With the 2020 United States Presidential Elections just a few months away, people who are unaware of the electoral processes and bodies involved have become eager to enhance their knowledge about the whole affair. It is just natural to want to find out more about the election campaigns and processes involved to make sure the vote is cast for the right candidate.
Electoral College is one of the many legislative bodies involved in the whole election process. It is basically a group of people designated with the job of electing President of United States of America out of two major finalists. This group of people comes together every four years at the time of Presidential Elections and is formed in the light of laws laid down in the Constitution of the United States of America. Once the Presidential Elections are over, this group is dissolved.
Background of Electoral College
As mentioned above, the Electoral College is specifically formed every four years for the sole purpose of electing the President of the United States of America and is dissolved after the electoral process finishes. Electoral College consists of voters/electors equal to the total number of representatives in Congress and their job is to elect one of the final major candidates.
In an event where both the candidates receive an equal number of electoral votes by the electors, the matter is passed on to The House of Representatives. However, such occurrences have been rare. Most of the time, Electoral College has successfully elected the President of the United States of America, who also happened to have a majority of the popular votes.
Although there have been instances when the popularly voted Presidential candidate was easily overthrown by the Electoral College verdict. The most famous event was that of 2016 when Hillary Clinton, who was leading popular votes by 3 million, was easily defeated by Donald Trump who aced her with 78 electoral votes. Events like these have led many Americans to reconsider the role of Electoral College and many states have also voted for its abolishment.
Despite the reality that Electoral College’s verdicts are not always in alignment with the popular opinions, the fact that Electoral College helps in resolving candidacy disputes is the very reason why it was created by the founding fathers of the United States of America.
According to United States history, in 1787 the founding fathers got into a heated debate on how to elect the president of the United States of America. While some argued in favor of 100% popular vote others insisted that the task should be left to Congress itself. The debate went on for days and when no other solution could be agreed upon, the founding fathers agreed upon the method of Electoral College; thus, giving both the democracy champions and Congress aides a win-win solution.
As of today, the Electoral College is very much in effect on the same principles as the ones it was founded on. This time around November, it will again be formed and its services will be put to use. However, as a rule of thumb, it is important to note that the presidential candidate who scores a total of 270 electoral votes out of the 530 is hosted as a resident of the White House for a full term of 4 years. This decision is final, regardless of the total number of popular votes a candidate has.
While the decision is final in every aspect, it does come across as unfair especially in cases such as that of 2016. The election of final President by the Electoral College, on one hand, seems fair to small states but on the other, seems extremely unfair for the larger states with the majority population.
Impact on the 2020 Elections
While many still debate the real purpose why Electoral College must have been created and its impact on the elected candidates in past elections, many people are speculating that this time around too, their chosen popular candidate might get overruled by an Electoral College preferred one. This speculation has surely led people to question the power of their vote. Does it even matter who they vote for when clearly the power of smaller states outdoes that of the majority opinion in the larger states?
Experts are also indicating that 2020 will be a Republican year once again since most of the smaller states are in favor of the incumbent President Donald Trump and his aides. This basically points to the discrepancy in American Democracy which clearly favors the interests of smaller states over lager ones.
Even though, for once, it sounds good to believe that the interests of smaller states are being protected but the truth is, with the power vested in Electoral College, the interests of larger states are being intentionally neglected. This situation consequently has led voters in the larger states to rethink their voting rights and efforts since they have come to a realization that it really doesn’t matter who they vote for, all that really matters is which state they cast their vote in.
Whether the establishment of Electoral College was a just decision or one made out of sheer frustration to resolve the candidacy disputes among arguing states, the verdict can only be decided once it is observed how many times does a larger state favored president gets a chance to dwell in the White House.
If this time also the verdict of the smaller states bypassed that of larger states in the name of equality, then it will be really a high time for the country to rethink its not-so-democratic constitution and laws. In such an event, the majority of the United States voters might lose their faith in the United States voting system and the purpose of Electoral College to serve as an equal right ensuring the legislative body can be put to test too.
Whatever happens, the elections are still far off and there is ample time for the legislative bodies to rethink the role of Electoral College and might as well act on the plea of states which want it abolished completely.