WHAT IS THE ELECTORAL COLLEGE?

Laura Creighton - Deputy Politics Editor

Image: Parade

Following the somewhat shocking results on November 8, voters in the United States have been calling for the Electoral College to change their votes to favour Hillary Clinton. The Electoral College is made up of 538 electors, 270 of which make the majority which sends either candidate to the white house. Donald Trump won 290 electoral votes on November 8, giving him the victory over Hillary Clinton.

The Electoral College was set up by the founding fathers when they wrote the constitution, and serves as a compromise between the popular vote made by citizens and the vote made by congress. It is seen as a controversial method of voting in a president due to the fact that an elector could change the way their state voted, which a large amount of people are counting on for Hillary to ultimately win.

The number of electors each state gets is proportionate to the number population is said state. California has the largest number of electors at 55 while a smaller state like Delaware only has 3 electors. While voters cast their ballots last week, it is ultimately up to the Electoral College who meet in December, however they will still most likely vote Trump in, according to precedent.

Essentially, a voter is not voting for the president they want to win, as much as they are voting for who they want their elector to vote for. Despite most states having a law that their elector must vote the way their state did, the punishment, being a small fine, is not seen as a strong enough to deterrent to actually stop that from happening.

One of the most famous and recent examples of a president being sworn in despite not winning the most amount of individual votes, is the case of Al Gore vs George W. Bush in 2000. Despite Gore winning half a million votes more than Bush, because of the maths involved in the Electoral College, Bush claimed more electoral votes and the presidency.

The Electoral College was put in place to ensure that each state across the nation contributed to the decision of who should become president, stopping a huge amount of support in one region dictating the result for the rest of the country. This is why Hillary didn’t win despite getting the most amount of votes overall.

Come December we will see if the electors feel so strongly about the way the election went that they are willing to overturn it and send Hillary into the White House, until then it looks like Trump will remain headed to the Oval Office next year.

About Joe Young 316 Articles
Joe Young has been involved with student media for a very long time now, holding posts within The Pulse, and Pulse Radio, as well as the predecessor of The Pulse, Pluto. He is currently Politics Editor of The Pulse, and Head of News of Pulse Radio. In 2016, he won the Media Award for Best Article for his coverage of the Fishergate Shopping Centre bomb scare.
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