Millions of meaningless votes

The Electoral College makes a mockery of ‘every vote counts.’

The author, a Paradise resident, is a retired vocational rehabilitation counselor.

By a plurality of 2.8 million votes, Americans chose Hillary Clinton to be their president. By a plurality of 74 votes, the Electoral College selected Donald Trump. In our bizarre, supposedly democratic system, the “College” trumps the people, so Trump will be our president.

By winning Florida, Michigan, Pennsylvania and Wisconsin by a combined total of 222,489 votes, Trump garnered 75 electoral votes. You switch those votes and Clinton wins the Electoral College vote. That means that Clinton’s 2.8 million plurality was rendered meaningless by a mere 222,489 votes. Since all you need is a plurality of one to win the Electoral College votes in California, you could also say that, even if Clinton had won the Electoral College vote, all but one vote of her 3.5 million California plurality were also meaningless. And I believe that’s the case in all but one state: Every vote above that majority of one has no effect on the overall outcome of the election.

Here’s another way to look at it. California has 55 electoral votes, Vermont 4. In California, there are 545,892 potential voters for every electoral vote. In Vermont, there are 168,613 potential voters for each electoral vote. In effect, Vermont votes are three times more powerful than California votes.

The bottom line: In the Electoral College system, millions of votes are rendered meaningless. I can think of no other “election” where the majority vote does not decide the winner—whether it be for a mayor, student body president or winner of The Voice.

The Electoral College must go. It is as archaic as the powdered wigs and pantaloons worn by those who wrote the Constitution. It is antithetical to the “one person, one vote” vision of democracy. It makes a mockery of the idea that “every vote counts.” It further undermines the confidence of an electorate already deeply cynical about its government. It is unfair to Clinton, every American voter and even Donald Trump, for it casts a veil of illegitimacy on his presidency as he will enter the White House in what amounts to a vote of no confidence by the American people.