EVERYTHING YOU NEED TO KNOW ABOUT THE ELECTORAL COLLEGE:
There is a lot of confusion and misinformation that is rampant in immigrant communities about the electoral college. And this has led to people making false statements such as: "The electoral college is unrepresentative."
The fact is that the electoral college does not exist and was not created to represent ethnic groups or political parties, it was set up to represent state governments. Each state has its own method of choosing electors.
When you go to vote for President, you are actually not voting on the President but rather you are voting instead for his political party and the party that wins in a state's presidential election is the political party that gets to choose that state's presidential choice. For the last century or so, the parties have been very upfront on who they intended to put in the White House. Those parties are representing the state government's official choice. The state in turn asks voters for their advice which is actually not obligatory for the state to follow unless the state has a law that requires it to do so. Most states have such laws. But even in those cases, if the law was passed by the legislature, then the legislature can easily repeal and then make the decision of who to give their electoral votes to by legislative session rather than popular vote. In other states, it would be harder for them to do that because the awarding of electoral votes is governed by those state's constitution which require a popular vote in most cases to change. For those who think the manner in which electors are picked in their state must first determine whether the rules for doing so are legislative or constitutional. If they are legislative then the legislature has absolute control over the process, if they are constitutional then they need permission from the voters before they can make any changes to process for selecting electors. Which of these two systems do you think California has? Usually this information is readily available online these days. You can start by reviewing your state's constitution. In California we have the nation's longest constitution so be ready to be doing so very very long reading. Someone once said there are over a hundred pages in the California Constitution but it might be short of that though it is certainly more than any other state in the US or any other country in the America's.
"The electoral college system devalues people's votes." The current method of electoral distribution is not the original method we use. The number of electors is based on the number of Representatives and Senators the state has in Congress. We changed how we assign House seats because people did not want there to be too many people in the House because the nation was growing population size and they were concerned there would be no building that could contain all the representatives. Originally, if you read the US Constitution the founders included the clause that there was supposed to be one US Representative for every 30,000 people. You will find that in Article 1 Section 2. This method was never a problem until became fearful of it just after 1900 when massive waves of immigrants began arriving in the US and becoming qualified for naturalized US citizenship. The same clause that says there is supposed to be one representative for every 30,000 citizens also states that each state is guaranteed at least one representative regardless of population size.
The first change to the electoral college came with the 12th amendment passed in 1804 and all it did was change how the electors choose the president and vice president.
The next change to the electoral college came with the 14th amendment which state's
"Representatives shall be apportioned among the several States according to their respective numbers, counting the whole number of persons in each State, excluding Indians not taxed. But when the right to vote at any election for the choice of electors for President and Vice President of the United States, Representatives in Congress, the Executive and Judicial officers of a State, or the members of the Legislature thereof, is denied to any of the male inhabitants of such State, being twenty-one years of age, and citizens of the United States, or in any way abridged, except for participation in rebellion, or other crime, the basis of representation therein shall be reduced in the proportion which the number of such male citizens shall bear to the whole number of male citizens twenty-one years of age in such State."
The 14th is the first clause which mentions a method of actually taking away a state's electors, saying that a state's electoral count can be reduced if it violates its citizens' voting rights. The reduction is proportional to the number of people whose voting rights are infringed or denied.
In a hypothetical scenario let's say Texas decides to ban Mexicans from voting. What percentage of the state population do Mexicans who are US citizens make up out the entire Texas state population? You can go here to find out: https://www.census.gov/quickfacts/TX
According to the census, nearly 40% of Texas's current population is Mexican or Hispanic. Based on that, a Texas ban on Mexicans and other Hispanics being allowed to vote would result in Texas losing 40% of its electors. So Texas has 38 electoral votes. if the 14th were enforced the way we Ethnic Americans intended it to be, then Texas' electoral votes would be reduced to about 23 because that is what you would get if take 40% from 38. That's a lot of electoral votes. Unfortunately this particular clause has never been enforced because no lawsuits were ever filed challenging a state's violation of it.
Suppose California wanted to ban White people from voting? California has 55 electoral votes. Whites make up 37% of the state population. That means that if the 14th was being enforced properly, California electoral delegation would be reduced to 35. That means the state loses a lot of electors for violating voting rights. Bet many of you didn't know that White people were responsible for at least 20 of California's electoral votes. And Hispanics are responsible for 15 of Texas' electoral votes.
The problem today is this part of the 14th amendment is not being enforced by anyone because no one is talking about it.
This historical information, now that you have it, brings us to a most interesting conumbrum. If the US Constitution states that there must 1 representative for every 30,000 residents and there were no amendments made that can account for the current system, then where did the current system come from and is it constitutional?
The answer to the second question is that the current system is actually unconstitutional. The reason why is based on the answer to the first question. It was the US Congress that, by legislative statute, changed how electors are distributed by capping the number of Representatives in the House. Remember that if a something is set out in the US Constitution, the only way to change that process, legally, is to change the Constitution. That was not done in this case.
So where did the current system come from and when did it arise? A lot of people talk about what happened at the time of the foundes but they never mention the changes that Congress illegally made in the 20th century to cap the number of representatives at 435. The first law doing so was passed in 1911 under President Taft. At the time they believed that the number of representatives was becoming unmanageable. That law set it at 391. Taft later signed a law increasing it to 433. A new member is added for each new state. Which means that California will lose House seats if Puerto Rico becomes a state due to reassignment of seats to accomodate the new state. Now you have to ask the question: where in the constitution did the US Congress get the power to make this change unilaterally?
This led to disputes which caused the failure of reapportionment in 1920 because some areas of the country felt they were not getting a fair deal. The US Congress passed The Permanent Apportionment Act into law in 1929. This law is what set the maximum number of representatives at 435 and by extension set up the current electoral college system as we know it today. Again where did the Congress the get the power to do this?
If the US Constitution mandates 1 representative for every 30,000 residents, where does Congress get the power to change that constitutional mandate without changing the Constitution itself? It gets it from no where. But it exists and it continues because there have been no legal challenges to it.
So for those who think their vote is being diluted with the way the electoral college is run, the US Constitution which sets the procedure for the electoral college and represenation would say that you are correct because current statutory law on the issue conflicts with the constitutional law on the subject. Congress made a change to the electoral college that it actually did not have the right to make unilaterally without changing the US Constitution.
The way you fix the current sytsem is to either file a lawsuit, change who controls congress, or change the constitution.
Did you know that under the Constitutionally mandated system, the City of Whittier is actually entitled to at least two electoral votes? That is because there are over 60,000 people who live in the city.
I believe that in the age of instant communication, we can handle more than 435 Representatives and we can also handle more than 435 electors.