Wednesday, November 7, 2012

2012 Elections and The Electoral College

With the advent of todays voting results, and by this i mean the fact that the electoral college played such a large role in re-electing Barack Obama, i found it high time to bring out a few issues that i have with the electoral college. This will not be a case of "oh well the electoral college is bad because they went against the popular vote and OBAMA is back in office... THE WORLD IS DOOMED!!!" No, this will be a case of "the electoral college is out dated. It has been outdated for over 100 years and this is why."

There have only been a few cases in which the electoral college members have voted against what the popular vote of their state. Each time there has been some severe backlash and each time the collegiate who does so generally needs to watch their back and go into their fallout bunker for the next 10 years and never show their face again for that period. But this is the exact issue that arises with the Electoral College. The presidential position was originally intended to be appointed by the people and for the people. Meaning that the president is a servant of the people, but even more so to the point, it means that the individuals get to vote and elect whomever they choose.

The whole issue with this methodology when the constitution was written was that they did not have the good graces of our modern technology. There were no fax lines or telephones or fiber-optics. There were just torches, pitchforks, horses and dirt roads. So the convenience of transmitting precise numbers to the white house or where ever the votes were tallied was a large inconvenience. Who wanted to ferry every single ballot from their state all the way to the capitol? So, during the constitutional convention of 1787, it was discussed the issues arising from fair exposure for every state. The smaller states with only hundreds of occupants did not want the larger states with thousands, possibly even tens of thousands of occupants to swing the elections. As such, the electoral college was formed. Each state would be given a number of representatives determined by the number of occupants they had. This evened the playing field a little bit. Instead of having only, say 100 votes being tossed into the pot against tens of thousands of others, they had say 2 votes. and the larger states, instead of having tens of thousands of votes they only had 5 for instances.

This also lightened the load for the people carring the total votes to wherever they were tallied. Instead of a sack of papers, he only needed 1 slip with tallies on it in his front pocket.

Now that you know the history, here's why it's outdated...

  1. the current estimated population of the United States is 311.6 million individuals according to the U.S. Census Bureau. divided between 50 states, that comes out to roughly 6.2 million people per state with a standard deviation of roughly 1.13 means.
  2. It is no longer about the smallest states not having a voice. let's take a look at some statistics to prove this point:
    1. Our number 1 state in size (Alaska) has the 3rd lowest population in the country
    2. Our number 4 state in size (Montana) Has the 6th lowest population in the country
    3. Our number 47 state in size (New Jersey) Has the 11th highest population in the country
    4. our number 44 state in size (Massachusetts) has the 14th highest population in the country
  3. Our technology has grown vastly. We no longer live by candle light. We have gone through 2 distinct eras of ground transportation since the electoral college was created. And we have the ability to send almost 3 terabytes of information from the united states to Europe in a fraction of a second.
So where exactly is the electoral college useful? We have no Paul Reveres ridding his horse ragged to deliver ballots across the country. We have an outstandingly enormous population as a country now and every one of them free thinking. The advent of the internet made sure of that last bit. Since anything you could possibly dream can be looked up in less than a second now by google, it's like Enquirer Magazine's old slogan went: Inquiring minds, got to know. If you want to know something "gee, i'll google that!" or if you're part of the new bing "movement" then it's "Gee, i'll bing that!" and tada, you're almost instantaneously more knowledgeable about anything.

In short, it's no longer become a case of every town is a small town and the issues are clear cut and everyone agreed with everyone in their town because if you didn't you were outcast from society, called a witch, and burned on the spit that will hold your severed head later because we're all barbarians. It's now a case of people being either really reserved, really vocal or somewhere in the middle about their own, individual opinions. Which blurs the lines of which states are "red" and which are "blue" to be honest, i hate the color system. I hate how the media almost brainwashes people into believing the only way to vote is either Republican or Democrat. I hate how we haven't had a serious shift in the two "primary" parties since 1876, and i most definitely hate how even though the democratic system is supposed to be a majority vote, we seem be perfectly content with condensing down the voices of 311.6 million people into the voices of 538, vastly overpaid, completely out of touch aristocrats who are not even so much as required to vote the way the majority wishes.

I welcome all forms of arguments, i would be very interested to see what others have to bring to the table as to the future of the Electoral College.

Television Networks. (n.d.). Morse Code & the Telegraph — Articles, Video, Pictures and Facts. — History Made Every Day — American & World History. Retrieved November 7, 2012, from
Census Bureau Homepage. (n.d.). Census Bureau Homepage. Retrieved November 7, 2012, from
G.984.4 : Gigabit-capable passive optical networks (G-PON): ONT management and control interface specification. (n.d.).    ITU: Committed to connecting the world. Retrieved November 7, 2012, from
Avalon Project. (n.d.). Avalon Project - Madison Debates - June 2. Avalon Project - Documents in Law, History and Diplomacy. Retrieved November 7, 2012, from
Walbert, D. (1997, July 23). political_parties_poster.jpg. Walbert's Compendium of Instruction and Entertainment. Retrieved November 7, 2012, from

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