Electoral College should reflect popular vote

September 4, 2012 — by Katherine Chang and Jennifer Jin
In the upcoming presidential election, some seniors have to face the decision of choosing the best candidate. However, what they don’t know is that their vote for Obama or Romney or anyone else will hardly matter.  
In the upcoming presidential election, some seniors have to face the decision of choosing the best candidate. However, what they don’t know is that their vote for Obama or Romney or anyone else will hardly matter.  
Despite being taught from youth that the United States is a democracy and every citizen is created equal, the voting system says otherwise. The archaic system of the Electoral College does not promote equality, but rather takes away voting power from large states such as California, Texas and New York.
When the Electoral College was created in the late 1700s, it was the most effective way to efficiently elect the president. With transportation of information going at a snail’s pace, most citizens didn’t have access to the latest news. 
Therefore, it made sense to have the informed few to make decisions on behalf of others. Now, with information travelling so quickly, there is no need for others to make “informed” decisions for us. 
The Electoral College gives direct votes to states instead of people, so votes count more in some states than in others. If electoral votes were divided evenly among the whole country’s population, an electoral vote would represent about 580,000 citizens. 
In California, there are 37.7 million residents and 55 electoral votes, equating to 685,000 residents per electoral vote. In Wyoming, on the other hand, there are 568,000 residents and three electoral votes, equating to 23,000 residents per electoral vote. 
Additionally, because some states like California are almost guaranteed to vote for the same party each election, presidential candidates rarely visit those states, preferring to visit swing states, states that no candidate is assured that he or she will win.  These states include Florida, Pennsylvania, Virginia and Ohio. The main reason candidates may visit large states with a heavy leaning toward one party is simply to raise money. 
Although some people claim that a popular vote would force candidates to visit only populous places, the top 10 most populated cities only account for 7.9 percent of the U.S. population, not nearly enough to win an election. 
A candidate only needs over 50 percent of a state’s popular vote to gain the all of the electoral votes of that state. Therefore, the popular vote would not necessarily be the winner of the election. 
In the 2000 election between Al Gore and George Bush, Gore won the popular vote with over half a million more votes than Bush, but Bush won the overall election. 
Instead, the National Popular Vote Interstate Compact would guarantee that the candidate that won the national popular vote would become president. States that are part of the compact would give all their electoral votes to the candidate that wins the national popular vote. 
The compact will be enacted once 270 electoral votes are amassed by the states. So far, nine states have signed this compact into law, but their combined electoral votes only add up to 132 electoral votes. 
The United States prides itself on being a democracy. In order to actually be one, the presidential election should be reflective of the popular vote.