I am not a historian or a Social Sciences expert. I like numbers, and they are part of any successful project.

I was drawn to this exercise due to the apparent unfairness of the Electoral College. For those of you who don’t know, it is the number of “votes” that each state contributes to a presidential election. In most instances, if the candidate wins the state, they win all of the state’s electoral votes. The number of electoral votes is the number of Senators (2) added to the number of house seats in the state. The exception is the District of Columbia which has three Electoral votes.

One thing that is somewhat striking is that a single voter in Wyoming carries four times as much “power” as a single voter in Texas or California. That may not seem fair, but maybe the founders thought to balance the impact that states with high populations would have on the election. As a general rule, they have more power in the house. The Senate is balanced by two seats for each state. Maybe this was to add additional fairness to states that may be under represented in other areas.

The first grid is the current data.  I used population, as opposed to voting age population because the numbers are easier and more accurate and consistent.  Of course not everyone votes.  This is case in 1789 when only white males could vote.  I still used total population.  The point is, Georgia had a weight per citizen of 4.53, which is certainly comparable (albeit lower) than Wyomings 4.1

This analysis certainly informed my opinion of the Electoral College.


 

State EV Population Voters/EV Voter Weight
Virgina 10 747,610 74,761 1.00
Maryland 6 319,728 53,288 1.40
Pennsylvania 10 434,373 43,437 1.72
South Carolina 7 249,073 35,582 2.10
Connecticut 7 237,946 33,992 2.20
New Jersey 6 184,139 30,690 2.44
New Hampshire 5 141,885 28,377 2.63
Delaware 3 59,094 19,698 3.80
Georgia 5 82,548 16,510 4.53
Massachussets 10 378,787 37,879 1.97