America: land of the free, to an extent… Our voting system is a barrier to freedom. We all cast our votes, but for who? Not for the candidate we believe is the best fit, but for electors representing a party who have the right to choose any candidate regardless of the popular vote. The electoral vote is the vote that really matters making the voting system broken. I would have to agree with the article “It’s Time to End the Electoral College,” that it is time for a new voting system so that all individual’s votes matter, The winner takes all system will not reflect the outcome of the election, Campaigners will address all issues of each state not just the ones that help them come to power, people will not resent the government, and so the vote reflects who the people want.
The article, “It’s Time to End the Electoral College,” is about how the electoral college is an unfair way of voting because states get a certain number of “electors” the amount of people that represent a state. Presidential candidates mostly campaign in swing states, which are states that do not usually conform to a certain party. The article also says how the popular vote in smaller states would matter more. The article describes how basing the presidential election around the popular vote would be a fairer way so that everyone’s vote matters equally. Additionally, the author says it is also unfair because the electors can still choose whichever candidate they would like regardless of which party they represent. This can potentially make certain voters’ votes obsolete. Also, because of the winner-takes-all system, one state gives all its electoral votes to one candidate. The author believes that the vote therefore should be in the hands of the people and not the electors (“It’s Time to end the Electoral College”).
The Constitution, Article two, Section one, Clause two, addresses how many electors there are per state. 538 electors represent the United States voting system (“It’s Time to end the Electoral College”). This number is equal to the amount of voting membership in Congress: 435 representatives, 100 senators, and three electors from the District of Columbia. This number dates to 1964. Each state has a certain number of electors based on population size. A Census is done every ten years which may increase or decrease the amount of a state’s electoral votes (Greer, Christina).
According to the article “Its Time to End the Electoral College,” An individual’s vote matters more in states with less population than an individual’s vote in a state with a big population. An Example is Wyoming resident’s votes counts 3.6 times as much as a Californian’s.” I find this to be discriminatory because, as an individual, my vote should have the same impact on the election regardless of how many people vote for the opposing party. My vote should not be swamped out by other people’s votes. Where is the voting equality in the current voting system? If individuals’ votes had more of a say in big states, maybe more people would go out and vote and not shrug it off because their state leans a certain way.
Electoral vote wise, “battle ground states” matter more than states that are known to vote for a certain party because of the number of electoral votes a candidate could get with from one of the battleground states. It is saddening to think that one state could impact the election more than another based around the winner takes all system. The winner takes all system is a system in which if the majority of a state votes for a certain party, all the electoral votes a state has goes directly towards the presidential candidate representing the winning party in that state. Presidential candidates’ campaign in these states as a result of this. This leaves tens of millions of Americans out on the sidelines. Presidential candidates do not campaign as much in the non-battleground states potentially leaving the concerns of these states outside of their campaign promises(“It’s Time to End the Electoral College”).
I believe that a president should represent all states, not just the ones that help them come to power. There are issues in all states that need to be addressed. In the state of New York, New York City suffers from air pollution by transportation from the gases and fume produced. My health, my financial needs, and my safety matters too! If this was based around the popular vote like all other government elections, discrimination among states would cease to exist because it would only be the votes of the people that go towards the election, not the elector votes that are all given to one presidential candidate due to this system. Nobody’s vote would be useless “from Republicans in San Francisco to Democrats in Corpus Christi”(“It’s Time to end the Electoral College”). It would not matter that the majority of a state sways towards a certain party, your vote would still matter. And Campaigners would address the issues in every state to try to become President of the United States.
I believe the electoral college does not reflect what the population wants based on the popular vote. Many Republicans agree that the United States needs to get rid of the Electoral College, Donald Trump being one of these endorsers. This gives America a better understanding as to why he tried to lie saying he won the popular vote and why some of his supporters chose to believe this (“It’s Time to end the Electoral College”). I believe this is bad because if the less popular candidate wins the election, it could lead to a lot of resentment of government. An example would be the “you’re not my president” movement. Others have rioted outside of the Trump Towers in various states (Mckirdy et al.) .
Donald Trump does not deserve his title as president, because he does not reflect what most Americans want. He is childish and reactive as seen before the election, yet he still won. He targeted a certain group, the authoritarians. His views only reflected what they wanted. To deport illegal immegrants and prevent Muslims from entering this country (Macwilliams). The authoritarianists do not represent the whole country and his promises and views were directed mostly towards them.
All in all, the last presidential election was a result of the broken Electoral College system. Hopefully this will be our Robert E. Lee statue to remind society not to repeat history. The voting system is like Robert E. Lee in that it is discriminatory on how many electors each state has. In fact, the Electoral College was originally used for discrimination against black people. The presidential vote should reflect what all Americans want like other government elections. Campaigners should address all issues of each state and for that to happen we must get rid of the winner takes all system so presidents will campaign nation-wide. Additionally, the popular vote should determine who is president, so people do not resent the American government. If America is truly the land of the free, citizens deserve to be entitled to participate in a fair election. And if we are the home of the brave, the electoral college will be revised.
- “It’s Time to End the Electoral College.” The New York Times, Dec. 19, 2016, https://www.nytimes.com/2016/12/19/opinion/time-to-end-the-electoral-college.html. Accessed 29 October 2018.
- Greer, Christina. “Does your vote count? Electoral College explained.” YouTube, uploaded by TED-Ed, 1 Nov. 2012, https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=W9H3gvnN468
- Macwilliams, Matthew. “The One Weird Trait That Predicts Whether You’re a Trump Supporter.” POLITICOMAGAZINE, 17 Jan. 2017, https://www.politico.com/magazine/story/2016/01/donald-trump-2016-authoritarian-213533. Accessed 29 October 2018.
- McKirdy, Euan et al. “Thousands take to the streets to protest Trump win.” CNN politics, 10 Nov. 2016, https://www.cnn.com/2016/11/09/politics/election-results-reaction-streets/index.html. Accessed 29 October 2018