Yesterday I talked about judicial rulings that could affect the outcome of the Electoral College vote in 2020. While those cases make their way through the courts, the attack on the Electoral College continues in the media. Perhaps you have seen the video produced by Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez that shows lots of empty farmland. Her voice over proclaims with sarcasm: “Many votes here, you can see.”
She also argues that the Electoral College is racist and provides an advantage to white people. It is worth mentioning that many black leaders actually believe the Electoral College composition gives them a significant vote. Civil rights leader Vernon Jordan argued that if you take away the Electoral College, then the “importance of that black vote melts away. Blacks, instead of being crucial to victory in major states, simply become ten percent of the total electorate, with reduced impact.”
Tara Ross, in her book, The Indispensable Electoral College: How the Founders’ Plan Saves Our Country from Mob Rule, provides lots of similar examples. The founders provided a system that today provides representation for groups as diverse as farmers, minorities, and small states.
Chris Hayes (MSNBC) used a different tactic. He imagined a city that is 60 percent black and 40 percent white. Then the city was divided into four voting districts that put the entire black population in one district. “A majority black city is run by a majority white government,” he concluded.
Let’s leave aside the fact that it is virtually impossible to find a city like that. The big problem with his argument is that is has nothing to do with the Electoral College. It does illustrate the problem of gerrymandering that is too often used by both parties to increase their representation in government.
None of these arguments against the Electoral College are going to change the reality that, for now, it is here to stay.