The Electoral College

Quinn Deasy '18, Staff Writer

What is it?

The Electoral College is one of the most important components of American democracy, but very few people understand what exactly it is. All in all, this complicated process is what decides who the next President of the United States is. How? It starts with the selection of electors, then the electors meet to vote for a president and vice president. Following voting, Congress counts the electoral votes. In the Electoral College there are 538 electors, and in order for any one candidate to win, he or she must win the majority of those electors, at least 270 votes.

Problems with this process?

The Electoral College is a controversial process that many Americans have a problem with. Many people feel that it takes away from the true meaning of democracy. The people’s vote doesn’t necessarily reflect the result of the electoral vote; for example, a candidate can win the popular vote but lose the election as a whole—that happened this year. Another group of people fear “faithless electors,” those who vote against their state’s popular vote. These faithless electors typically don’t face a consequence, and if they do it is a small fine. This system was created in 1787, and has been actively used ever since. Should the Electoral College continue to be used?