The Electoral College: Here to Stay

In 2000, it was more than six weeks before the election was finally settled, thanks to a very close race in Florida. Every ballot in the state was fought over by armies of lawyers. Imagine no Electoral College. What happened in Florida would have happened in every other state as well, as both parties fought to find more votes for themselves and to disallow votes for the other side. In the election three days ago, a mere 200,000 votes separated the two candidates, about .17 percent of the total vote. That’s well within the margin of error, so the real winner would never have been known, and the Supreme Court would probably have had to make an arbitrary decision, politically crippling whoever “won.” The only real winners would have been the phalanxes of lawyers, their meters happily ticking away as they squabbled for months.

No political system is perfect and won’t be as long as men are not angels. But the American system has, once again, proved its worth.

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