Well, we have just come through another national election and it turns out the folks that predict these things, for the most part, got it all wrong, and the candidate everyone thought would coast to victory was the one making the concession speech the next morning. Usually, this is not a problem as this has happened before and we, as a people, just go back to our daily activities and try and make the best of the situation until the whole process starts over again in four years.
This year was a bit different. Now we have quite a few disgruntled people protesting the results and insisting that the Electoral College change their votes to support the candidate who garnered the most popular votes, instead of sticking with the current system of electing a president via the Electoral College. Perhaps an explanation of the Electoral College and why our founders instituted this system for electing a president will help.
The problem the Founding Fathers faced when the battle for independence was won was how set up a system of electing a national president that would give each state an equal voice in the process. They could not do it using a pure democratic system as the more populace states could easily out vote the smaller and less populace states, leading to a system that heavily favored the larger states and handicapped the smaller. If this was allowed the larger states would be able to dictate national policy to the smaller states, and there would be nothing the smaller states could do to change that. So, instead of a pure democratic system for electing presidents the Electoral College was put into place.
With the Electoral College system each state is given a number of Electoral Votes, depending on their population. Currently, the combined total of electoral Votes is 538, which means that to elect a president the winning candidate must win enough states to secure at least 270 of those votes. Now, the system works because the largest and most populated states cannot, of themselves, elect a president because they do not have the votes to do so. This forces the winning candidate to court the smaller states as well, and form a political policy that will be beneficial to the smaller states as well as the larger states. This gives the smaller states a real voice in choosing a president and keeps them from being dominated by the larger states as the winning candidate must win a majority of the smaller states as well as the larger more populated states to reach the 270 Electoral Vote count needed to secure victory.
Now, on occasion, the winning candidate received fewer popular votes than the losing candidate, but this is alright, it proves the system works and that the smaller states do have a powerful voice in the election process, which is why the Electoral College was put into place in the first place.
Now, I know this was not an electronics related post, but we at MPC Digital Solutions are also very civic minded and want to help in any way we can to help our community, our state and our country move forward for the benefit of everyone. So, if we can help folks to better understand the system our country uses to elect a president, well, maybe we can help in doing just that. We live in the most wonderful country the world has ever seen, and it will always be the most wonderful country no matter the trials and tribulations we may pass through. As a people we always find a way to work things out and make the United States of America an even better place for all. We have done this for over 200 years, and we will continue to do so into perpetuity.