When we talk about the Electoral College and the national popular vote, we usually think about issues of fairness, democracy, history, and policy. But there is another problem with the way that the Electoral College currently operates—with one candidate getting all the electoral votes from a state whether he or she wins that state by one vote or one million votes—that counsels strongly in favor of reform: election security.
As national popular vote activist Bunnie Keen writes, our current system makes it much too easy for a malevolent foreign power to hack an election:
The Mueller report documents that, in 2016, at least one county computer system in Florida was successfully hacked by Russian operatives. The vote margin for Donald Trump over Hillary Clinton was just over 100,000 votes in that state. That was approximately .07% of the total votes cast nationwide (136 million) in our last presidential election.
It’s not known at this time which Florida county suffered the intrusion, but if the results were sufficient to flip the state’s total electoral votes from one candidate to the other, does it matter at this point?
The critically urgent question that must be addressed before 2020 is: Who do we want to have the greatest influence on our next presidential election: the American people, or a foreign government?
When elections can turn on just a few hundred votes in one state, as it did in 2000 and easily could again, even a small or relatively contained hack could make a universe of difference. If all votes counted equally, the system would be much more difficult if not impossible to hack.