The Electoral College Is Racist. Here’s How to Kill It…

The case against the Electoral College is straightforward: Because states are allocated electors based on the size of their congressional delegations, those with smaller populations have an outsize influence on presidential elections. The result is that a small number of voters in certain battleground states become kingmakers. By one analysis of the 2012 presidential election, four out of five voters had virtually zero influence on the outcome.

It’s really a relic from the past,” says Wilfred Codrington III, an assistant professor at Brooklyn Law School and a Brennan Center for Justice fellow. The Electoral College was established by the framers of the Constitution as a last-minute deal, a gift to Southern states trying to protect slaveholders’ power and leverage the three-fifths compromise. “It wasn’t a stroke of genius. It was really just the least objectionable at the time,” Codrington says…

Codrington thinks Electoral College reform is something everyone—even Republicans—could benefit from. “There are millions of Republicans whose votes are wasted, just as there are millions of Democrats whose votes are wasted, because they live in states that are fully red or fully blue, or mostly red or mostly blue,” he says. “They’re being ignored. And I think that it’s in their interest to think about the popular vote as something that will make their political system more responsive to their interests.”

I happen to think Codrington is wrong…for the reasons listed in the article. I distrust the ease by which the compact suggested can be reversed and put out of service. Though the simple exercise of a truly democratic vote for a few elections in a row would probably make a proper change to popular vote rule easy-peasy.

2 thoughts on “The Electoral College Is Racist. Here’s How to Kill It…

  1. nicknielsensc says:

    Another way to partially neutralize the Electoral College is to increase the size of the House, which it did every year until 1911. Pass a new Apportionment Act that removes the limit on the number of Representatives, restores the requirement that House districts be ‘compact and contiguous’, and caps the size of House districts at 200,000 persons or major fraction thereof. Make Congressmen do one of their primary jobs and apportion House seats after each Census. The number of Representatives would immediately jump to about 1,500 members, with the more populous states gaining proportionately more. Where do they work? The local Federal building, a Post Office addition, or even a “Government House” with offices for one or more Representatives. The Capitol too small to hold everybody? D.C. has three or four arenas or halls that can be rented for things like the State of the Union.

    It wouldn’t pass of course, because while many Republicans may not really understand math, they truly are calculating bastitches and would see how their power was being diluted.

  2. OG says:

    The way go change it is to amend the constitution, or throw the one we are using out and get a new one. They did that in 1779 or thereabouts. England gas no written constitution. A democracy would not need one because in a democracy all matters are decided by simple majority vote. We do not have that here. We gave a constitution that us almost impossible to amend. All systems are imperfect. A direct vote for the president would not be perfect.

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