During the 2016 presidential election, the Electoral College has allowed the candidate who did not receive the popular vote to become president. Many are outraged by the situation, and in response, the editorial team at the New York Times issued a piece that called for an end to the electoral college.
This is the second time in the last 20 years that the Electoral College has gone against the vote of the people.
The New York Times wrote that the Electoral College is included in the Constitution, but it is just one symbol of our country’s living sin.
They explain that, when slavery was a way of life in the south, going with the popular vote would have caused a huge disadvantage to these states, since their population was largely disenfranchised. According to the Constitution, since slaves were counted as three-fifths of a white person, slave states were given more electoral votes.
This is not true today. Now, the college hands out electors based on a state’s representation in Congress, which means smaller states are given the advantage.
For instance, a resident of Wyoming’s vote counts 3.6 times more than a resident of California’s.
Added to this, most states operate on a “winner-takes-all” system, meaning that each election, these small states put on the show while others are merely bystanders on the sidelines.
The New York Times believes that there is a good solution to this problem. Although the Constitution has established the rule of electors, individual states are able to tell these electors how to vote. Eleven states have already passed laws that require their electors to vote in favor of the popular decision.
This agreement is known as the National Popular Vote Interstate Compact. Once all other states, representing a whopping 270 of the electoral votes, hop on the bandwagon, this system will ensure that the candidate who wins the popular vote is elected president.
Opponents of this new system feel that it would give large, democratic dominant states an unfair advantage. But the New York Times argues that the votes of these larger cities, with a larger population, should count for more than those of a smaller status. Added to that, the goal of a direct popular vote is that every American citizen would be treated equally, regardless of where they live.