The Electoral College, not the popular vote, elected Donald Trump as our 45th President. The question among many is, “Shouldn’t the popular vote decide who the next President and Vice-President are?” My question is, “So what?”

Even given the electoral college deciding who becomes President, if African American voters had come out in large numbers in states such as Michigan, North Carolina, Florida, Virginia, Pennsylvania and a few others, the president-elect would be Hillary Clinton. From my foxhole, the system did not fail us; rather, assuming the election was not “stolen” by illegal election activities making it impossible for a full accounting of African American votes, we failed us.

John R. Hawkins III

John R. Hawkins III

The U.S. Electoral College was created by Article Two of the constitution. The reason was and is a guarantee that small states and the District of Columbia have a meaningful part to play in who will be the President and Vice-President.

The College currently consists of 538 “electors.” The number represents the number of U.S. Senators (100), the number of U.S. House of Representative (435) and 3 authorized for the District of Columbia. The states with the most electors are: California, Texas, New York, Florida, Illinois and Pennsylvania. It is important to note that North Carolina and Virginia are not far behind. The seven states which authorized only three electors (the same number as D.C.) are: Alaska, Delaware, Montana, North Dakota, South Dakota, Vermont and Wyoming. All states are winner takes all except Maine and Nebraska.

From my foxhole, we must ensure we maximize our numbers in the swing states where we can make the difference. We must get out and vote and do all we can in areas that have large concentrations of African Americans where we can prove to be the voters who have an impact on the Electoral College, while ensuring we continue to carry the locations we already carry. Educate and empower those who are for your candidate elsewhere. The U.S. Army does not prepare for battle the day before the battle, it prepares constantly. Let’s roll.

Maj Gen US Army (ret) John R. Hawkins III, JD, MPA is President and CEO of Hawkins Solutions Intl., a government relations and lobby company. His last military assignment as a “two star” was Dir., Human Resources Directorate for the Army world-wide and prior to that Deputy Chief Public Affairs for the Army, world-wide.


John R. Hawkins III

AFRO Staff Writer