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Electoral College

Akash Ahuja

Newtown, CT

electoral_college_map

Believe it or not, we’re all going to start hearing about the new presidential candidates in about a year. Every four years, these politicians spend about two or so years filling ad space with their optimistic promises and hopes for America. Then, they wait for the results to pool in from that fateful Tuesday in November. Although these runners are working for each individual vote, the Electoral College is the true final deciding factor. This is weakening the famous democracy of our country that we have worked for, sacrificed for, died for. The popular vote is the superior way to really find the majority opinion on any debated topic.
The Electoral College, first of all, does not give all voters a voice. In a country where freedom of speech and equal representation are things that we are extremely proud of, we surprisingly overlook our own elections. If your state has a majority vote for a republican, then all of the people who voted for the democratic candidate have their vote unaccounted for. The electoral points are winner takes all, which means that the loser loses more than just the outcome, but they lose their voice in the national count. According to the U.S Electoral College’s official website, only Maine and Nebraska split electoral points. All other states give 100% of their points one way or another.
If you happen to live in any of the other 48 states in this country, our kind government couldn’t care less what you voted if you aren’t the majority in your state.
Our current system also doesn’t even evenly distribute these points. From sea to shining sea, an American is an American, right? If you really wanted to instate some kind of point count, it should at least be even.

But we can’t even get that much right.

Think about it this way. We have about 120 million people voting in each election, and their votes are going to make up 538 points. 120 million divided by 538 is 223,048 voters per point. However, in some other states, the number of voters per point may be different. Alaska had 300,495 voters in the last election, having just over 100,000 voters per point. In California, the 13,038,547 voters boil down to 237,065 voters to complete each point.

If you didn’t follow that math, you just have to trust me for this next part.

This makes the weight of a voter in Alaska about 2.23 times what it would be worth in a fair system, yet in California, a voter’s weight is 0.94. This is unfair to Californians because each citizen is worth less than if they were living in any other state. In Alaska and other states, each voter can sometimes be counted worth 2 Americans.

This is unjust.

In our Declaration of Independence, it says very clearly that all men are created equal. Well, have an Alaskan be worth over twice as much as the average citizen was obviously not the Founding Fathers plan. The Electoral College does not represent people equally state to state.

The Electoral College does not realistically represent the actual majority opinion of the population. There are 4 cases of presidents winning the popular vote, yet losing the Electoral College. Jackson v. Adams, 1824, Tilden v. Hayes, 1876, Harrison v. Cleveland, 1888, and Gore v. Bush, 2000 are all examples of injustice being served to candidates who was clearly supported by more people than his opponent. Another example was in 1984, where 40.5% of the popular vote went to Walter Mondale, and yet he only received a measly Minnesota and Washington, D.C.
That equates about 2.4% of the total electoral votes.
In 1992, unlucky Ross Perot of the Reform Party won 19% of the popular vote, but he didn’t win a majority in any state, so he received no points. If you think one in five people in the U.S voting for the same person, you would have to be insane to not give the man any recognition.
How can a majority of people want someone to be elected and that person loses? If this country is run by the people, why has the minority won in a total of four presidential elections? In the recent 2012 election, the Electoral College skewed results by making it appear as though Obama’s victory was overwhelming. Obama beat Romney by 3:2 in the Electoral College, but only won the popular vote by 5 million votes.

So the difference is really only 4% of voters. The Electoral College made it appear as if a wide majority favored Obama when the margin is but a mere fraction under closer scrutiny.

Now because the Electoral College is clearly does not do a good job of representing the people, is unfair to the voters in different states, and denies a voice to the losing side per state. The Electoral College needs to be abolished and popular vote needs to be the only way to elect a president. We need to change ourselves as a nation to a system where popular vote is what is counted, not by state. We need to fight back for our voice, and not let the government take it away in a process that caters to slight majorities and large winnings.

While listening to some governors, senators, congressmen, and the like tell you about how they have a better plan than their opponents, keep in mind that you have a reasonable chance of your voice going unheard.

Image from http://www.nationalpopularvote.com/pages/electoralcollege.php

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