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09 November 2016

Why Not a Collage of Electoral Colleges?

It looks like, for the fourth time, we will end up with a president who did not win the popular vote.

The Electoral College exists because the Founders feared a popular vote could lead to winners who would represent the interests of a particular region(s) without widespread support nationally. Essentially, it was a way to control for region (or state, more accurately). For example, you could imagine a candidate who was very popular in the Northeast Megalopolis and in Southern California but unpopular everywhere between and who could easily win a popular election. This is a reasonable fear. Why stop with Regionalism, though? After all, most of us today have other aspects of our identity that outway our regional concerns. Race, class, and gender, for starters, could be controlled for. As they are becoming increasingly important, why not control for the college-educated/non-college-educated or urban/rural divides? My point is that, while the interests of the states might have been paramount in 1787, they are not today. In one way, our nation is far more culturally homogenous than could have been anticipated at the founding; in other ways, we are far more diverse than we have ever been. The Constitution has enshrined a solution to a problem that no longer exists.

I am not actually arguing for a demographically-corrected Electoral College. That would be impractical. Instead, let's just go with the popular vote for now.

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