Due to the fact that President Trump lost the popular vote by almost three million, many people have questioned the legitimacy of the electoral college. The system may have made sense in the agrarian society of the late 1700s, but many now believe that it is outdated and no longer reflects the will of the people. Well, Republicans in several swing states have introduced legislation that would skew the system even further in their favor.
According to the Washington Post, Republicans in Virginia and Minnesota have introduced legislation that would grant one electoral vote for each congressional district that a candidate wins and two to the statewide winner. Had this bill been active in 2016, then 11 of Hillary Clinton’s electoral votes would have gone to Trump.
In short, bills such as this would allow Republicans to gerrymander the electoral college just as they have done with the House of Representatives. Thanks to their control of the state legislatures, Republicans were able to draw congressional districts in a way that favored them, helping them gain control of Congress in 2012 and 2016.
If Republicans are allowed to gerrymander the electoral college, we could be in for eight more years of President Trump.
The truly frustrating thing is that the electoral college already benefits Republicans. Both George W. Bush and Trump won the presidency despite losing the popular vote. The reason for this is that the electoral college favors rural, mostly white states while reducing the power of cities and states with dense, diverse populations.
The U.S. constitutional system has a lot of good features and it has served as a model for other democracies around the world, but no country uses the electoral college because it is so undemocratic. It effectively disenfranchises large parts of the population. Ironically enough, even President Trump agrees with us. In 2012, after Mitt Romney’s defeat, he tweeted:
‘The electoral college is a disaster for a democracy.’
The electoral college is a disaster for a democracy.
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) November 7, 2012
Unsurprisingly, Trump changed his tune after winning in 2016 and even went on to claim that he would have won the popular vote if you subtracted those who voted illegally. For the record, there is no evidence of widespread voter fraud.
Featured image via Getty Images.