by Lil Tuttle
The right to vote is a special privilege reserved for American citizens, but two states in our union make it far too easy for non-citizens to cast votes when they should not. That’s one reason why the Electoral College still matters.
Under legislation signed into law by Governor Jerry Brown in 2016, California joined the state of Oregon in allowing its residents who apply for a driver's license at state DMV offices to be automatically registered to vote, unless they "opt out" of voter registration. Since non-citizens and illegal immigrants are permitted to apply for a driver's licenses, the opportunity for illegal voters being added to the voter registration rolls is huge.
If national election outcomes were based on the total popular vote, California would have an enormously disproportionate advantage in choosing the president and vice-president of the United States.
With 38 million people, California is the largest state in terms of population in the union. That is equal to the combined populations of the states of Iowa, Mississippi, Arkansas, Utah, Kansas, Nevada, New Mexico, Nebraska, West Virginia, Idaho, Hawaii, Maine, New Hampshire, Rhode Island, Montana, Delaware, South Dakota, District of Columbia, Vermont, and Wyoming.
California currently has 19.4 million people registered to vote, and 9.9 million Californians cast votes in this week's presidential election — the equivalent of all the votes cast by citizens in the states of Virginia (3.6 million), Ohio (5 million), New Hampshire (693,723), Vermont (273,167), and South Dakota (345,143).
To prevent any one state from exercising disproportionate power in selection of national leadership, the Founding Fathers created the Electoral College. Each state chooses electors, the number of which is equal to the total number of its U.S. House and Senate members. These electors, in turn, cast the official votes for president and vice-president of the U.S.
A complex process? Maybe. But it's also a safety mechanism to prevent people living in really big states from running political roughshod over people living in small states.
Radio show host Bill Mitchell tweeted yesterday:
Now you can see why we have an Electoral College. If not, all of our Presidents would be elected by Liberals in NY and CA.
— Bill Mitchell (@mitchellvii) November 9, 2016
Given California’s disregard for voter registration integrity, it’s a protection against massive illegal voting, too.