A petition on Change.org calling for the Electoral College to elect Hillary Clinton as President has earned over half of the signatures needed for it to be sent to the governing body.
The petition, launched on Wednesday after Donald Trump was elected President, calls for the Electoral College to “ignore their states’ votes and cast their ballots for Secretary Clinton.”
Although Trump won over the 270 necessary electoral votes to secure the Presidency, Clinton narrowly earned the nation’s popular vote.
The Electoral College – which was first introduced in 1804 – is comprised of 538 electors. Each state’s number of electors is decided by its number of members in Congress, which is dependent on the state’s population. So, when American citizens cast their ballots, they aren’t directly voting for president – they’re voting for electors. This year, Trump took 279, to Clinton’s 228.
Many believe whichever candidate wins the popular vote should win the presidency, and there is currently an effort to render the Electoral College effectively useless.
However, our Founders so deeply feared the tyranny of a majority that they rejected the idea of a direct vote for president. That’s why they created the Electoral College in the first place. For more than two centuries, it has encouraged coalition building, given voice to both big and small states, and discouraged voter fraud. The following video further explains The Popular Vote vs. The Electoral College:
As political writer/contributor, Alyssa Lafage explains:
“The electoral college is important and good. Unfortunately when people don’t understand something they often choose to complain instead of educate themselves. The popular vote alone determining the presidency would lead to candidates winning in the most populous areas like New York City, Los Angeles or Chicago — places that do not represent the majority of Americans or their values. The EC system forces presidential candidates and their surrogates to go to small towns in states like Pennsylvania and Ohio to ask for the support of the people. Don’t blame the electoral college because you disagree with the outcome of this election. This system is brilliant and ensures we all have a voice. Those of you complaining know darn well if it went the other way you would not be saying a thing. Your instinct should not be to change the rules to get the result you would have hoped for. What you should be doing is working to change people’s minds so they vote differently next time.”