Wednesday, 20 April 2016

Power of the Small States in the Electoral College

The Electoral College process favors people living in small states. We all know that each state has the same number of electoral votes as it does members of Congress. Since congressional apportionment in the Senate favors the small states, the electoral college therefore favors small states, first by giving them the malapportioned Senate votes, and second by amplifying the voting power of those votes.

For instance, California has 38,800,000 residents, and it has 55 electoral votes, or about 705,000 people per elector; and Wyoming, with 550,000 people, has three electoral votes, or about 183,000 people per elector. Which means that a Wyoming resident has 3.8 times the voting power of a California resident. Sixty-five Wyomings could fit in California, meaning that if California were scaled in such a way it would contribute 195 votes to the electoral college.

The winner-take-all (except ME and NE) further amplifies this scenario.

Many respond that ours is a Constitutional Republic, that the Electoral College and the Senate protect us from “tyranny of the majority” and/or “mobocracy.” This misses a key point: where and when are we prepared to say that the loser gets to win, to dictate policy? Under what circumstances?

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