Some things become so predictable. Every time there’s a presidential election, I hear friends and family who say that it’s time to abolish the Electoral College and go to a popular vote. They claim that the system created by the Founding Fathers is fundamentally unfair and was created merely as a means of overcoming difficulties in travel and communication in the 18th century.
But nothing could be farther from the truth.
When the Constitution was signed, America consisted of the original 13 Colonies, nothing more. That means that traveling on horseback, one could make it from Concord, N.H., to Washington, D.C. in 16 days. Or, coming from the other direction, from Atlanta, Ga., to the capital in 21 days. That’s reason to delay the declaration of a win, but nothing more. Either way, someone has to make it from the state capitals to the national capital to carry the popular vote or carry the electoral votes.
Here’s what those who decry the Electoral College may not understand: We don’t have a national presidential election. We have 51 separate but consecutive presidential elections (Washington, D.C. is the 51st). There’s an excellent reason for that and it has to do with fair and democratic elections.