We all know the states where the 2012 presidential election will be decided. Not New York, which hasn’t voted Republican since 1984, a year when only Minnesota could muster support for Walter Mondale. Not Texas, where you have to stretch back to 1976 to find an election where a Republican victory wasn’t a given. The battlegrounds on which this year’s presidential race will be waged are Iowa, Ohio, North Carolina, Virginia, Pennsylvania, Colorado, Nevada, Florida, and Wisconsin, and if you don’t live there, you can forget about the presidential campaigns giving you an ounce of attention. You’re either a given in the candidate’s electoral college tally, or they know you’re out of their league. Is it unfair? That majority of states who get ignored election after election sure thinks so. So why, after over 200 years, are we still using the Electoral College?
Who thought up the Electoral College in the first place?
Blame the founders. If you remember your history lessons from eighth grade, deciding how this new nation would elect presidents and representatives was one of the biggest fights at the 1787 Philadelphia Convention. Southern states weren’t too keen on elections based on pure popular vote, given that a large percentage of their populations consisted of slaves who were denied citizenship. The priggish delegates also doubted the intelligence of those citizens who weren’t fortunate enough to be part of the political aristocracy, a secondary reason for deciding to rely on a college of electors to choose the executive.