Ayobami Olugbemiga is a political columnist for The Washington Times Communities. An award-winning collegiate journalist, Ayobami received his Bachelor’s degree in Political Science from the University of Wisconsin-Madison, and is currently pursuing his Master’s degree in George Washington University’s Graduate School of Political Management.
In 2013, he was honored by the Society of Professional Journalists with a Mark of Excellence Award for Online Opinion and Commentary.
WASHINGTON, D.C., October 7, 2012 — Every four years the Electoral College debate resurfaces. But contrary to what you may have heard, the Electoral College is a very stable and reliable way of electing a President of the United States. Sure it has its intrinsic flaws, as evident in the dispute over Florida’s electoral votes during the 2000 presidential election. Nevertheless, it is a well-structured system that provides geographical balance and conclusive outcomes. The Electoral College is a group of representatives chosen by each state to formally elect the president. The 538 electoral votes in the Electoral College correspond with the 435 members in the U.S House of Representatives, 100 members in the U.S Senate, and the District of Columbia’s three electoral votes.
Scholars like Mike Edwards and Danny Oppenheimer argue that the Electoral College should be abolished. In their most recent article in the Huffington Post, they argue that the Electoral College is a “cancerous tumor on American democracy” partly because it gives voters in some states greater influence over the presidential election than citizens of other states.
As a consequence, they advocate for a National Popular Vote Interstate Compact (NPVIC) which requires states to give their electoral votes to the winner of the national popular vote. But in this national popular vote scenario, wouldn’t candidates just ignore small states and concentrate on big states in order to reach a popular majority? So if the problem with the Electoral College is that votes from certain states are worth more than others, then a national popular vote is hardly the answer since it does not solve the problem of candidates’ dismissal of some states. Read more: The Electoral College should not be eliminated | Washington Times Communities