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  • Krithika Bharadwaj

Opinion: Why the Electoral College is Unfair and Should be Abolished

America is a country that arose from the desire for representation in government and liberty for all. Our country represents freedom. In fact, the Declaration of Independence constitutes those ideals of ‘equality’. However, the speak of inalienable rights for all is simply hearsay. It doesn’t really apply to everyone. We see systemic oppression towards women and minorities on a daily basis.

How are we supposed to change this corrupt system? We look up to our leaders; their responsibility is to serve the people. The government was created for the people. The issue is, the way America has chosen to elect its president accounts for the corruptness of the system. The electoral college was instituted hundreds of years ago, at a time when slavery was running rampant and legal. Change is necessary. The electoral college was in part construed to promote the influence of slave states. It’s outdated and unfair. Slavery was abolished in 1865, so why do we still keep this corrupt system?

Millions of Americans garner up to vote for the candidate they believe best represents their country every presidential election, but their vote doesn’t matter. The electoral college is undemocratic in nature and not representative of the whole country. The origin of this country was based on the agitation caused by the overruling of the British and their hegemonic policies. The country was created to differ from the strict, undemocratic rule of the British.

But American voters have no direct say in choosing their president. Sure, they elect the representatives from their states, but those representatives are the ones who determine the future of this country, not our voters.

538 people, 19.5% of whom are women, whose average age is 58, and 10% of whom are black are supposed to represent ALL of the voters in the country. How does this seem fair in any sense of the word?

The popular vote is used to elect the representatives who then make the vote for president. The majority of Americans believe that the “Constitution should be amended so the presidential candidate who receives the most votes nationwide wins” according to a poll published by the Pew Research Center.

The founding fathers were afraid of having a direct democracy and for many years presidential elections were held in a closed room filled with the ‘biggest’ names in politics. In our current society, many of us are informed. We are well aware of political implications and the power a president holds, and it's only fair if we get to decide who our president will be.

The Electoral College has been in place for a number of years and therefore the system is deeply embedded within the country. The Republican and Democratic parties have already established strongholds in certain states where they are expected to win, so the election only comes down to those “swing” states. The millions of votes placed in the states that are already guaranteed to a certain party are essentially wasted. If a candidate wins New York by 1 vote or 2 million votes, he or she still gains the state’s electors who then proceed to make a vote for president.

Donald Trump lost the popular vote by almost 2.9 million votes. That’s 2.9 million Americans who believed he wasn’t the right candidate. 2.9 million Americans who believed his policies weren’t best suited for our ever-changing country. 2.9 million Americans whose vote didn’t even matter.

Those in smaller states such as Wyoming hold more influence than states like California and New York. It’s ludicrous. Aren’t we supposed to be a country of equality? We pride ourselves on being so.

There have been many efforts to abolish the electoral college. The National Popular Vote Interstate Compact will award the presidency to the candidate who wins the popular vote. It’s already enacted in 16 jurisdictions encompassing a total of 196 electoral votes.

The push for abolishment of the electoral college has been strong and the end is almost near. It’s time for a fair system; in fact, it’s been long overdue.


Sources:

https://www.vox.com/policy-and-politics/2016/11/7/12315574/electoral-college-explained-presidential-elections-2016

https://www.brennancenter.org/our-work/research-reports/national-popular-vote-explained

https://www.nationalpopularvote.com/written-explanation


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