In 1787, in the sweltering midsummer heat of Philadelphia, the founders pieced together the Electoral College in the Constitution, which would become the cornerstone of a new nation that had never been seen before. However, in recent times, many have derided the Electoral College as outdated, unfair and worthy of replacement with a popular vote system.
Although conducting presidential elections based on a popular vote is an appealing concept, ridding the United States of the Electoral College system would bring innumerable consequences. The system must remain intact to protect our elections because it prioritizes each state on an individual level, allows for candidates to consider the needs of all states while campaigning, and creates an effective voting system. It is not reason enough to eliminate the Electoral College even when considering controversial elections where the candidate lost the election but won the popular vote. If the country was to opt for a process that based its winner solely on the recipient with the most votes, then the states with the largest populations would dominate and candidates would naturally only campaign in those key areas to secure votes.
In the Anti-Federalist papers, a group of founding fathers, including Patrick Henry, Melancton Smith and others who wrote under pseudonyms, were deeply concerned about individual states not harnessing enough influence against that of an all too invasive government. This directly correlates with the purpose of the Electoral College; it was established to give equal power to all states in the voting system, regardless of population. Candidates not becoming accustomed to issues that are held by states on their own is concerning. Instead of looking at the country as one entire body, the Electoral College system considers each state’s interests and ensures that densely populated places do not undermine less populous areas.
The Electoral College itself was formed so that single majorities would not kickstart a system of oppression and in today’s polarizing political climate, this should be avoided at all costs. In reference to the highly anticipated 2020 election, recounting votes would have been more disastrous if a popular vote had been in place instead of recounting by state. A national popular vote would impact the voting process by forcing the federal government to uphold voting standards.
In contrast, The Electoral College keeps the concept of federalism alive, which is the shared power between national and state governments. The popular vote would only stymie policy because it heavily focuses on the individual running, and not what they stand for. Finding a way to make policy and headway at the congressional level should take precedence instead of relying on who won and lost.
The founding fathers had one concept in mind when forming the Electoral College: The American people. Disbanding the Electoral College would hinder progress and only increase the tensions of ostracization if a popular vote system was installed. The interests of the American people are the most important which is why the Electoral College is here to stay.