The Electoral College

Funny how I forget, every presidential election, that my vote isn’t really cast directly for my candidate choice, but for some unknown person who is appointed by the political parties in my state. By agreement, this person who is appointed to the Electoral College will vote for the candidate who wins the state. Seems like that’s basically giving the vote to the candidate who actually gets the most votes. But, Electoral College appointees are not ‘bound’ to vote for the winning candidate. Nope. They can vote for whoever they want.

There are 538 of these people who determine the outcome of any presidential election. Maybe they are used for other election, too, but I’m not aware what elections those might be. So, I’ll just continue to pretend I know what I’m talking about and say that only presidential elections are involved.

The 538 Electoral College members mirror the number of Senators and Congressmen and dictate how many votes each state has. Oregon has 7, Rhode Island has 4. Respectively, those two states have populations of 3,831,074 and 1,052,567. Using a little bit of basic math that I learned in the third grade, using much smaller numbers, I see that each electoral vote in Oregon is determined by about 547,296 people, and in Rhode Island each electoral vote is determined by about 263,142 people.

Hmmm. So, one electoral vote in Rhode Island represents the desires of 263K people but in Oregon it represents almost twice as many people. The average for each electoral vote for the entire United State is about 547K which makes Rhode Island’s 4 votes appear to be a little out of balance. I checked a few other states and found that the numbers are generally higher, like 677K for each of California’s electoral votes.

Granted, that’s only 2 states out of 50-something, and probably isn’t truly representative of a fair comparison, but considering the stakes you would think there would be a little more equality given to each state by population. Either that, or divide the votes in a different manner. I suggest that each state have only one electoral vote, regardless of population, and it would take 26 to win.

Better yet, I suggest that each state have as many electoral votes as they do citizens and that it would take 1/2 +1 to win the vote.

Oh, wait! That would mean the candidate with the most popular vote would win.

I’m sorry I suggested that because from a purely political perspective and I’m sure that would be illegal, immoral, and unnatural. But, gee, that’s the way all the other elections, state-by-state, are determined aren’t they?

Very confusing and, I’m guessing, designed that way so simple folks like myself get dizzy trying to figure it out and just give up.

That’s what I’m going to do, now.

Give up.

At least for now.

In the future I might just decide to vote for whichever candidate I think has the fewest tan lines.



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