The Winner-Takes-All Method Within the Electoral College Makes America UndemocraticRandee Rose JovenBlue Ridge Community CollegeAbstractIn this paper, the writer asserts that the process of the Electoral College is flawed. After engaging the reader by sharing an unfamiliar statistic, the paper describes the steps of the process, including the certain number of electors determined in each state. Then, it explains who nominated and votes for the electors, and how it happens. Finally, it tells the readers how the ballots are casted and what determines the winner. The writer then contends that the winner-takes-all voting method of the Electoral College is undemocratic. It is a cause for many other problems within American presidential elections. To solve this problem, Joven suggests that this method should be replaced by another called the Congressional District Method. This is used in all but two states, Maine and Nebraska. In support of this solution, the writer stresses that getting rid of the this method will represent more voters, decrease gerrymandering and give third parties an opportunity to win. Evidence from the National Archives and Records Administration and FairVote supports these ideas. The paper concludes by asking readers to support groups that have proposed solutions to reform or eliminate the Electoral College.Keywords: Electoral College, winner-takes-all, popular vote, electors, president, constitutionThe Winner-Takes-All System Within the Electoral College Makes America UndemocraticOnly five people in the history of the United States have become president by winning the electoral votes but losing the popular vote. (“Presidential Election Process,” 2018). The last time this happened was only in 2016 between former Democratic candidate Hillary Clinton and her Republican counterpart President Donald Trump. Although Clinton won the popular vote by almost 2.9 million, Trump won the election because he had 74 more electoral votes than Clinton (“2016 Presidential,” 2016). According to H. Daniel, “The system that elected him also known as the Electoral College was built on gerrymandering and therefore unfair. I am disappointed in the entire system that disenfranchises voters that are not affluent or privileged.” (H. Daniel, Personal Communication, January 10, 2018). With the Electoral College’s winner-takes-all system, there are no guarantees that the candidate who wins the majority of votes from the population can win the election, therefore it must be abolished.The Process of the Electoral CollegeThe Electoral College is made up of a group of people called “electors” that elects the president and vice president of the United States every four years. These electors are voted by the people. Each state gets a certain number of electoral votes based on its population. (“U.S. Electoral College,” n.d.) This process was established by the Founding Fathers in the United States Constitution because they worried that states with smaller populations might not get represented fairly. They also thought that not everybody was informed enough to know which candidate is suitable to become president, so they assigned electors. Number of Electors for Each State Each state and the District of Columbia all start with three electoral votes no matter how few people live there, then more are added depending on the state’s population. Appendix B shows the number of electors for each state. Seven states and Washington D.C. have the minimum number of three. There are 538 electors in total because of the 435 Representatives, one hundred Senators and three electors from D.C.Electors Are Nominated This part of the process varies in each state. Political parties usually nominate electors at their state conventions. They are usually people who are politically active in their party or connected to politics in some way such as party leaders, and political activists. To qualify as an elector, a person, senator or representative cannot hold an Office of Trust or Profit. (U.S. Const. art. II, § 1, cl. 2) State officials who have rebelled against the country or helped enemies cannot qualify either. (U.S. Const. amend. XIV) Political parties choose the elector based on their service and dedication to the party, therefore that candidate pretty much has to conform to that party’s policies completely.Voters select electors On Election Day, the voters select their state’s electors when they cast their ballots. They don’t directly vote for the president. For example, by voting for a Democratic presidential candidate, a person is really voting for a member in the Electoral College who is expected to vote for that candidate. Electors Cast Ballots Electors meet in their state capitols on the Monday after the second Wednesday of December to cast their votes for president and vice president. In January, The votes are sent to the President of the Senate who reads them out loud in front of the two houses of Congress. Although twenty-seven states have laws that says electors must vote for their party’s candidate, the Constitution or any other federal laws does not require them to do so. Majority of Electoral Votes Determine the Winner The presidential candidate that receives the most electoral votes wins the election, and one needs 270 to win. In forty-eight states and D.C., the candidate who gets the most electoral votes gets to keep the rest of the state’s electoral votes. This is called the winner-takes-all method. For example, if Candidate A won seven out of the thirteen electoral votes in Virginia, then that person can collect the rest even if six of them voted for Candidate B. Only Nebraska and Maine don’t follow these rules. Instead, they have something called the Congressional District Method.The FlawIf most people understood the process of the Electoral College, they would realize how unjust it actually is. America would be a fair democracy if the people are directly voting for their own leader, but that is not the case. In fact, it has never been the case. With the Electoral College, votes don’t go to the people but the states. Votes are then distributed so that each state has the same amount of power, and smaller states are protected. Each state gets three votes to begin with before the rest of the votes are distributed according to the size of the state’s population. With all of that said, it is clear that it’s not working as well as it used to. Things change. The country grew, the population increased, and more people, like women and other races, have been allowed to vote since the Electoral College was first established. While the Electoral College is a problem in itself, the winner-takes-all method is a the central reason for the most crucial problems in the system. This voting method leaves many voters unrepresented.In the 2016 presidential campaigns, 91.5% of events happened in eleven swing states, and 57.1% of these events happened in just four swing states: North Carolina, Pennsylvania, Florida and Ohio. (“Tracking the Candidates,” 2016).The SolutionCompletely eliminating the Electoral College would mean tinkering with the Constitution, and that can be a very long, complicated process. The immediate solution to this problem is to replace the winner-takes-all methoduse the Congressional District Method that Maine and Nebraska started in 1972 and 1991 respectively. Replacing the current procedure with this one does not change anything in the Constitution because there is no law stating that the winner of the majority popular votes gets to keep the rest. The only reason why every state uses this system is because they can. Over time The Congressional District MethodAdditionally, electors must be required to compel to the majority popular vote and punished if they don’t, otherwise there would be no point to voting for a candidate if the electors can choose whoever they want with little to no consequence. Without the winner-takes-all method, third parties would actually have a chance at winning. Other countries like Australia hold run-off elections where voters are able to rank their choices, which is even better. Only that would again require us to change something in the Constitution. By going withConclusionIf we lived in a perfect democracy, we could elect the president of our choice, and everyone’s vote would be counted the same. Perhaps that could happen, but it would probably take years if even the Electoral College that was established since America started is still standing. Maybe one day we could even get rid of the system entirely, but for now, the immediate solution would be to change the methods within the system bit by bit. There are certainly more flaws within the Electoral College, but the winner-takes-all method causes most of those problems. The use of this method also seems to be the biggest reason that makes the people question if America is still a democracy. Over 700 proposals have been introduced to Congress over the past 200 years. Changing the Electoral College has received more proposals than any other topic for amendments in the Constitution. For years, majority of Americans wanted to abolish it. To start change, Americans can educate themselves about elections and how they work. Simply joining websites and signing petitions can support groups such as FairVote that try to reform or abolish the unjust system. We should not stop until every vote counts.