I’m going to go into the nitty gritty a little bit on this one, because the information is pertinent and bears explaining. Many people in the country don’t understand how the Electoral College actually works, which is amazing to me because we go over this shit every four years.
First, the states of Nebraska and Maine will be exempt from the rest of this because they apportion their electoral votes to each candidate proportionally. The remaining 48 states are winner take all states. What that means is that the winner of the vote in any other given state traditionally gets all of that state’s electoral votes. Now, if you’re reading between the lines, you’ll realize that this system essentially ignores the minority vote in these states for the election of the president.
I see you shaking your head. Stop it. Listen. Both parties have a set number of electors in each state. Here in Arizona each party has 11. Donald Trump won Arizona, so the 11 Republican electors get to vote for president. The 11 Democratic ones get to sit on their thumbs. Now, in Arizona Donald Trump won by about 3.6% (let that sink in – in fucking open carry, gun show every weekend, cowboy ass Arizona, he only won by 3.6%).
Let’s break it down into real numbers though, as it will illustrate my point better. Trump had 1,252,401 votes here. Clinton had 1,161,167. A difference of about 91,000 votes. The million plus people who voted for Clinton? They get no representation in the election of the President of the United States because all 11 of Arizona’s electors are given to the Republican candidate (this year, as with most, because Arizona). Mind you, we’re not voting for President of Arizona, we’re voting for a national position here. But those votes are essentially tossed aside because they aren’t the majority in their state.
This happens in 48 of 50 states.
This is how you end up with generations of disillusioned citizens who feel like their voice is never heard and never matters. And frankly, it’s tough to blame them. They’re voting for the leader of the nation but their vote never leaves the confines of their own state. This is how you end up with a candidate winning the popular vote by 2,700,000 votes across the country and still taking a shellacking in the Electoral College.
Fun fact, if you take all the minority votes from each state and add them up it comes out to 53,880,318 votes, from both parties combined, that bear no effect on the winner of the national election. No other nation uses this arcane and unintuitive method of selecting their leader.
My red friends like to think I’m against the Electoral College because Hillary lost. And you know, I’m upset that we elected an idiot. A narcissist. A bigot. A liar and a thief. A man whose own corruption far exceeds anything we’ve seen in a president ever before. But no, I’ve held this opinion since I first learned about winner take all laws and how they warp the purpose of the Electoral College.
Personally, I do believe a national popular vote would be best. But failing that, proportional distribution of electoral votes would be better and more representative of the current citizenry.
53,880,318 votes will not be represented when the electors convene to vote for the next President of the United States. The system is broken and it needs an overhaul.
Inspired by this article. It can be a little tough to parse, but is definitely worth the read.
Current popular vote data taken from here.