Resolution: The electoral college is deeply flawed
I Rebuttal: Pro’s R1: “Deeply flawed”
I.a Pro’s definition of “deeply flawed,” implies faults so serious, they no longer function as designed, though Pro makes no allegation of such, just that even one flaw can define “deeply.” I suggest the definition, itself, is flawed. Clearly, in 232 years since the first Presidential election in 1789, with 59 elections, the United States has never deviated from the practice of the Electoral College [EC] as originally defined in Article II, Section 1, clauses ii, iii, iv of the U.S. Constitution,.
ratified in 1788 by Amendment XII in 1803.
I.b Pro’s analysis of the EC voting representation, claiming it is “undemocratic,”
is, itself, deeply flawed, as I expected. It is entirely at odds with how EC elector voting is actually calculated, and the general method is outlined in the US Constitution, Article II, section 1, clauses ii, iii, iv. First, Pro declares that each State’s electors are equal in their representation of the populace of each State. Example: Pro proposes KS having 6 electors. This is true. However, then Pro calculates that KS’ 6 electors each represent 500,000 residents of KS, for a total KS population of 3M. Pro does not mention the KS population, by the way, but 500,000 x 6 is… you get it. But KS population is only 2.9M and in every State, 2 of those electors represent the State’s 2 Senators, who, themselves, represent the entire State population, regardless of its count. The other 4 represent one each of the 4 Congressional [House] districts in KS, for an average of 727,900 population. It follows that every State is thus represented by a variable number of Districts, based on the State population. Thus, these numbers are subject to change, and are adjusted according to each decennial U.S. Census. Note, these values are all from the 2010 US Census. It is more, now, and will be re-apportioned by the 2020 US Census by 2023.
I.b.1 Pro’s analysis is just as flawed in his example of TX, which is properly calculated by the same process as above for TX’s 36 congressional voting districts, which average 744,000 population, with a total State population of 28M.
I.b.2 Therefore, with a proper calculation of EC representation, the actual delta between KS and TX, whose population delta is 25M people, is a mere 16,000, whereas Pro calculated the delta at 263,000 [763,000 minus 500,000]. No wonder Pro believes the E.C. is flawed. One has to calculate as determined by the Constitution, not the New York Times, MSNBC, CNN, or Mother Jones. But, note that in Pro’s entire R1, not a single source is noted for his figures. Are you going to believe the State’s own accounting, or Pro’s?
I.b.3 If one goes through the same analysis for WY, CA, VT, the 3 States Pro mentions, or any other, one will find the same representation with little delta between States. Considering that WY, the least populated State at less than 600,000, has the same approximate EC representation as CA at 39M population, it is easy to see why Pro is misguided by whatever source taught him his opinion. One merely need calculate correctly, remembering to calculate using District, not entire State populations, and deducting 2 electors for each State [representing the Senators] when calculating the average representation of District populations for EC electors designation. The current average, based on the 2020 Census, is roughly 760,000 for each District, State-to-State, nationwide. The Resolution fails on this point.
I.c Pro also errs in the claim that Presidential candidates only campaign in swing States. How many swingers are there, anyway? It varies by election, but, in the 2020 election, there were estimated to be 13 “battleground States:”
AZ, FL, GA, IA, MI, MN, NV, NH, NC, OH, PA, TX, WI. However, Donald Trump campaigned in a total of 30 states, including all swingers, while Joe Biden visited a total of… after reviewing the first 20 Google hits, no article reported this data for Biden. I will guess that, in spite of his typical basement dwelling due to Covid, Biden visited more than the swing States. The Resolution fails on this point.
I.d Pro’s last point of candidates focusing on swing states is confusing, citing a 22% popular vote total being able to be elected, but Pro does not bother to explain what that means, or cite a source to help that understanding.
I.d.1 Having conducted an exhaustive statistical study of the 2016 election of Donald Trump against Hillary Clinton, I have some data to rebut whatever Pro is trying to deliver by this argument. Full disclosure, I am a professionally certified Six Sigma Black Belt [a statistical expert], retired, and I am professionally capable of conducting such a statistical study. The study specifically dealt with determining if the EC election method was more or less representative of the voting public, State by State, or if a nationwide popular vote, calculated by State, was more or less representative. The results:
1. If the election were a popular, nationwide vote, it would require at most, 24 States, in order by most populated to least populated, to elect the President in 2016, considering the votes of roughly 128M voters, divided between Clinton and Trump. In other words, the votes from 26 States would not figure to sway the results. How representative of the country is that?
2. Whereas, considering the current EC method of voting for president, calculating the vote by the same means and voting population [128M], it required the votes of 40 States to elect the President by at least 279 EC votes, losing only 10 States in the counting.
I.e.1 Isn’t the EC method more representative of the country, by 40 States, than a popular vote with only 24 States? Yes, by a longshot. The Resolution fails on this point.
II Argument: Purpose of the Electoral College
I.a In order to convince the Continental Congress to adopt the U.S. Constitution with the inclusion of an Electoral College [EC], Federalist #68 [The Federalist Papers, by Alexander Hamilton, James Madison, and John Jay],
published in March, 1788, probably written by Alexander Hamilton [all the papers were published under pseudonyms, and all three authors used the name, “Publius,”
among others, outlines the purpose and necessity of the EC in order to elect a President of the United States. It is a unique election as it is the only election in which citizens of every State participate in electing a Federal Officer. All other officers, such as both Houses of Congress, are elected only State and District-wide.
I.a.1 It is important to consider that the EC’s intent was that the Presidential election was a State-by-State election and not a nationwide election. “And as the electors, chosen in each State, are to assemble and vote in the State in which they are chosen, this detached and divided situation will expose them much less to heats and ferments, which might be communicated from them to the people, than if they were all to be convened at one time, in one place.”
I.a.2 In fact, it was not until the Presidential election of 1824, the tenth Presidential election, when President John Quincy Adams [John Adams’ son] was elected, that popular voting, nationwide, was ever even counted. Coincidentally, because no candidate obtained a majority vote from the EC, the election was, by Constitutional decree,
passed to the House, who voted for Adams, even though by count, Andrew Jackson had a 99 – 84 advantage in the EC, and a popular vote advantage of 153,544 – 108,740.
I.b I conclude from the above, I.a.1, that, given the need to have less complication in a Presidential election, as stated above in Federalist #68, the Electoral College method is more efficient, representative, and fair, than a nationwide popular vote.
The Resolution fails.
I pass R2 to Pro.
US Constitution, Article II, 1, ii, iii, iv
US Constitution, Article II, 1, ii, iii,