The Inequality of the Electoral College

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In the article Democracy or Republic by Jay Cost, the author makes the argument that it is vital for every state to have an equal amount of votes, not taking into account the population of these states. Mr. Cost argues that this is important so that the less populated states arent overshadowed by the larger ones. And while I do agree with the author that equal votes are important in the Senate I do not agree with this method for presidential elections. Throughout the article Democracy or Republic, the author explains what characteristics make the United States a republic and not a democracy. One of Costr’s more aggressive arguments is why every state needs to have an equal amount of votes not based on size or population of the state. His main argument for this being that it would stop larger states from overpowering smaller states in our government.

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The United States Congress is split into two branches, the Senate and the House of Representatives. The House of Representatives is made up of four hundred and thirty-five representatives, and the number of representatives each state gets is relative to that state’s population. However, the Senate is made up of one hundred members, two from every state. This is so that the in the Senate each state has an equal amount of votes so that smaller states, like North Dakota and Vermont, arent overpowered by larger states like California or Texas. These equal votes are vital to keeping our country working because it keeps funding from being given to only the largely populated states while the smaller ones from going bankrupt. On the other hand, presidential elections are not the time for every state to have an equal vote. The Electoral College may give states different amounts of votes based on population, but in no way does that mean that every vote is equal. Since each state is given a required minimum of the electoral votes and the electoral college only has four hundred and thirty-five votes it means that some states are given more representation than others.

For example, California has a population of over 39.94 million people and has fifty-five electoral votes. North Dakota has a much smaller population of 755,393 people and has the minimum requirement of electoral votes which is three. This means that in California one electoral vote is equal to just about 726,181 people and in North Dakota one electoral vote equals about 251,797 people. This means that a resident of North Dakotar’s vote is worth almost three times (2.88%) as much as a residentr’s of California. This seems like a violation of the Equal Protection Clause of the Constitution which states the one person should get one vote because even though everyone is allowed to vote these votes do not end up being weighted the same. While states overpowering one another should be avoided in congress it should not affect how we elect our president. The president of the United States should represent America as a whole, and therefore should be elected on popularity to the voters and not popularity to the states.

It is not reasonable to argue that states with smaller populations will be overpowered in the executive branch seeing as it is a one person position, not a group of representatives from every state. Furthermore, the author of Democracy or Republic, Jay Cost, did have some very good arguments I did not agree with how he chose to present it. In the final few paragraphs of this article Cost writes, it is good that North Dakota and Idaho are there to remind California and New York that the national interest cannot be understood solely by driving up and down State Route 1 on the Pacific Coast or mingling with those who had occasion to see Hamilton with the original Broadway cast. By doing this Cost is trying to convince his readers that the people living in these states are uneducated on politics and only care about the beach and theatre, therefore we shouldnt trust them to make decisions in our government.

This has the opposite effect on me while I was reading the article, rather than strengthening his argument it made the source seem less trustworthy and more of an untrustworthy source. So in conclusion, while I can agree with author Jay Cost on states having equal representation in Congress, I do not agree with this same philosophy being applied to presidential elections or how he chose to present his opinions. The electoral college makes it so that a vote in North Dakota is worth almost three times the same vote in California in an election that should be based on what the whole population wants, not just the states.

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The Inequality Of The Electoral College. (2019, Jun 13). Retrieved February 8, 2023 , from

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