By Dee Armstrong
I’ve gotten old and lazy, so I’ve decided to challenge myself and write about a complex but critical subject, one near and dear to me—the Electoral College. A recent court ruling has brought the subject to the top of my blogging subjects. Here’s a link to that recent news.
As many know, the Electoral College isn’t a building or institution. It’s a process. The steps in the process differ state to state. If I’d known just how complex it really is, I might have left this subject to someone much better educated than I am. Yet, I like the idea that maybe I can reach out to those like me—who want to know but find it difficult to grasp due to its complexity. The challenge isn’t my understanding the value of the Electoral College. The challenge is clearly and simply (?) communicating its value to others.
I’m going to give it a shot, my BEST shot. Hey, nothing’s perfect, so something researched is better than something just thrown to the public in the darkness of ignorance. And there’s a lot of that out there these days.
This is a useful link to the basics of the election process: https://www.usa.gov/election
In order to understand the election process, it’s best to start with the primary elections. Here’s the link I used for my research: https://votesmart.org/education/presidential-primary#.XSpIvuhKg2w
Check out the difference between plurality and majority: https://www.britannica.com/topic/plurality-system
My initial thought: It’s scary that some relatively small group of people can elect the President in contradiction of the national popular vote (they even have an initialism for that—NPV). With the 2020 election around the corner, knowing about the Electoral College is critical to me and should be critical to every voter.
I read and researched much on the subject. I hope you do too. I’ve provided links to several reliable sources and hope you care enough about our country and about your vote to do your own research. It’s obvious that some politicians who haven’t done their research are proposing the elimination of the Electoral College, either in ignorance or with a personal and dangerous agenda–they want to win at any cost, even if they must ignore the Constitution.
It’s even scarier, at least to me, if the election of a U.S. president—the most powerful person on earth—is totally left in the hands of our metropolis populations. Why should I, in Bigfork, Montana, even bother to vote if Chicago, New York, Los Angeles, Atlanta, Dallas, Seattle and the other major cities dominate the elective power? If you don’t live in one of those heavily populated states, does your vote count? Without the Electoral College, the answer to that critical question is, “NO”—your vote wouldn’t count. You’d better become a big city dweller!
The demands of city population are different from the demands of rural America. Many city dwellers scream for “free stuff.” Many rural Americans are working hard to pay their taxes to provide that free stuff. When it comes down to “free stuff,” someone has to pay. It’s not free for everyone.
Once again, we should turn to the wisdom of our founding fathers, authors of the greatest Constitution in the world. They saw visions of future demographics in the United States, and they listened to the smaller and/or less populated states’ concerns. Lots of yelling and arguing went on at the Constitutional Convention. The Electoral College was the compromise. It’s not a perfect system—nothing is perfect in this world—but it has supported the NPV 51 out of 56 times. (Exceptions: 1824, 1876, 1888, 2000, and 2016 elections).
How is the number of Electoral College votes determined for each state? “The Electoral College consists of 538 electors. A majority of 270 electoral votes is required to elect the President.” Your state’s entitled allotment of electors equals the number of members in its Congressional delegation: one for each member in the House of Representatives plus two for your Senators.” (Source: https://www.archives.gov/federal-register/electoral-college/about.html)
Let’s keep in mind that the total of the number of representatives and senators from each state determines the total number of electoral votes. The states elect the president–not the population. The voters in each state determine their electors, who, in turn determine the winner of the election.
So why does California want illegals to have the right to vote? Why does it want 16-year-olds to vote? Why does it want illegals to be included in the upcoming census? Because it believes that population dictates the number of representatives from each state. Constitutionally, it’s not the number of residents or people—it’s the number of U.S. citizens that determine the number of representatives. The Democrats want to add more representatives so they can increase the number of electoral votes. Put another way, California wants to flood the state with more bodies on the census so they can increase the number of representatives. That’s why California along with the Democratic Party wants to prohibit the “Are you a citizen?” question on the census paperwork. Think of the fact that the number of citizens should determine the number of representatives and NOT the number of residents or people.
