Will the electoral college ever be eliminated?

Does the electoral college really favor areas with low populations?

The answer depends on what you mean by "favors".

As many have pointed out, there is a huge difference between CA and WY in terms of the number of votes for each election.

For each electoral vote, 3.5 times as many votes are required in CA as in WY.

One way to express this is: The college prefers states with small population because the votes of their citizens are each “worth more”.

However, there is the fact that urban areas overwhelmingly vote for the Democrat, rural, and Republican states. States with higher populations tend to have larger and larger urban areas. Since cities have more population and rural areas have fewer, one could say: The college favors Democrats in high-population states and Republicans in low-population states

However, the reality is that most states are clearly red or blue in presidential elections. Only a handful are purple. In these swing states, a lot of campaign effort is made. Another valid argument is that college swing favors states with higher populations in terms of each individual's influence on the final election result .

Finally, we should look at the story. And take a look at who it was originally intended for. Originally, it was supposed to take into account the fact that this was a large nation (spatially speaking) with a large space between people in terms of access to information and time. The thought was that it would be difficult for people to be properly informed and it would be best if representatives voted for them.

The debate on the 12th Amendment brought the issue up again and the elimination of the College was brought up again (as the original reasons for it became less relevant). However, it was kept primarily to address the north-south divide on the subject of slavery.

At the Philadelphia Congress, visionary Pennsylvanian James Wilson proposed a direct national election for president. The savvy Virginian James Madison replied, however, that such a system would prove unacceptable in the south: “Suffrage was much more diffuse in the northern states than in the southern states; and the latter could not influence the choice of negroes. “In other words, in a direct electoral system, the North would outnumber the South, whose many slaves (more than half a million in all) could of course not vote. But the electoral college - a prototype suggested by Madison in the same speech - instead had each southern state count its slaves, albeit at a two-fifths discount, to calculate its share of the total.

One final way of saying things is that the electoral college was historically retained to the north or the south on the issue of slavery not to to prefer.


@DJMcMayhem - Slaves were counted as 3/5 of the person in the allocation of representatives (counted for the population of a state) but could not vote themselves.

Drunk cynic

-1. No. The electoral college was not a protective feature for slavery. While there was slavery and there was a 3/5 compromise in accounting for the slave population, we do not have an electoral college because of slavery.


@blip - Persistence and 'why it was created' are two completely different topics. The reason for the creation of the electoral college was expressly and entirely because the founding fathers feared "the tyranny of the majority," which would inevitably lead to a straight democracy. Whether there were arguments and suggestions to get rid of the electoral college later or to keep time is completely irrelevant. The fact is, the creation of the Electoral College was about slavery.


@blip OK. The question is: "Should the electoral college give smaller states more influence?" So some history is a subject for this, although it seems a bit strange to bring up a point in history where we've just kept it.

Clement Cherlin

It is misleading to say that every aspect of American politics, past or present, was "ZERO to do with slavery." White supremacism was and is a major factor in American politics, and that includes Electoral College. The electoral college was made up of voters who were expected to come from the same class of people that made up the Constitutional Convention. More specifically, the statement that "it would be best if representatives vote for them" would read "it would be best if older, educated, wealthy, white landowners voted for them".