What to do about the Electoral College

We can’t get rid of it, but we can change it

The bottom line is that it’s hard to reconcile someone winning the presidential election while getting substantially less votes than the losing candidate.

How we got here

The idea of the Electoral College is enshrined in the Constitution, Article II, section 1. Ironically, the term “college” never appears in the Constitution, and contrary to many people’s perception, the Electors never meet together in one place. Instead, the Constitution states that Electors shall meet in their states where they vote for president. Those votes are then transmitted to Congress, where the President of the Senate opens the ballots.

This is where the argument that one vote in Wyoming is worth much more than one vote in California comes from.

The way forward

First let me address those who will argue for a Constitutional amendment. Since our founding, that document has been amended only 27 times. Ten of those are the Bill of Rights, which basically passed along with the original Constitution. Three of those amendments are the result of the Civil War. Two of them address Prohibition: one mandating it, the other abolishing it. The most recent amendment took 203 years to become law. Personally, I don’t want to wait that long to address our Electoral College problem.

Mike is an Assistant Professor of Management for Legal and Ethical Studies at Oakland U. Mike combines his scholarship with practical experience in politics.

Get the Medium app

A button that says 'Download on the App Store', and if clicked it will lead you to the iOS App store
A button that says 'Get it on, Google Play', and if clicked it will lead you to the Google Play store