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Not every vote counts in Electoral College system

Published: Tuesday, November 6, 2012

Updated: Tuesday, November 6, 2012 06:11

Throughout the day, nearly 200 million voters will head to polling stations.

By the end of the night the president-elect, who will not be officially named president until January, will be named the victor not by a majority vote of the people, but by the Electoral College system — the system
that allows presidential nominees to disregard non-swing states in campaigning and pander to states with large pockets of undecided voters.

When the founding fathers decided to implement the Electoral College, it was simply a compromise  between electing the president by a majority vote in Congress and electing the president by a majority vote of the people — a group of individuals who at the time they didn’t know if they could trust.

Because of this compromise,  voters in actuality do not vote for either candidate but instead for a slate of electors that are prominent in either party, who then vote for president as a representative of the people.

But the main problem with this system is the possibility that the candidate who receives the popular vote
can still lose the election. In 2000, George W. Bush lost the majority vote to Al Gore by about 500,000 votes but won the electoral race 271-266.

The 2000 election basically disenfranchised half a million voters not by fraud or wrongdoing, but through the careful planning over the entirety of the nation’s history. While situations like the one in 2000 rarely happen, the possibility that it could happen should be enough to change it.

The Electoral College is split up according to each state’s population, so more populated states representatively have more votes. While this may be ideal for equal representation, the problem is that
the majority winner in each state receives all the electoral votes from that state. This winner-takes-all approach shapes the way presidential candidates run their campaigns, weighing the importance of swing states  citizens over others.

Consequently, a Democratic voter in Texas has little chance in affecting the presidential election because Texas’ votes have historically been awarded to the Republican candidate — the same can be said for a Republican living in New York.

America has lived with the Electoral College system for long enough.

The saying “one person, one vote” means little unless that one vote happens to coincide with the majority consensus of the rest of the state. The majority of the entire voting population should elect our leader and that leader should be able to focus his or her attention on every state.

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