Can We Survive Without the Electoral College?

The Electoral College is most certainly a unique institution created by our very wise Founders.  It has in the past, handed the presidency to the candidate with fewer of the official popular vote.  But that is a small price to pay for the enormous benefit it provides.

I say “official popular vote” because any statistician will tell you that there is likely to be a five percent error in the count due to honest mistakes and cheating – yes, cheating.  Since in most cases — where the winner did not win the “official popular vote” — the margin was within a five-percentage point difference, only God knows who really won the actual vote.  That is why any time a candidate wins by a slim margin we declare that he or she does NOT have a mandate from we the people – no matter if they claim one or not.

While we like to see the winner win, close elections mean that half the nation will be displeased with one outcome and the other half displeased with the alternative outcome.  The views of one half of the people wind up unrepresented in the halls of government.  In terms of a public consensus or mandate, it makes no difference which candidate wins because he or she will have the support – or opposition – of half the nation.

The value of the Electoral College is that it decides the election … period.  It settles all conflicts.  It reminds me of what an attorney friend told me about court decisions. He said that “court decisions are not necessarily correct, fair or just.  They merely settle the issues.”  That is kind of what the Electoral College does.

Two times in the past twenty years, the Electoral College put into office the candidate who lost the official vote count.  Looking back on 2000, there was prolonged controversy and court cases for weeks after the election as George Bush the Second and Vice President Al Gore were duking it out in the courts.  Gore did not finally concede until the day before the Electoral College was to meet and elect Bush as President.

Without the Electoral College, the Gore challenges could have gone on for additional weeks – even months.  The presidential election might have remained unsettled long after Inauguration Day.  That would mean America would not have a legitimate duly elected President to inaugurate on January 20th.

Who would have been President?  Would the outgoing President remain by his own authority?  Would the candidate with the highest vote claim the Presidency even as the votes were being challenged?  Would Congress step in to pick the President?  Or would the third in line – the Speaker of the House – claim the presidency?

We are again living in a time when political competitors are making separate claims to the office – both contending they won the election.  There are requests for recounts and hearings looking into accusations of vote fraud.  There is great division and consternation among the public that could go on for months and months except for one thing – the Electoral College.

They met and performed their only constitutional duty.  They elected a President of the United States.  And they did it based on a long tradition of voting for the candidate for whom they promised to vote when they ran as electors.

Many voters do not realize that when they mark a ballot for the preferred presidential candidate, they are NOT electing that person.  They are electing the electors who have pledged to vote for that person in the Electoral College.

Election controversy, recounts and court battles are not what drives the Electoral College.  Those individuals have an unbridled right to elect any American-born citizen who has attained the age of 35 years to be President of the United States.  They do not even have to choose among the candidates.

Once they vote, the presidential election is over.  Yes, Congress must certify their vote – but that is just a magisterial function.

Ironically, it is when the Electoral College is doing its best work, it comes under the most severe criticisms.  Its role is most important in times of the greatest controversy of a presidential election.  The Founders knew what they were doing when they incorporated the Electoral College into the Constitution.

So, there ‘tis.

Larry Horist
So, there ‘tis… The opinions, perspectives and analyses of Larry Horist Larry Horist is a businessman, conservative writer and political strategist with an extensive background in economics and public policy. Clients of his consulting firm have included such conservative icons as Steve Forbes and Milton Friedman. He has served as a consultant to the Nixon White House and travelled the country as a spokesman for President Reagan’s economic reforms. He has testified as an expert witness before numerous legislative bodies, including the U. S. Congress. Horist has lectured and taught courses at numerous colleges and universities, including Harvard, Northwestern, DePaul universities, Hope College and his alma mater, Knox College. He has been a guest on hundreds of public affairs talk shows, and hosted his own program, “Chicago In Sight,” on WIND radio. Horist was a one-time candidate for mayor of Chicago and served as Executive Director of the City Club of Chicago, where he led a successful two-year campaign to save the historic Chicago Theatre from the wrecking ball. An award-winning debater, his insightful and sometimes controversial commentaries appear frequently on the editorial pages of newspapers across the nation. He is praised by readers for his style, substance and sense of humor. According to one reader, Horist is the “new Charles Krauthammer.” He is actively semi-retired in Boca Raton, Florida where he devotes his time to writing. So, there ‘tis is Horist’s signature sign off.

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  1. The people should have the last word in elections not people who may be bias one way or another or may even be bribed or even threaten at the end of the election the popular vote should be the last word

    • And there would be the biggest split up of the US if we would go to popular vote. . .All of the smaller populated states plus 4 or 5 of the very large interior states would break off and form another nation. Then only the West Coast and East coastal large populated . . .a very small nation with popular vote rule. And there isnt a darn thing they culd do to stop it, unlike in the 1860’s the cause is just and the new country founded wouls have more resources and would be fully cpable to being eelfe sustaining. ..!

  2. The forefathers had hindsight: because there wouldn’t be equal representation: the election would hang only the big States while the smaller ones would have no strength. Electors are required and should not be removed from the constitution law. It gives the candidates a chance even if they are not popular. It’s like being at the poker table. Who has the winning hand: the one that holds the full house or the one that folds and give in: not realizing that they were holding the winners cards. Thank GOD for our founding fathers.

  3. We have 50 separate states united in a Republic called the United States of America. We do not have a single election but, 50 separate elections. Our Founding Fathers set up the Electoral College so each State would have equal Representation . Thus, RI and TN had equal standing with NY.
    If we do away with the Electoral College and go to a single election only population rules so, NY , CA , NJ, IL will carry the election every time.
    We end up with No Representation , No Union and No Country.

