Although Jefferson says that “Equal representation is so

Although it only happens four times a year, the presidential election is one of the biggest events that happens in politics within the United States. The winner of the presidential election is decided when a candidate wins 270 of the 538 possible electoral votes in the electoral college. The greater the population of a state, the more influence it has on the college. It was first created in the 18th century by the founding fathers and has been used ever since, but today, it has become a highly controversial issue. Should the electoral college be either revised or abolished, or kept the same? The electoral college should be abolished and be replaced with a pure popular vote to decide the president because the electoral college today does not align with the concept of a true popular vote democracy and because there are so many flaws with the electoral college. The creation of the electoral college back then in the 18th century is justifiable, but not acceptable today. The main reason for the creation of the college was because the founding fathers did not trust the general population to correctly elect a president that would do his job as president correctly and not take advantage of his powers to create another tyranny such as that of England back at the times. Transportation and communication was very limited in the early 1800s, and many people were not very educated at this time, so people were not trusted to thoroughly know candidates’ platforms and positions on issues. Alexander Hamilton in Federalist Paper 68 says that “The precautions which have been so happily concerted in the system under consideration, promise an effectual security against this mischief”. The electoral college was a defense system against tyranny. In a letter to William King by Thomas Jefferson in 1819, Jefferson says that “Equal representation is so fundamental a principle in a true republic that no prejudice can justify its violation because the prejudices themselves cannot be justified”. This is one of America’s most important principles in today’s society: equal representation. However, the electoral college does not support equal representation for each person. Each state automatically initially receives 2 votes in the college because of the Senate. The rest of the votes are determined by population. However, in 2016, the population of California was 39.25 million and the population of Wyoming was 585,501, and the number of electoral votes that the states received were 55 and 3, respectively. This shows that California has one electoral vote per 712,000 residents in California while Wyoming has one electoral vote per 195,000 residents (Lu). This data shows that the people all over the USA are not equally represented under the electoral college. The individual residents of states that live in the more populous states such as California and New York have much less representation and voice compared to the residents that live in small states such as Wyoming and North Dakota. This does not line up with the principle of “equal representation” that America values so greatly. Another issue with the electoral college is that while the electoral votes are given in proportion to the total population of the state, only a part of that population is registered to vote, and only a smaller fraction of the registered actually vote (Lu). For example, in the 2016 election, Texas had the smallest voting-eligible percentage in the nation, but it still had the second most electoral votes (Lu). Because of the many flaws in representation with the electoral college, it should be replaced with a pure popular vote so that each vote is represented equally. The electoral college should also be replaced with a direct majority vote because the way that the electoral college is currently set up right now, the college is not directly representative of the people’s vote. When citizens in a state vote, they vote for their state’s representative for the party that they just voted for. Then, at the end of the voting, whichever representative has the most votes in that state gives all of the state’s electoral votes to his/her corresponding presidential candidate. Because of this, for example, a 99.9% vote for the Democrats in California would yield the same amount of electoral votes to the Democratic Party as a 50.1% vote for Democrats is California. As a result, in instances where a party in a state has won by a few hundred votes means that all of the people’s votes for the other parties are essentially thrown away. This allows for instances where the president can win the electoral college and become the president but not win the popular (majority) vote of the citizens. This has happened five times in history: 1824, 1876, 1888, 2000, and 2016 (Gore). In fact, although it has never happened, a candidate can become president by only winning 21.8% of the popular vote (Lewis)! How can a country that is built off the principles of majority rule and popular sovereignty elect a president that could only be supported by less than a quarter of the people. Instead, implementing a direct popular election of the president will accurately represent the what the people want. The electoral college should be abolished because there is a possibility of a tie in the electoral college, and when this happens, power shifts from the people to the House of Representatives. There are a total of 538 electoral votes, so it is possible that each candidate receives 269 votes. This has happened in the past in 1800 with Jefferson and Burr (Newton-Small and Wilson). When a tie happens, the House of Representatives choose the president and the Senate choose the vice president. These politicians do not necessarily have to follow what the people want. Rather, because they have the power in their hands, they will most likely choose the candidate of the party they are affiliated with. In 2016, there were a total of 97 different combinations that could have resulted in a tie in the college (“Electoral College Tie Finder”). However, with a direct popular election, there is virtually no chance at a tie, and the result of the election will directly represent the desire of the majority. One of the main problems today is the low voter turnout rates, and keeping the electoral college is one factor that is helping decrease voter turnout rates. In states that very often end up voting for one party such as California and West Virginia, the people who are in support of the opposing party (Republicans in California and Democrats in West Virginia) know that their vote will “not count” (Kurtzleben). Because of the way the electoral college works and how only one party can take all the electoral votes of a state, the minority party voters know that their vote will not have enough effect to turn the tides, so many voters in those states just stay home. However, if the election was a direct popular vote, then each voter knows that their vote is equally as crucial as everyone else’s vote, so they will have a greater urge to vote, thus increasing the voter turnout rates. The “winner takes all” approach of the electoral college is hurting the overall voter turnout rates in the US.