Declaration of Independence

We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness. - That to secure these rights, Governments are instituted among Men, deriving their just powers from the consent of the governed.

Sunday, January 6, 2019

The Genius of the Electoral College

            The topic of discussion for this Constitution Monday is the Electoral College. Article 2 of the Constitution is specifically about the Executive Branch. Section 1of that article is specifically about the President. Clause 2 of Article 2, Section 1 states: “Each State shall appoint, in such Manner as the Legislature thereof may direct, a Number of Electors, equal to the whole Number of Senators and Representatives to which the State may be entitled in the Congress: but no Senator or Representative, or Person holding an Office of Trust or Profit under the United States, shall be appointed an Elector.”

            In plainer words this clause tells us that the Electoral College consists of a certain number of electors. This number corresponds to the number of Senators and Representatives in the U.S. Congress – 535. Each state is represented in the Electoral College with the same number of representatives as it has in Congress. For example, Alaska has two Senators and one Representative. This means that Alaska has three electoral votes.

            There are 100 Senators and 435 Representatives for a total of 535 members of Congress. However, Amendment 23 gave the District of Columbia three votes in the Electoral College – the same number that it would have if it were a state but no more than the “least populous State.” This means that Washington, D.C. has the same number of electoral votes as Alaska. This brings the total number of electoral votes to 538. When we divide 538 by half, we get 269. A candidate must receive more than half of the electoral votes to become President, so this means that the lowest number possible is 270.

            Democrats are upset because the candidate from the Democrat Party twice lost the electoral vote while gaining the popular vote. Al Gore supposedly received more of the popular vote than George Bush did, but he lost the election because Bush had more electoral votes. The same thing happened in 2016 when Hillary Clinton seems to have received more popular votes but Donald Trump received more electoral votes.

            One of the first things that Democrats did after regaining the U.S. House of Representatives was to introduce a constitutional amendment to abolish the Electoral College. One of the reasons that they use is that Americans expect the winner of the popular vote to become President. This simply means that too many Americans do not understand the Constitution and how the Electoral College works.

            Another reason given for the attempt to eliminate the Electoral College is the Seventeenth Amendment. This amendment changed the procedure to elect Senators from election by state legislature to a popular vote by the people. The writers of the Constitution gave Americans two legislative houses – the Senate and the House of Representatives. The Senate was supposed to represent the states with Senators being elected by the state legislatures, while Representatives were elected by a popular vote. This gave the states total control over their representatives in the Senate. If the Senator was out of line with the goals of the state, the state legislature could recall them. The Seventeenth Amendment made the election of Senators by popular vote and destroyed all means of controlling them. This writer is not so sure that we got the best of the deal.

            An important reason why this argument does not meet the test of the Electoral College is the population of the state. The Alaska state legislators are residents of Alaska, and they basically think like the majority of Alaskans. It was not such a large step to move the election for Senator from the legislature to the people. However, abolishing the Electoral College would change our constitutional republic to a democracy and set the stage for the destruction of our constitutional way of life.

            Author, lawyer, and Electoral College expert Tara Ross made a video for PragerU that explains how the Electoral College works and why it is better than a majority-rule voting system. To put it in very simple words, the Electoral College forces candidates to campaign in every part of the nation. A simple majority vote would allow candidates to stay in the population centers of the nation and silence the voices of Americans living in other parts of the nation. Do you want the people of California, New York, Florida, and Texas selecting your next President and Vice President, or do you want to have a say in the matter? The Founding Fathers thought that every person should have a vote, so they created the Electoral College to make it happen.

            The Blaze published the following statement about the importance of the Electoral College. It may or may not be part of the transcript from the PragerU video.

The key benefit of the Electoral College system is that it decentralizes control over the election. Currently, a presidential election is really 51 separate elections: one in each state and one in D.C.

These 51 separate processes exist, side-by-side, in harmony. They do not – and cannot – interfere with each other.

California’s election code applies only to California and determines that state’s electors. So a vote cast in Texas can never change the identity of a California elector.

NPV [National Popular Vote] would disrupt this careful balance. It would force all voters into one national election pool. Thus, a vote cast in Texas will always affect the outcome in California. And the existence of a different election code in Texas always has the potential to unfairly affect a voter in California….

We would see the end of presidential candidates who care about the needs and concerns of people in smaller states or outside of big cities….

            The Founders of our nation were geniuses. In addition, they were humble, teachable, and willing to follow inspiration from heaven. The Constitution of the United States is a brilliant document that has kept the United States strong for over 235 years and will continue to keep it strong for many more IF the republican principles of our democratic republic – such as the Electoral College – are not taken out of it. If the nation becomes a pure democracy, it will be on the road to ruin because no true democracy can avoid eventual destruction.

No comments:

Post a Comment