The electoral college vs. the popular vote

Lauren Sutter, Staff Writer

The Electoral College was originally put into our constitution by our founding fathers. In fear of groups conspiring, they wanted to make sure there was a consistent, educated-hand leading the Presidential elections. They also wanted to ensure that each state had an equal voice.

The number of state senate and congressional representatives combined determines how many electors each state has. When people vote in the national popular vote; they are actually voting for electors. These electors will then make the official vote for the presidential election. In order to win the one candidate must have 270 electoral votes.

There are both people who are in favor of the Electoral College and against it. Those who are in support it claim that since it requires a distribution for, ensures sure that states with large populations don’t have an advantage. They also believe that it maintains the federal representation laid out in our constitution.

Those that disagree with the Electoral College argue that the winner-take-all system makes it difficult for third parties or independent candidates to get electoral votes to be in the running for President. Many also do not agree with the fact that a candidate does not have to win the national popular vote to become President. If a candidate wins solely based on electoral votes, then that candidate becomes President.

We have seen some campaigns come very close because of this system. In 2000 Al Gore won the nation’s population vote, and it came down to the electoral votes of one state, Florida. That election opened the eyes of the public to the reality of our voting system.

The Electoral College has been around for over 200 years, and no changes have occured thus far. There is no question that the 2012 election will be extremely close. Make sure you are educated on and aware of the voting system and the candidates.