The Electoral College: The Final Story of the Election Year

Ian Caffarel, Staff Writer

Wasn’t the election on November 8 fun? It sure was.

However, the election isn’t over just yet–the electoral college will meet on December 19 and make the result official. And that’s drawing plenty of controversy.

For those of you unaware, here’s some background:

The electoral college is what determines the President of the United States. The number of each state’s electors corresponds to their congressional delegations. That’s why some states have as few as three (Alaska,) and as many of 55 (California.) The grand total of electors is 538, corresponding to 435 representatives, 100 senators, and 3 electors chosen by the District of Columbia.

In every election cycle, there are calls to abolish the electoral college. These calls come in light of the fact that Democratic nominee Hillary Clinton won the popular vote, and votes are still being tallied. But there’s a reason why the electoral college still remains, and should.

If you have a look at a map of the county-by-county election results, there’s a trend that develops. The democrat (blue) counties happen to be right where major urban areas are located. The clear intent of the Founding Fathers was not to let the major populated areas decide the fate of our country, so that’s the reason we have our electoral college, and will, for the time being.

Now, back to the main point: The electoral college’s vote. The 538 electors will vote in their state capitals, for the candidate their state’s voters chose. Ordinarily, this happens without any additional subterfuge. This year, things are different.

First, some context. There’s a such thing as “faithless electors.” These are electors who vote for someone other than their candidate.

Since 1796, and going up to 2004, there have been 157 instances of faithless electors. Some of the biggest were in the 1830s. Yet many other instances have been few and far between, with at most one elector going wayward. 26 states have laws against faithless electors, with penalties mostly consisting of fines up to $10,000, however, many states do not enforce such laws. Already, one elector has publicly stated he won’t vote for Trump. 

Now, should Trump somehow not get the 270, that’s where things get complicated. Then the election goes to the House of Representatives. And, owing to the House being a Republican majority, Trump will get elected. No matter if Trump’s election is legitimate or not, he will be president.  

The point is, there have been faithless electors in years past, but only one went rogue in 2004, the most recent instance. In the last two elections, nobody voted for someone other than their pledged candidate. And even though a few people will do so, and many others are being bombarded with calls, texts, letters, the whole kit and kaboodle, any more joining them is highly unlikely. One or two, or at most, 10 is not too improbable. But at least 37 not voting for him? There’s about as much chance of that happening, and possibly even less, than O.J. Simpson coming forward and admitting he actually murdered his girlfriend. Or George W. Bush admitting he lied about WMDs in Iraq. It ain’t gonna happen. The fact of the matter is that no amount of complaining, or asking electors, will turn enough of them away.

The whole thing is over; let’s move on. Instead of going after our new president, let’s give him our support, as we should.