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The Electoral College is the responsible cause of the unfair voting system in the United States today. In my senior year of high school, my teacher showed me that the Electoral College discourages many Americans from voting, and it mocks the idea of “one man, one vote.” I wrote an essay about the Electoral College entitled “We Need to Rid Ourselves of the Electoral College.” My opinion was and still is that the Electoral College is in need of mending. With each state having different amounts of electoral votes, candidates are prone to persuade the states with larger amounts of electoral votes than other states with smaller amounts. Even worse, the Electoral College means that a presidential candidate can have the majority of votes, but that candidate can still lose. This especially discourages independent or third party candidates who want to run for President. I believe that the outdated Electoral College takes the voting power from the people’s hands and it must be eliminated.
When the Electoral College was first put into place in 1787, it was justified. The population at that time had similar opinions and preferences; what was good for the majority of a state was considered good for the entire state. Hand-vote counting was also difficult at the beginning of the Electoral College, and votes being eliminated at the state level made counting much easier and more reliable. However, in two hundred years, America has changed quite a bit. To argue now that the majority of any state has the same preference would be impossible to support.
The current Electoral College unjustly awards electoral votes based on a winner-take-all method. The candidate that gets the majority of votes in a state gets all of that state’s electors. Even if forty-nine percent of a state votes Democrat and the other fifty-one percent votes Republican, the Republican side receives all of that states electoral votes. This means that many votes get eliminated at the state level, which causes millions of votes to be uncounted. This is frustrating to me because there would almost be no point in voting for a candidate who is obviously not going to get the majority vote.
The winner-take-all method undoubtedly discourages and eliminates third party candidates. For example, if an independent candidate gets as much as thirty percent of a state’s votes, chances are that that candidate will not receive a single electoral vote. In my high school essay, I wrote about an independent presidential candidate Ross Perot who received twenty-nine percent of the popular vote in America, but received no electoral votes.
Voting power in each state hinders the election and its turn out. Smaller populated states get relatively more voting power than larger states. This is because electoral votes are not distributed based on the population of each state. States that have a small population are in possession of too many electoral votes. For example, although the state of North Dakota has a considerably smaller population than Wyoming, both of these states have the same number of electoral votes. If someone were to live and vote in North Dakota, their vote would not be worth as much as someone who lives and votes in Wyoming. It is extremely difficult to justify that some Americans have more presidential voting power than other Americans.
I believe that the best way to fix the Electoral College is to eliminate it altogether. It should be replaced by a direct or popular vote. Unfortunately, the Electoral College is in the Constitution and, in order for it to be eliminated, a constitutional amendment would be required. Eliminating the Electoral College would also result in the loss of some states’ voting power, so it would be difficult to get the majority of state legislatures to approve an amendment. However, if we decide to fix the Electoral College, which I propose in my essay, we could split up electoral votes proportionally. For example, if candidate A receives thirty percent of a state’s votes, and candidate B receives seventy percent of that same state’s votes, and this is in a state with ten electoral votes, then candidate A would receive three electoral votes and candidate B would receive seven. This would mean that nobody’s vote would be eliminated at the state level, third party or independent candidates would be encouraged to run for President, and it would be up-to-date and consistent with the quote “One man, one vote” and the constitution. I hope that in the near future, much needed changes will be made in order to make the United States a better example of democracy, especially in the most important election of this great nation, the presidential one. With much needed changes, the Electoral college will not contradict but rather support the Preamble of the United States Constitution as well as democracy:
“We the People of the United States, in Order to form a more perfect Union, establish Justice, insure domestic Tranquility, provide for the common defense, promote the general Welfare, and secure the Blessings of Liberty to ourselves and our Posterity, do ordain and establish this Constitution for the United States of America.”
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