The race is heating up. The next year will see more debate on the value of the Electoral College, the process of electing the President of the United States of America. It is sort of a big deal.
The Founding Fathers established a process based on their immense knowledge and understanding of history. They did not take this lightly – and they have proven many times to have been correct in their evaluation of government process. Like those before us, we should not take this lightly.
First let me be clear – our vote counts. The Electoral College is comprised of representatives, selected by party process, but dedicated to following the wishes of the vote of the people. Each State is granted Electoral votes according to their representation in Congress. One vote for each Senator and one vote for each Representative. Every State is guaranteed two Senators and at least one Representative; so every state is guaranteed at least three Electoral Votes. Representatives are apportioned based on population, I think Missouri has 9 and California has something like 3,000.
It seems to me that 48 States do the winner-take-all thing – the winner of the popular vote in a State gets all the marbles, all the Electoral College votes. Two States grant the Electoral votes by popular vote in Congressional Districts.
But I have another point. This winner-takes-all process serves to protect the voice of minorities. Here in Missouri less than 7% of the population is agrarian – farmers. Most of the population is centralized in Kansas City and Saint Louis. The metropolitan areas get a lot of attention from candidates – that is where the majority of votes are.
The 7% of farmers would have 7% of the voice in an Electoral process based on popular vote alone. Farmers are important cogs in the wheel of our society. We must listen to their needs. In a close election, that 7% is empowered, they are empowered to swing all Electoral Votes to one candidate or the other.
The Electoral College serves our country well. We might not like the outcome – as in 2000 when Al Gore won the popular vote but lost the Electoral College Vote. Perhaps Gore was not catering to minorities, that study is for another day.
My point is simple – keep the Electoral College – it is fundamental to protecting the voice of minorities.