  4. We definitely can do with out the electoral college because it’s us the people’s vote of America that decides. Who the president is going to serve our country. The Electoral college has always voted opposed of we the Americans and so our votes never mattered so why did we even bother to go to the polls when the Electoral college gets their way every time they don’t care about our voice as long as they get what they want they are happy as can be

  5. This “so called” election was the biggest abortion that ever lived! Yes the electoral collage is necessary to keep the election honest and clean! But that isn’t what took place this time! There has been sworn PROOF of illegal ballots arriving long after the polls closed! Video proof of this has conveniently IGNORED! Sworn affidavits by political workers witnessing CHEATING also conveniently IGNORED! Poll workers swearing to seeing the same ballots being run through many times! Also IGNORED! States changing the rules illegaly before the election also IGNORED! Supposedly using this Covid crap as a legitimate phony excuse! What I’d like to know is what is wrong with the judicial system? What sort of hold does someone have over the courts and judges to push this FARCE through! Just what The HELL is going on here? I know they hated Trump because he was digging and messing up their CORRUPT party. On both sides! They had nothing they could use to control him because he was an outsider! He wasn’t on the TAKE as most of them are! I’ve never seen any politician that didn’t leave office that wasn’t a millionaire! Seems they are all SCUMB-Bags looking to line their pockets at the publics expense! I’m not a democrat or a republican! I’m an AMERICAN and I WANT MY COUNTRY BACK!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    • Well said sir! Each day that goes by brings more proof that this election was tampered with, in many, many ways! This is a travesty to all the hardworking, tax paying true American citizen. I too believe that the Electoral College is the best balancers of our Presidential elections. However with all the denials of voter fraud occurring, now with mounting evidence each and every day, WE THE PEOPLE of this nation, normally quiet, going about our own business type of people are becoming more and more incensed at what we seeing even after the ‘media’ is doing everything to deny it. The First Amendment of the Constitution does not preclude any person or people from free speech. And we have seen censorship. I believe the People of this nation spoke and voted in good consciousness, only to find a sinister evil, well coordinated plan by certain groups have taken place. I was happy when Texas along with many other states took their case to the Supreme Court. We the People had what we thought was case that needed to be heard against the states that were the key states where illegal voting had taken place. To all our disappointment the Supreme Court of this nation, FAILED their Constitutional Duty! WE THE PEOPLE in essence received another slap in the face and we told to accept those decisions. So, now we are the guilty ones? NO, NO, NO! THIS is not OVER! We need to see a properly monitored, free and fair RE-ELECTION in those states where it has been that voter fraud has taken place. These include, Michigan, Pennsylvania, Wisconsin, Georgia, Arizona and even a few others. The Presidential Inauguration needs to be delayed and the current administration retained or frozen until TRUE results are obtain, by in-person, fully ID’d legal residence of each polling precinct. In addition to signature and residence verification, each voter should have their finger print scanned as is done in other nations to prevent fraud. Mail-in ballots shall only be permitted by the out of country military members also with their finger print and signatures. ONE VOTE-ONE BALLOT! Election rules shall be followed and fully observed by all interested observers the full time counts are taking place. Counts will not be extended in time. If utilizing voting machines, they shall be used at the polling place, certified as true, with no outside connections. Results counted and observed and videoed. All record shall be retained according to the existing voting laws that would not accept any fraudulent/votes/voters. Since this election it also appears their was major collusion by one party. All those identified as being involved in such activities, shall be tried under the full extent of the laws of this Nation. Yes, all the way to the top if necessary! Now, this is expensive for all citizens. But to get to the bottom of this, it must be done! Even if Marshal Law is declared for a season where the election will be done under control of the military. Yes, our rights will be suspended for a short while. There will be an armed military presence everywhere to ensure the peace, along with local and state law enforcement. And there may be those who may wish to start civil disobediance, but they will be dealt with harshly and immediately. Good citizens, knowing this is necessary for our Republics very survival, will behave and be obedient and obey the temporary restrictions. Activities, except for necessary emergency services, will probably be limited to daylight hours only. Many businesses will hopefully be able to continue, with restrictions. Transportation could also be restricted. After dark, everyone needs to be in their place of residence. So, as a former military officer, and fire official, having had FEMA and military training, that may be our short term option for the GOOD of WE THE PEOPLE. It will also put a stop to the illegal activities that we have seen and were permitted by a few. GOOD citizens, will obey harsher rules for a short period to keep and maintain or Constitutional Republic as we return to living our lives as our Founding Fathers envisioned it. This is really not any laughing matter. But saving our precious Constitution and our way of life, with Peace and Tranquility and putting things back in proper order, is better than long term tyranny, which we may see if things are not corrected now! We live in a Republic, we have Rights and Liberty. We have established good laws for the good of everyone and give up a little and gained a lot. God bless America!

  6. The electoral votes are out dated. They were put in place during a time news spread on horse back. No cars or electronics. It is time they go and let the majority rule.

  7. KEEP the ENTIRE process INTACT! . . . this is how we keep SOCIALIST/Communists at bay. POTUS Trump WILL be REELECTED due to the way that the U.S. Constitution was WRITTEN by our God Fearing Founding Fathers. Voter FRAUD has NO place in the U.S.A., and those GUILTY of it should be sent to FEDERAL PRISON for SEDITION and TREASON – PERMANENTLY. GITMO and LEAVENWORTH will do FINE. One THOROUGHLY Enlightened Patriot. Team Trump and His Allies 2020.

  8. Already 14 states are contemplating succession. I think the founding fathers foresaw this very scenario when they created the electoral college. The smaller states are not going to agree to the popular vote because they would never have a say in governance.


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