Why does America Have An Electoral College? (Short Animated Documentary)

One of the most interesting parts of US Presidential elections is the use of the electoral college to determine their winner. But how did it come to be and given how controversial it (sometimes) is, why hasn’t it been altered or dissolved? If you want to find out then watch this short and simple animated documentary.


A special thanks to all of these Patrons below, without whom the show wouldn’t be possible:

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Comment (44)

  1. I understand that it was created by Congress to transfer the vote of the citizens to vote for the president. instead of everyone going to vote, they vote for a person to vote for the community.

  2. The Gridlock in congress is not a bug, its a feature. USA was designed in a way where most things were supposed to take place at the state level, that's why they have a direct democracy. At federal level, its a Republic and not a democracy. Every Direct democracy in the history has died. If the system is designed in a way where 50% + 1 rules the rest, it is destined to fail.

  3. Pretty unbelievable that there was no mention in this entire video about how the number of electors per state are allocated and the connection to slavery. The primary point of the compromise was to prevent the more populous northern states from dominating the southern states, which counted 2/3 of their slave population in determining the number of representatives and electors even though they couldn’t vote. A situation many of the southern states are doing their best to recreate today by disenfranchising as many people as possible.

  4. Electoral college is to have a president that d a bit opposed to the Congress and it defeats the purpose of they chose it

  5. Can you imagine if the EC favored Democrats over the GOP? The right would be burning down Capitol buildings in protest. Oh wait they already tried doing that. France is currently having its Presidential Election. Their system is infinitely better for many reasons. Voting is on a Sunday. They use the popular vote one person=one vote. The first round has a dozen people allowing for more parties to participate. Finally the lack of billboards, tv ads, and spending of billions ( 2020 cost 14.4 billion).

  6. What drives me nuts about the electoral college is how inaccurate it is. It doesn't matter if you win a state with 51% or 95%, you get the same number of electors either way. So a party with a strong regional advantage in large states (like the Democrats) ends up with a lot of useless votes. If we're stuck with the E.C., let's at least divide up each state's votes by congressional district, like Maine and Nebraska do. Of course we would have to ban gerrymandering first, or it would infect the result. I'm dreaming, of course. The GOP will never be persuaded to take their thumbs off the scale.

  7. One point kind of glossed over was the fact that there would have been only 26 senators and about 13 representatives in the first Congress. That made it feasible for a very wealthy presidential candidate to bribe just a few members of Congress to win the election. So, political corruption was to be avoided by the states (not the people) electing Electors for a brief period of time, who supposed knew the qualification of the candidates, to vote in the next president.

  8. The so-called popular vote is a non-thing. It is a made up statistic that has no basis in the Constitution or American law. It is a construct used by the losers to whine about being cheated out if their "rightful victory". The only alternative to the Electoral College even considered was a congressional vote. It was the representatives who were to be elected by the people to represent them in the new government. The states appointed or elected the senators to represent the states. The president is elected by Electors to represent the nation and carry out his duties given by the Constitution and federal laws.

  9. That was put into place so the Trumplicans could always win and have an advantage. There's no other reason.

  10. I love the excessive use of the phrase “supposed to”. 😆. Soooo…after watching this the conclusion that I’ve come to is that it was instituted to protect the money and interests of the ruling rich class, and that is has failed to prevent the very things it was supposed to protect against? 🤷🏼‍♂️

  11. Not bad but I don't think there's any validity to the idea that the EC was created to keep smaller states or rural regions from being "dominated". This is more of a trope and a common misbelief. I think it was Federalist Paper 64 (somene in the 60's) where the author just flat out says that the reason we have electors is because the common man doesn't have the information/wisdom necessary to pick the leader of the country so they've taken that out of our hands. Plus, the logisitics of the day would make it impossible to run a nationwide campaign.

  12. The electoral college guarantees equal representation of the voter. Without it, major liberal cities would control all elections and the rest of the country wouldn't matter.

