Electoral College
To see US Presidential elections in which candidates won the popular vote but lost the electoral vote, click here.
In American Presidential elections, the passing of the Twelfth Amendment in 1804 established the Electoral College system, which apportioned electoral votes to states based on the number of Congressional Representatives and Senators each state has.
Congressional Representatives are apportioned by the population of each state but since every state has 2 Senators (regardless of population), this would give states with smaller populations a chance to compete with higher-populated states.
Let's see precisely how this works.
Let's compare 2 states only by the number of Representatives each has (which is based on population).
Comparing Wyoming to California, the calculations are:
  State   Population   Reps   Population Per
  Representative
  Wyoming         568,300     1   568,300
  California   37,341,998   53   704,566
So, we can say that each state gets 1 Representative (and 1 electoral vote) for about 650,000 citizens.
That seems (roughly speaking) to be a fair and equal representation.

However, when the two additional electoral votes are added to each state, the advantage clearly lies with the sparsely-populated states.
Let's look at Wyoming and California again.
  State   Population   Electoral
  Votes
  Population Per
  Electoral Vote
  Wyoming         568,300     3   189,433
  California   37,341,998   55   678,945
This means that Wyoming receives 3½ times as many electoral votes per citizen than California does! (678,945 ÷ 189,433 = 3½)

Shouldn't all elections adhere to the principle of "one person one vote"? In some states, one person's vote could be worth many times more than the vote of a person from another state.
Looking at the chart below, we see that the ten least-populated states have between 2 to 3½ times more voting power than California!

Yes, the electoral college certainly gives the smaller-populated states an "edge" over the larger-populated ones. Perhaps this is too much of an advantage?

So, now the question is, does the electoral college system require changing or perhaps even total elimination?

  State   Population
  Rank   Population
  Electoral 
  Votes
  Population Per 
  Electoral Vote
  Electoral
  VotingPower 
  ComparedTo
  California
  Wyoming   50       568,300  3   189,433   3.58
  District of Columbia   ***       601,723  3   200,574   3.39
  Vermont   49      630,337  3   210,112   3.23
  North Dakota   48      675,905  3   225,302   3.01
  Alaska   47       721,523  3   240,508   2.82
  Rhode Island   43       1,055,248  4   263,812   2.57
  South Dakota   46      819,761  3   273,254   2.48
  Delaware   45      900,877  3   300,292   2.26
  New Hampshire   42      1,321,446  4   330,362   2.06
  Montana   44      994,416  3   331,472   2.05
  Maine   41      1,333,074  4   333,269   2.04
  Hawaii   40      1,366,862  4   341,716   1.99
  Nebraska   38      1,831,824  5   366,365   1.85
  West Virginia   37      1,859,814  5   371,963   1.83
  Idaho   39      1,573,500  4   393,375   1.73
  New Mexico   36      2,067,273  5   413,455   1.64
  Nevada   35      2,709,432  6   451,572   1.50
  Utah   34      2,770,764  6   461,794   1.47
  Kansas   33      2,863,812  6   477,302   1.42
  Arkansas   32      2,926,228  6   487,705   1.39
  Mississippi   31      2,978,240  6   496,373   1.37
  Connecticut   29      3,581,630  7   511,661   1.33
  Iowa   30      3,053,788  6   508,965   1.33
  South Carolina   24      4,645,977  9   516,220   1.32
  Minnesota   21      5,314,880  10   531,488   1.28
  Alabama   23      4,802,980  9   533,664   1.27
  Oklahoma   28      3,764,880  7   537,840   1.26
  Kentucky   26      4,350,606  8   543,826   1.25
  Oregon   27      3,848,605  7   549,801   1.23
  Washington   13      6,753,370  12   562,781   1.21
  Colorado   22      5,044,928  9   560,548   1.21
  Wisconsin   20      5,698,232  10   569,823   1.19
  Louisiana   25      4,553,964  8   569,246   1.19
  Tennessee   17      6,375,429  11   579,584   1.17
  Maryland   19      5,789,928  10   578,993   1.17
  Arizona   16      6,412,698  11   582,973   1.16
  Indiana   15      6,501,582  11   591,053   1.15
  Massachusetts   14      6,559,641  11   596,331   1.14
  Missouri   18      6,011,480  10   601148   1.13
  Georgia   09       9,727,564  16   607,973   1.12
  Michigan   08       9,911,622  16   619,476   1.10
  Virginia  12       8,037,733  13   618,287   1.10
  New Jersey  11       8,807,496  14   629,107   1.08
  Pennsylvania  06       12,734,910  20   636,746   1.07
  Illinois  05       12,864,384  20   643,219   1.06
  Ohio  07       11,568,496  18   642,694   1.06
  North Carolina  10       9,565,777  15   637,718   1.06
  Florida  04       18,900,783  29   651,751   1.04
  Texas  02       25,268,436  38   664,959   1.02
  New York  03       19,421,046  29   669,691   1.01
  California  01       37,341,998  55   678,945   1.00
1 The 23rd Amendment allows the District of Columbia to be allocated no more electoral votes than the least populous state. (currently 3)




* * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * *


Return To Home Page

Copyright © 1999 -     1728 Software Systems