By Bobby M.
The Electoral College was genius at the time of its conception in the 1700’s. It made it so people seeking the presidency had to look into the concerns of the entire populace regardless of their geographical location. Making sure you took everyone’s concerns into account was a good thing then, especially in a time where it was harder for certain sections of the country to get information. And this system held up for a very long time. But now in this day in age with the internet, half of the reason for its creation is obsolete and I contend it is now running counter to the original idea it was created for.
Political science aficionados say that they love the Electoral College because it makes candidates go to places outside of population centers. But how is that any better than the focus certain states get over others? And think of democrats who live in traditionally red states and republicans who live in blue ones. No one is more disenfranchised to vote than those people. And to a certain extent, this is the case for some support for people who consider voting for a third party as well. Because of this, the system is now the ultimate voter suppression tool.
Why should someone voting in Florida have their vote count more than someone voting in Arkansas? Or an Ohio vote meaning more than one in Maryland? While the numbers vary, we have roughly 45% of people eligible to vote already choosing not to. Willing to bet a large portion of that is due to people thinking why bother because of where they live. Now imagine if every single vote for every single person voting counted exactly the same. Pretty sure the turnout percentage of the vote would be so much different.
I would like to hope that was the spirit of the Electoral College in its conception, that everyone’s voice matters. But the people that thought of this system probably did not think about how much things would change in the information age of the internet and television news. Instead, now the Electoral College has turned into a tool to keep certain parties from voting and putting more emphasis on others. And how can anything else be stated when the 2016 election basically came down to the vote of 100,000 people in the states of Pennsylvania, Wisconsin, and Michigan. That is a very low number considering their are 231.6 million eligible voters.
There is one good thing when it comes to the system in general, the use of Electors. These people were originally to be used as a safety guard in case an unfit candidate figured out how to take advantage of the system or was able to lie to their constituents and still get elected. In other words, if you were not aware, Electors are capable of giving their official vote, the one that actually counts, as something other than what their state chose. Unfortunately now, those put into Elector positions are usually the most partisan as they come; i.e. people that think of their party more than their country. But I would like to hope that some scandal happens between now and December 19th that will get these people to vote with their conscience when they do their civic duty.