Madison M. Michigan

Our Votes Don't Count

A call to abolish the electoral college to let the people truly decide the next president.

Dear Mr. or Mrs. President,

In the entire history of our dearest sovereign state, no two votes have never turned out the same influence. That being said, most votes don't even determine the next president. As reported by the website Fair Vote, in recent elections, nearly 80% of votes had virtually no impact on the elections final outcome. This is because the electoral college creates the infamous swing states; the future of our country can come down to just a few hundred citizens. While campaigning, presidential candidates could theoretically ignore entire state's (or country's) needs and priorities.

In the 2000 election between Democrat Al Gore and Republican George W. Bush, the entire race came down to the swing state of Florida. Gore finished with 48.838% of the state's votes. Bush rounded off with 48.847%. If we had a better system, a minuscule difference like this would not be of significance, however, there is an issue there too. We have so ingeniously created a winner-takes-all system. 

In most states, the candidate who wins the majority of the popular electoral vote takes all of the electors. Evidently, this is catastrophically unfair to the losing party. If a party receives 48% of a state's votes, they should receive roughly half of the electors.

As stated in the United States National Archives and Records Administration, 3 million Democratic votes and 5 million Republican votes came from the places one would least expect it. If electoral votes were proportionate, in 2012 Democrats would have received 16 college votes from the state of Texas. California, no less, would have given 20 of their votes to the Republicans. Instead these people were misrepresented and cheated out of their constitutional right. 

States are not just red or blue. They are purple.

Furthermore, our cherished arrangement gives more influence to smaller states- not larger ones. Since every state is promised at least three electors - one for each body representing them in Congress - population is only a factor when counting the electors after that. This creates an unbalance in how much an electoral vote is actually worth. 

Vermont contains a population of 626,562; that means one elector for every 208,854 people. Meanwhile, New York is residence to 19.75 million people, giving one electoral vote the equivalent of 681,034 people. According to a map put together by The New York Times, a vote in Vermont weighs three times more than a vote in New York, and this holds true all across the country.

So with all of these flaws, why is a tainted system such as this still a thing? Well, ages ago when our country came to be, our founding fathers put together an electoral college that was entrusted to make a decision for the less informed people of the country since information was scarce. Now, it is safe to say that there is enough knowledge within the people to let them have their own say. Efforts to abolish this arrangement have already been acted upon in some places at a state level.  

As a young citizen of the United States, I yearn for the day when I can have a say in my country's government. Do not let our country be cheated out of a democracy any longer. Give the people a voice. Abolish the electoral college. Let our country be run by the people, for the people.


A Future Voter         

Allen Park High School

APHS Advanced Placement Language and Composition

Allen Park High School is located in Southeastern Michigan. AP Lang studies rhetoric. Additionally, students produce text to narrate, persuade, and inform.

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