This is why counting illegal immigrants and noncitizens significantly reduces the chances of the GOP winning the presidency. Given Obama’s winning margins last time in Florida, Ohio and Virginia, a GOP path to winning 27 states is credible at this point in the presidential cycle. But due to the Electoral College math, this only gives Republican’s 266 electoral votes, not 270.
We understand counting illegal immigrants and noncitizens in the census. Accurate population counts are essential to sound decision-making. Census numbers are used to allocate governmental resources. But we fail to find any persuasive reason to allow the presence of illegal immigrants, unlawfully in the country, or noncitizens generally, to play such a potentially crucial role in picking a President. Choosing a nation’s leader should be a privilege reserved for her citizens.
There are, however, no quick fixes to this situation. There seems little chance the states will ratify a constitutional amendment dumping the Electoral College in favor of voters directly electing the President. Amending the 14th Amendment to change the “whole persons” formulation for apportioning House of Representative seats is equally unlikely.
If the United States elected its chief executive as it is done in Mexico—direct election by those citizens eligible to vote—then the inclusion of noncitizens in the census wouldn’t result in any impact on the presidential winner. In Mexico, a U.S. non-citizen illegally or legally in the country isn’t counted in the presidential election math. Any other result would create an uproar among Mexican citizens. And rightly so. If counting illegal immigrants and noncitizens in the Electoral College decides the presidency next year here in America, there would rightly be an uproar on this side of the border as well.