Electoral College: Episode preview and article
Written by Sheng Chang Li - Writer for the Topilitical Article Chain
Gerrymandering. Voter Suppression. Protector of Democracy. The backbone of America. The electoral college system is known by many different names, depending on who you ask; with the electoral college being one of the most controversial and heavily debated topics in US politics.
In case you don’t know what the electoral college is essentially a system in which each state is assigned a point value and whoever wins the majority in that state wins the assigned points of that state. For example, if the Republicans win the majority in Texas, they would be assigned 38 electoral points. Votes are drawn from all 50 states and there are 538 electoral votes overall, with a party needing 270 to be able to win the election. One of the most controversial parts of the system is that it brings an overrepresentation of those in low-populated states, such as Wyoming. Someone in Wyoming’s vote is overrepresented, with their vote counting for 2.97x the amount of the average citizen. On the other hand, someone from Florida’s vote is underrepresented, with their vote only being worth only 78% of the average citizen’s vote. Overall, the system works to elevate the opinions and voices of those in rural areas but also making urban votes mean less.
This system is under fire mainly from people on the left-wing, with many believing that the system is skewed to favour the Republicans. Why? Well, most rural states vote Republican and as a result, Republican voices are overrepresented in federal elections. An example of this effect would be the 2016 US federal election, in which President Trump lost the popular vote but still won in the electoral college, securing his presidency. Many believe that if we were to replace the electoral college with a more “fair” system, it would better represent the American people and lead to more Democrats in office. To those against the electoral college, the system only works to oppress the majority of Americans and skews elections in manipulative and dishonest ways.
On the other side, many Republicans disagree. Many believe that the electoral college helps to represent and display the voices of people in rural areas. If the electoral college was removed, many believe that the voices and votes of people in rural America would be drowned out by the majority of Americans in urban areas. This could possibly hurt the lives of rural Americans as their vote would be ignored and neglected, with politicians ignoring their interests and focusing completely on those in metropolitan areas. To many, the electoral college works to protect rural Americans and their rights while also forcing politicians to help a wide, diverse range of people.
A term talked about a lot when discussing the electoral college is Gerrymandering. Gerrymandering is to manipulate the boundaries of an electoral constituency to favour a party or class and is often referred to when talking about the electoral college. As stated before, the electoral college works to heavily weigh the voices of those in rural areas, which often means more Republican seats in the electoral college and shifting towards the Republicans in elections. Those who are against the electoral college believe that the electoral college can be considered Gerrymandering and is systematically biased towards the Republicans and skews votes in the way of the Republicans. Many who support the electoral college think that this doesn’t count as gerrymandering and is more of a representation of rural voters, with it not skewing votes to Republicans but rather benefiting and loudening the voices of rural Americans. With many believing the electoral college is gerrymandering, many are clambering to change the system and better represent Americans. With many accusations and strong opinions on the topic, the electoral college has been one of the hottest and most debated political topics for decades.
Some alternatives to the electoral college would be either modifying it (giving more votes to urban states and less to rural states) or deciding politicians entirely off the popular vote. No matter if it’s a modification to the electoral college or a straight-up abolishment of it, a change in the system could mean massive things for America. Some believe that Republican presidents will become rarer, some believe everything will stay the same; no matter what it is, the electoral college means a lot to Americans and a change in it could change the future of the country as a whole.
If you’re interested in hearing more about both sides on this issue, feel free to tune into the upcoming episode of Topilitical on the electoral college, with Omar being against the system and David being for it. Who knows, maybe they can convert you to the other side, or if you’re on the fence, convince you of their cause. Who’s right? Who’s wrong? That’s for you to decide. Remember. Stay on top. Stay Topilitical.