Electoral College

Blakelee Sutton, Editor-in-Chief

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A democratic voting system is one that is incredibly important to traditional American values. In a representative democracy, it provides citizens with the opportunity to appoint the legislators that will introduce our nation’s policy. We, as a nation, pride ourselves on this democratic system, even going as far as to call ourselves the “free world.”

Even with that value, America continues to choose its president through an outdated and contradicting system: the electoral college.

The electoral college is a system in which each of the fifty states chooses a group of people that are equal to the combined amount of each respective state’s senators and representatives. This group is called the state’s electors.

Each presidential election, citizens vote for a candidate in their state of residency. When that state’s electors look at the majority vote for their state, they typically cast their vote for that candidate. The elector’s vote is the true determining factor in choosing the president.

This system was created with the goal in mind that even states with comparatively low populations would have just as much of a say in the election. That idea would work given that each state had a completely unanimous viewpoint as if each residents of a single state think the same way.

The electoral college creates a system in which a great number of votes in a state become irrelevant simply because it isn’t the majority in that given state.

For example, 51% of votes could be for the Republican ticket in Texas, while 49% are for the Democratic ticket. Those Democratic votes aren’t going to matter because the electors of Texas are nearly always going to vote in favor of the state’s majority vote. So, if you are of the minority opinion in your state, your vote means absolutely nothing even if your vote is the majority combined with the rest of the country.

The electoral college set out to give a voice to the little guy, but completely throws them under the bus in the process. Our voting system shouldn’t value the individual opinion of each state because there isn’t such a thing as a state’s opinion. People have varying opinions within each state. We ought to value the majority opinion of the nation’s population as a whole. That is the only way to ensure that a Republican vote in New York has just as much value as a Democratic vote in Georgia.