As you head to the polls Tuesday, keep this thought in mind: A voter in Wyoming is three and a half times more influential than a voter in Florida. Thanks to the Electoral College, it’s possible to become president with only 16 percent of the population’s support. Yay, Democracy!
In the Electoral College, the combined effect of these two distortions is a mockery of the principle of “one person, one vote.” While each of Florida’s 27 electoral delegates represents almost 480,000 eligible voters, each of the three delegates from Wyoming represents only 135,000 eligible voters. That makes a voter casting a presidential ballot in Wyoming three and a half times more influential than a voter in Florida.
This system, along with the winner-take-all practice used to allocate most states’ electoral votes, creates the potential for an absurd outcome. In the unlikely event that all 213 million eligible voters cast ballots, either John McCain or Barack Obama could win enough states to capture the White House with only 47.8 million strategically located votes. The presidency could be won with just 22 percent of the electorate’s support, only 16 percent of the entire population’s.