionate weight in a
presidential election. Put another way, Wyoming, a state with a
population of about 600,000, has one member in the U.S. House of
Representatives and two members in the U.S. Senate, which gives the
citizens of Wyoming three electoral votes, or one electoral vote per
200,000 people. California, our most populous state, has more than 39
million people and 55 electoral votes, or approximately one vote per
715,000 people. Comparatively, individuals in Wyoming have nearly four
times the power in the Electoral College as Californians.
people whine that using the Electoral College instead of the popular
vote and majority rule is undemocratic. I’d say that they are absolutely
right. Not deciding who will be the president by majority rule is not
democracy. But the Founding Fathers went to great lengths to ensure that
we were a republic and not a democracy. In fact, the word democracy
does not appear in the Declaration of Independence, the U.S.
Constitution or any other of our founding documents.