As the 2020 elections quickly approach, this week the Supreme Court heard two cases regarding “faithless voters” of the Electoral College. The High Court will decide whether electoral voters have the freedom to vote in a manner that is divergent from the state’s popular vote and if states can remove voters once selected.
The cases involve two Democratic electoral voters, Michael Baca and Bret Chiafalo, from Washington and Colorado respectively, who defected in the 2016 elections. Chiafalo was fined $1000 by Washington State while Baca was removed from his electoral position in Colorado. Until 2016, no states had ever enacted laws to discourage electors from diverging from the popular vote. Supreme Court Justices on both the Right and Left seem skeptical of siding with the divergent electoral voters.
To Democrats, the issue at hand only solidifies their belief that the Electoral College needs to be dissolved altogether. After Hillary Clinton lost the presidential election to Donald Trump in 2016, despite having the popular vote, many Democrats are critical of the institution and call for its end.
“The College has survived not because it makes sense, but because one party or the other has believed it gives them an advantage. That may be smart politics, but it’s terrible for a democracy.” They argue that it favors small states over big.New York Times
The Republican National Committee pointed out that they believe the real point of the current lawsuits is to undermine the Electoral College. The Right defends the Electoral College, claiming it provides protection for smaller states. It is believed that if it were done away with, operating strictly by popular vote would take away the power and voice of those in rural, less populated places. The Electoral College was created by the founding fathers to protect minorities from tyrannical mob rule, and despite being blamed when controversies arise, has stood the test of time. Removing the Electoral College would give unfair advantage to big states.
DYK..? 2016 PRESIDENTIAL ELECTION— Educate America Initiative 🇺🇸 (@RichJaeger) May 8, 2020
Virginia almost a mirror of the United States.
In 2016, Donald J. Trump won 84 PERCENT of the counties across America. (and won)
In 2016, Donald J. Trump won 90 PERCENT of the counties in VA. (and lost)
This why we have an #ElectoralCollege https://t.co/wicoLwidd7