USA’s Electoral College
Many here in Scandinavia, and the rest of Europe, have inquired about the USA Electoral College and the ‘American’ (USA) voting system.
“The Electoral College is a process, not a place. The founding fathers established it in the Constitution as a compromise between election of the President by a vote in Congress and election of the President by a popular vote of qualified citizens....”
At the founding of the United States of America, the country consisted of only four million men and women in 13 states spread along 1,000 miles of the east coast with the bulk of the population residing in four states — Massachusetts, New York, Pennsylvania and Virginia.
The creation of the Electoral College was essential to persuading the other nine less populated states to join the union.
Of the nation’s 3,144 counties 22% (691) are coastal with the remaining 78% (2453) are located inland.
As one observes from this current election map, very few areas experienced Democratic Party majorities.
While Clinton won the popular vote, some reports state that she lost in over 3000 of the nation’s 3144 counties - another 'Democrat report' states: Clinton voter edge came from only 489 counties). That is why the electoral map is so red. Heavy population densities do not necessarily accurately represent the country's 'mainstream' as a whole, as can be observed from this current election’s results.
Our federalist system was created to assure that every state was, politically, important. That is one of the reasons why the US system uses ‘voting representatives’ during elections. An ‘area’ has a set number of Electoral votes to place – the types and views of individuals living in those areas generally reflect the lifestyles and choices they display.
To put it in perspective and simplistically… let us use the Eastern Hemisphere as an example: Imagine if . . .
China, India and/or Russia, decided the future for ALL of the countries’ people of Eastern Hemisphere. Should China’s populous decide all; or only the combined Russian/Indian populous? Do those living in those densely populated areas like China (1-1/3 billion+) represent the ‘norm’ for all others?
Remember: The Electoral College is not a physical place like a school. It is simply a group of elected individuals in each state organized by the constitution to achieve a singular common goal – to express (by casting their ballots) the will of their respective states. Each of the USA’s states does, in fact, conduct a popular, winner-take-all election (Only two states, Nebraska and Maine, do not follow the winner-takes-all rule). The number of each state’s electors (in the Electoral College) is equal to the number of representatives and senators each state has in the US Congress, so every state is represented in the nation’s Electoral College in a manner reasonably proportionate to its population. That is what makes every electoral vote so important, especially in close elections. In a very close election, small states with only two or three or four electoral votes can decide who becomes president. Thus, it is very consistent with the USA’s federalist system.
It makes it impossible for two or three very densely-populated geographical regions to totally control a presidential election. Every state has someone at the table in the Electoral College.
Otherwise... it would pit regions with high population densities against less populated regions assuring that the big population centers could, essentially, dictate who occupies the White House - those areas with the highest documented rates of violent crimes and hate crimes.
So… the people of the US vote and their representatives cast the number of electoral votes for their area.
More Concerning Presidential Elections 1796-2016: HERE
U.S. Electoral College Home - Frequently Asked Questions: HERE