Under NPV, the necessary plurality could be confined to a few states, or a single region of the country. Multiple regional or even favorite-son candidacies would be encouraged, and each new candidacy would increase the likelihood of one of them receiving a majority of the electoral votes (courtesy of the NPV compact) while capturing a very low percentage of the overall vote.
Think about this: If there were four major candidates, victory could be achieved with just over 25% of the popular vote. That popular vote would NOT represent the majority of voters.
Let’s face it—democracy is simply mob rule. Some citizens just don’t vote, even though many Americans have served and died for that right. Some citizens vote for the candidate that promises them the moon, or the candidate with the best looks, or the candidate that offers them a free barbecue. Maybe their choice is based on what the candidate wears or what car they drive. Who knows why people vote these days?
Our government, our country is NOT a democracy. We are a Republic, and our Constitution protects our individual rights given by an authority other than mob rule. It all boils down to the fact that our founding fathers, while drawing up the Constitution, wanted to be sure each state was fairly represented in the election of a president and that the voting population was loyal to the Constitution. We don’t want our president elected by just the most populous states. Heavily populated states should not solely determine who gets elected any more than the majority population (mob) should determine if I can own a gun or worship in a synagogue or start a business.
Each state governs how its electors vote, but each state must remain within the constitutional authority. Just this week, a ruling supported the Electoral College process.
In a major blow to state-by-state progressive efforts to effectively replace the Electoral College with a nationwide popular vote, a federal appeals court ruled on Tuesday that presidential electors in the Electoral College have the absolute right to vote for presidential candidates of their choice. Colorado removed an elector for doing just that.
Democrats have increasingly sought to erase the Electoral College’s influence by promoting state laws that would force electors to vote for the national popular vote winner — and those laws were now in jeopardy as a result of the court’s ruling, legal experts said.
Our Constitution leaves much authority to the states and restricts authority of the federal government. If I don’t like the rules and regulations in one state, I have the option to move to another state. We are not only a country “united,” but also a collection of states. The Constitution protects the states from an overpowering federal government. The authority of the federal government is clearly outlined in and limited by the Constitution. All other powers and authorities default to each state’s government.
The following link not only explains why we should preserve the Electoral College, but also provides much background and explanation of the reasoning of our founding fathers.
Our founding fathers were embattled between having Congress vote and determine the president, and having the popular vote determine the winner. The Electoral College was the compromise. The Constitution was designed to protect states’ rights, and, if we don’t like how things are run in our state of residency, we can choose another state or work to change the state we’re living in.
I will close with one last thought—my humble opinion to be sure. I see the dumbing down of America spreading like the plague. If the future “masses,” legal or illegal, regardless of age or understanding, are deemed eligible voters, we’re in for big changes, and not the good kind. Our founding fathers were visionaries. They took into consideration that the population of citizens could undergo a metamorphosis and could attempt to elect a president for the wrong reasons, compromising our exceptional Republic. They wanted a safeguard against a president who supports the destruction of the Republic and bring in socialism, or worse. I fear we’re heading down that path. I hate to use the word “stupid,” but can’t find a way around it. When stupid voters who believe the empty promises of socialistic candidates become the majority, we as a Republic are doomed. They are becoming the generation of “I don’t need to work because I get free stuff.” And many will vote for the first time because of those ridiculous promises. There is no such thing as a free lunch. Someone always pays.
The Electoral College was designed to preserve the Republic and prevent the election of the president by a stupid majority of voters—legal and illegal. Our founding fathers wanted voters to be American citizens, informed and loyal to the Republic and its Constitution. Without requiring legal identification to vote, the majority of voters may not have to be citizens, may not have to be here legally, may not be of legal age to vote, may not have to be informed, and may not have to be real people or even be alive! An awful lot of cartoon characters and dead people voted in the last election. And I believe that’s why we have the Electoral College. The mob must not rule in a Republic.
There’s so much more to this issue. In my 70-year-old mind, sometimes it sounds black and white and sometimes it’s very convoluted and confusing. I hope I’ve shed a bit of light on the importance of the Electoral College, or at least gotten everyone thinking and talking about it.
Please, don’t forget to vote. It will be more crucial in 2020 than ever before. Socialism is lurking around the corner.
Be safe, stay informed, and thanks for reading!
© 2019 Dee Armstrong All Rights Reserved