The Electoral College gives voters control over presidential elections

Ianna Pirozzi, In-Focus Editor

Americans seek the best of everything, and they don’t care who knows it. They want the best economy, the best military, the best technology, and the best leader. Why then, would they still use the Electoral College for presidential elections? It must represent them in the best way.

First and foremost, the Electoral College emphasizes the importance of state rights in a time when federal power reigns supreme. In a country where the legislative process spans across several levels from local to statewide to federal, it is impossible to ignore the middle step in crucial decisions without disproportionately skewing power distribution.

Through the Electoral College, a voter casts his opinion in order to fight for multiple represented votes in the form of an elector

If individual voters and federal power were the only important parts of the political hierarchy, then the country might as well be called “the Conglomerate of Independent Voters,” not the United States of America.

By making the presidential election a more local affair, candidates are forced to vie for the support of the population as a whole, not just for the largest demographic group.

They cannot ignore racial or ethnic minorities, as they might during a popular election, because they must win support in culturally-diverse regions of the country.

Technically, as critics of the Electoral College say, the electors for each state do not have to vote for the candidate that they are pledged to. However, these “faithless electors” are exceedingly rare. There have only been eight since 1950, and none of those instances affected the outcome of the election.

Ultimately, a vote under the Electoral College system is worth more than a vote under the popular vote system. According to the Bipartisan Policy Center, there were 126 million total voters in the U.S. during the presidential election in 2012 and 2.5 million in Maryland alone. In the overall election, a single vote is worth significantly less than in the closer state elections. Through the Electoral College, a voter casts his opinion in order to fight for multiple represented votes in the form of an elector.

Furthermore, it is rare that the Electoral College winner does not reflect the popular choice, so the eventual president isn’t “cheating” his way into office. In fact, a discrepancy has only happened four times: 1824, 1876, 1888, and 2000.

The Electoral College is more than just a tradition or a concept from the Founding Fathers that has since ceased to become relevant. It has evolved over time to fit the needs of the country, but it has nonetheless remained the most logical way to elect the president.

Ianna Pirozzi is an In-Focus Editor for The Patriot and