The electoral college process originated in this country when voting was not guaranteed a right. Each state had its own rules around voting and to arrive at consensus around that issue was not a priority at that time. Today is different.
And yet the electoral college still exists and affects how each of our votes is counted.
In the 2016 election, if you live in Alaska, your vote counts twice as much as if you lived in California and almost four times as much as if you lived in Florida.
What about New Jersey or Oregon or Iowa – you are a little less than a third of a vote each.
Kansas, Arizona and Maine fare a bit better – more than a third, less than half a vote to each of you who actually voted.
If you are in South or North Dakota or Rhode Island, your representation is better. Each of your votes equaled almost 75% of a vote in Alaska.
Vermont, DC and Wyoming, voters were pretty darn close to being counted equally with Alaska, which gives your vote much more weight.
Interested in understanding how arbitrary this structure is? Try this interactive tool. It demonstrates what the electoral college results would have been based on different randomly generated state boundaries.
The Supreme Court has interpreted at the local level a “one-vote, one-person” doctrine which requires that there must be fairly equal numbers of people in election districts when electing representatives to a political body—for example, all the congressional districts in a state must have the same number of people. Before the decisions in Baker v. Carr (1962), Reynolds v. Sims (1964), and similar cases, some districts in a state might have had 900,000 people, others only 100,000 people, but voters in each district would elect one representative to Congress. The Court concluded that the Fourteenth Amendment reflected principles of political equality that required each district have, to the extent possible, an equal number of residents, which is what one-vote, one-person means.
To apply that principle at the federal level. One person, one vote for the presidential election. The National Popular Vote bill would guarantee the Presidency to the candidate who receives the most popular votes in all 50 states and the District of Columbia. Explanation It has been enacted into law in 11 states with 165 electoral votes (CA, DC, HI, IL, MA, MD, NJ, NY, RI, VT, WA). It will take effect when enacted by states with 105 more electoral votes. Most recently, the bill was passed by a bipartisan 40–16 vote in the Republican-controlled Arizona House, 28–18 in Republican-controlled Oklahoma Senate, 57–4 in Republican-controlled New York Senate, and 37–21 in Democratic-controlled Oregon House. It has passed one house in 12 additional states with 96 electoral votes (AR, AZ, CO, CT, DE, ME, MI, NC, NM, NV, OK, OR). Status in Each State
*I’m not picking on Alaska. To make the calculations easy to digest I utilized the state with the lowest number of popular votes that would equal an electoral vote. To view the data, click here.