Is The Electoral College Still Useful?

The debate on the usefulness of the electoral college.


By Braxton Mastre, Reporter

“The government solution to a problem is usually as bad as the problem” – Milton Friedman

By definition of the Oxford English Dictionary, the electoral college is “A body of people representing the states of the US, who formally cast votes for the election of the president and vice president.” But who are the delegates of the electoral college exactly?

The electors are determined by the state and are not allowed to hold office. This was enacted by Article II Section 1 of the United States.

This was revised upon in 1866 by the 14th amendment, which according to, removed the right for people who have committed high crimes of treason or sedition,  engaged in insurrection or rebellion against the United States, or given aid or comfort to its enemies from becoming electors. 

Overall the 50 states and one district (District of Columbia), there are 538 electors. Each state gets 2 electoral votes from each state having 2 senators. The remaining votes are divided between the states by the number of house of representative members they have.

The founding fathers created the electoral college to have a fair election system. They worked to create an equal system so states wouldn’t have too much power because of their population.

In recent years, the electoral college has been debated if it is still effective. Some say it is no longer effective due to the fact that it is a relic of a system. Others say our founding fathers made the system to be how it is today.

The side against the electoral college uses the arguments of presidential candidates who won the popular vote and still lost the election. That means the candidate who got the most overall votes from the people, but loses the election because the candidate doesn’t get enough votes in the electoral college. Many have used Abraham Lincoln’s quote, “Government of the people, by the people, for the people.”

Another argument they make is that swing states are way too important. Most presidential candidates mainly campaign in those states. It leaves out other states that candidates should go to. 

On the other side, some people say that the electoral college is a “Safeguard for uneducated voters” said Trent England an electoral college expert. According to Nate Silver, 49% of voters don’t have a college degree. 

Trent England also said that the constitution should only be amended for important topics like slavery or women’s rights.

There is more than one way to get around the electoral college. A man known as CPG Grey brought this to people’s attention. 

NaPoVoInterCo, Also known as the National Popular Vote Interstate Compact. There are 4 main points on the plan. 

1. Assume destroying the constitutional protections of the Electoral College is impossible.

2. States can cast their Electoral College votes however they want.

3. NaPoVoInterCo members agree to cast their Electoral College votes for the candidate who gets the most votes from Citizens NATIONWIDE.

4. The plan does not go into effect until enough states, with enough votes to control the Electoral College as a block, join.

This plan would take place and subvert the electoral college into its own makeshift “prison,” but the plan cannot take place because of point 4. NaPoVoInterCo cannot take effect at the moment because it doesn’t have enough states required for it to take effect.

Whether you are for the electoral college or against it, it has played a vital role in American democracy for 244 years.