The election is right around the corner. While some are ready for a change in the oval office, maybe we should consider changing something else about our election process, the electoral college.
It has been nearly 16 years ago since the last time the electoral college did not represent the popular vote in an election. It has happened three times before that as well. But do students think a candidate should be able to lose the popular vote and still win the election?
“No. No, that doesn’t seem right. Right? No, I don’t think so,” said Communications junior Charles Long.
Recent Michigan State grad Ian Puzdrowski also agreed.
“No, no. Not at all,” said Puzdrowski.
One may wonder why the electoral college is still the deciding factor in our election process. Assistant Professor of Political Communications at Southern Methodist University, Stephanie Martin explains the benefits of this system.
“If you go back to the sort of idea behind the electoral college is that it assures that candidates pay attention to smaller states right, so it sort of has, the pro of it is, is the idea that every state matters and has a chance to play a role in the elections,” said Martin.
But do millennials understand what the electoral college is? Long was unsure.
“I think so, I mean when I learned about it I was, I think in middle school, and haven’t really touched base on it since ya know? So I don’t really know that whole much about it, but I did when I was in seventh grade,” said Long.
Martin agrees, and said it’s not just millennials who could brush up on their electoral college knowledge.
“It’s a complicated system, that comes into play very, very infrequently because almost always the person who wins the popular vote also wins the electoral college,” said Martin.
One of the biggest complaints of the electoral college is the winner takes all aspect of it. If you vote for Trump and Clinton wins Michigan, she gets all of the electoral college votes for the state of Michigan. Puzdrowski, who is voting, said he can see why this would deter others from doing so.
“I think especially right now with a lot of people not liking either candidate, and kind of using that as an excuse to not go out and vote for anyone, because they would rather not vote than vote for one of them, I think the electoral college even more plays into that where they can, where they can say like well my vote doesn’t, like how much weight does it even hold,” said Puzdrowski.
Martin also said that the only way she could really see a movement to get rid of the electoral college is if the electors decide against the will of the voters because they see the people’s choice as unfit.