Matthew B. Utah


This letter addresses the lack of competition and fairness exhibited by our elections.

Dear Future President,

I am very concerned with our country’s political future. While many uninformed people claim America to be the true epitome of democracy, the reality is that democracy in America is suffering. The system our founders created was meant to limit the participation of the masses in government, because they believed them to be uneducated. This generalization is both unproductive and untrue, and the system conceived from it needs to be modified. Two party politics and the electoral college foster an unhealthy political environment in which politicians strive only to get reelected by any means necessary, encouraging negative campaigning and political polarization of Americans over productive bipartisan cooperation. A representative democracy born from the nonpartisan politics George Washington strove for will be the solution to many of our political plights, and something I hope you will advocate for as the next President of the United States.

To start, the electoral college is an absolutely nonsensical system meant not only to limit the power of the people in government but also outdated by more than 200 years. The president of the United States makes all of his decisions and policies at a federal level, applying to all citizens of the United States. Therefore, It would make far more sense for our citizens to vote for a president in a federal election, rather than vote in often non-competitive state-run elections in which the vast majority of votes do not matter. The fact that a candidate could have the majority of the votes in his favor and still lose an election is broken and preposterous.

Next, two party politics undermines everything the Constitution of the United States is supposed to stand for. Our government is supposed to be one in which all people have the opportunity to participate politically, and there are free, fair, and competitive elections. Unfortunately, the two party system present in our country undermines these principles in almost every scenario. To start, our elections are not fair, because someone not running under the banner of one of the two major parties has little to no chance of winning. These people are not being disqualified from our elections based on merit, merely based on the group to which they belong, and this is discrimination.

Furthermore, the system which allows the party in power to manipulate district lines stops our elections from being free and competitive. The vast majority of incumbents in our elections are victorious despite spending less money than their opponents, because they are able to manipulate district lines to ensure a majority of people in their party are members of their district. This is clear shown by information from the Center for Responsible Politics, which claims that the US reelection rate in 2014 for the House was 95%. This is statistically significant and gives a clear indication that our elections are not competitive.

In conclusion, our local elections are neither free, fair, or competitive. The same applies to our presidential elections, in many ways because they are localized. In the majority of states in our country, the votes of thousands of people do not count because they are part of a winner take all system in which the domingating party of that state always wins. These are issues imperative to the survival of our system, and I wholeheartedly hope you considering taking steps to fix them.

Judge Memorial

Judge Memorial-Jeffreys

Students enrolled in AP English Language and Composition at Judge Memorial Catholic High School in Salt Lake City, Utah.

All letters from this group →