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The School Newspaper of Harriton High School

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Do We Still Need the Electoral College?


In today’s political landscape, the electoral college is a very important and controversial topic. Many believe in eliminating the electoral vote, while others think it is still a necessity. The electoral college was created during a time when certain groups of people lacked access to education, in part because of the ineffective spread of information. A committee of electors was created for presidential elections, and although its purpose was valid at the time, they do not hold up in the present. Nowadays, society is more informed on a national scale than ever before, thanks to easy access to social media and an abundance of news sources. Consequently, our democracy no longer needs the electoral vote to determine its outcomes. 


The Electoral College, established by the founding fathers in the 12th amendment to the Constitution, emerged as a response to concerns raised by smaller states, as seen in the New Jersey Plan. Fearing that larger state populations might have a dominant influence on the presidency, the Great Compromise was created to ensure equal representation. However, this took a troubling turn with the ⅗ Compromise, which regarded enslaved people as ⅗ of a person for purposes of representation. Not only was this racist and dehumanizing, but it also granted the Southern states greater influence during elections while denying African Americans a voice in the process. To a greater surprise, this policy persisted even after the Civil War, as African Americans still were not given the right to vote. This stark historical episode serves as an example of how easily the Electoral College can be manipulated


In today’s society, with more widespread access to education than ever before, the citizens themselves should be trusted to make their own decisions. While the spread of fake news remains a large concern, there are still lots of valuable and reliable news sources. The Electoral College, however, is a system that does not fully entrust the people to directly elect a president – an idea that contradicts one of America’s greatest foundational principles. Even if the popular vote goes in one direction, the electoral vote can sway it in the opposite. I believe the time has come for us to explore and implement a new electoral system that better aligns with our democratic ideals and the current informational landscape.

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  • J

    Jonathan PerloeOct 9, 2023 at 2:43 pm

    Hi Benjamin.

    I couldn’t agree with you more! Which is why, following the 2016 election, I helped lead a successful grassroots effort to get Connecticut, where I live, to join the National Popular Vote Compact.

    The NPV Compact achieves the objective of directly electing the president by committing states in the Compact to voter their states’ electors for the candidate who receives the most popular votes nationwide. The Compact comes into force when states that have joined the compact have a combined total of 270 electoral votes, the number needed to win.

    It’s an elegant way to achieve a direct election of the president while working within the current electoral college. So far 16 states and DC have joined the Compact, with a total of 205 electoral college votes. A bill to join the Compact is pending in Michigan.

    A classmate of mine, Susan Evoy ’76, is someone else very involved in this movement. She works for the National Popular Vote organization, which has been leading the effort for more than 15 years.

    I commend you on your interest in strengthening our democracy!

    Jonathan Perloe, ’76