  13. States are arbitrary divisions of the population. The entire voting population chooses the president, therefore the only fair and logical method is direct election, where each vote has equal weight. The EC skews the weight of votes towards the smaller states, because each state must have at least three EC votes no matter how small its population. This system may have worked when it was designed, but we live in the 21st century where the candidates can easily cross the country in a short time, and visit each state to campaign. As things stand, candidates don't spend much time in states they are almost certain to lose, and those who vote for the opponent in those states – for example, millions of votes for the Republican candidate cast in NY – don't have their vote count for anything under the EC system, because it's winner takes all. Also also, while it's rare, the candidate who does not get the most votes winning the election thanks to the EC math makes absolutely no sense.

  14. The thing about the college, which many people don't realize. Is that it is completely switched up every time we perform the census every 10 years. So over a long process and as times change it can reflect how a country is feeling based on the times. This is why a "party switch" argument falls flat in any state or county. The lines themselves change and encompas different populations. Many reflect on previous elections by how the states voted but if you want a true look at how most of America actually thinks you have to compare County by county elections. We do not elect based on popular candidates, we elect based on how many counties vote a certain way until about 51% go for one side and the state sends their entire collegiate for that candidate. Because direct democracy is arguably controlled by populations and populations tend to vote emotionally rather than in their best interest. We see this in our current situation where the USA is in the shitter because many people vote based on what they hear rather than how they feel. The college is by no means perfect, but without it. One party would constantly have a super majority and it is much harder to botch nationwide elections, however at a local level corruption can still occur. But corruption in Cali rarely affects Texas and vice versa. However, culture and population shift definitely can. It is complex and not simple to answer and it may not even play out exactly as described. But that's exactly why it's critical, because it's hard to fluke an election.

  15. The Electoral College is a brilliant system that keeps the election based around popularity without completely ignoring the opinions of those who live in rural states.

  16. Popular vote does not count. I cant remember the last Republican president that won with the popular vote. The biggest issue is that the value of electoral votes is skewed. Its not based on population or state value to the union. The values are just valued evenly red/blue close to placate to the whims of the southern states. Now, its biting America because the minority controls.

  17. While they said it was rare and happened five times in our nations history, when a candidate lost the popular but won the electoral vote, two of those times have happened in the past 20 years. And those administrations have been questionable at best, disastrous at worst. Combine that with our two political parties becoming more and more partisan, you can see why so many people want to do away with the electoral college

  18. Getting 2 /3 of congress to vote for anything is pretty much impossible. i guarantee if you put a vote in congress now asking if the United States should be burned to the ground you probably couldnt get 2/3 to vote NO

  19. Didn't mention the role of the slave states and the whole 3/5th compromise in creating the electoral college.

  20. The point that he makes here about the electoral college existing to prevent smaller states from being disenfranchised is one of the key points in understanding why it still exists. If the electoral college were abolished today, states with small, rural populations would see their voting populations entirely disenfranchised. There is literally no way that their votes could balance those of the more urbanized states like California and those in the Northeast.

  21. I believe that the electoral college should be abolished. Isn't it the people themselves that vote in our president. We the people is what it should be.

  22. I love how half the Americans in this comment section don’t even know what the fuck their government actually is. WE DONT LIVE IN A DEMOCRACY WE LIVE IN A DEMOCRATIC REPUBLIC. THAT MEANS THAT THE PEOPLE PICK A REPRESENTATIVE WHO WRITES LEGISLATION. If we got rid of the electoral college we wouldn’t live in a pure democracy. If we got rid of the senate, the House of Representatives, and the president, we still wouldn’t live in a pure democracy. Jesus fucking Christ. A pure democracy means that everyone in the country would vote directly on policy. Derp derp. Also, a pure democracy wouldn’t necessarily lead to mob rule or tyranny of the majority or whatever the fuck. Because one has never existed. Ever. Even in ancient Athens only like 10 to 20 percent of the population could vote. Most of the countries that have been called democracies are really republics or democratic republics. They’re vastly different. Oh my god.

  23. I love how the losing side complains they won the popular vote. The objective is to win more electoral votes. If it wasn't, candidates would campaign differently. It's like arguing your baseball team should have won because they had more hits. The objective is to score more runs.

  24. The electoral college is bad for the exact reason you show with your map…there are two more states that the other 48 don't care about. And those 2 hardly get any votes, so never get anything they want or need.


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