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US Government
U.S. Electoral College

Does the electoral college have benefits?

Answer

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June 18, 2013 2:48PM

Depends on whether you live in a swing state or not. If you do, then it has the benefit that presidential candidates pay attention to you, while completely ignoring "safe" states.

It reduces the physical number of ballots that count. Making it more difficult to rig an election. If the president was elected based on the popular vote it would be much easier to rig.

Counter-opinion:

The electoral college makes it much easier to fix an election. Rigging the popular vote is an enormous undertaking and would involve faking hundreds of thousands if not millions of votes to make any sort of difference on a national scale. But the Electoral College presents the easiest way to rig an election. To win the Presidency, a candidate must win 270 of the 538 electoral votes. The most important fact to remember about the Electoral College is that the members of the Electoral College have no legal obligation to vote for the person they promised to vote for when they were chosen to be Electors. None. In fact, the Framers of the Constitution planned it that way. Once the election is over and all the votes are in, we know who the electors are and who they are supposed to vote for. If one candidate has a majority of say 10 electoral votes, 274 to 264, then all the other side has to do is find enough Electors willing to sell their votes to change the outcome. In this situation all you would need is 6 votes. Add 6 to the existing 264 to get to the magic number 270. Take away 6 from the "winner's" 274 and he is left with 268. Of course, it is illegal for an Elector to sell his vote, but not illegal for him to change his mind. So an elector might not even have to be paid off to change his/her vote, just talked into it. In any event, anyone who works in elections will tell you, the smaller the number of votes, the easier it is to fix.