Con: Voting, should it be done?

Chris Miller, Reporter

Your vote doesn’t really matter. Those are not the kinds of words any American voter wants to hear. Unfortunately, when it comes to electing which candidate becomes President of the United States, these words ring true.

As most informed voters are aware, there are the popular votes and the electoral votes. The popular votes are the votes cast by the majority of participating registered voters, whereas the electoral votes are the ones cast by Electors in the Electoral College.

Every state in the US has Electors equal to the amount of its senators plus the number of its US representatives.

These Electors’ votes are cast on the Monday following the second Wednesday in December and the results of their votes are revealed on Jan. 6 of the next year.

The votes cast by the Electors are the votes that actually determine who wins the Presidency.

Most of the time, Electors cast their votes for the candidate who won the popular vote in their own respective states. However, there have been times throughout history where some Electors didn’t vote for the candidate their states wanted. Not only does the Electoral vote make the popular vote insignificant in these circumstances, there’s also no federal law or constitutional provision preventing Electors voting contrary to what their states want.

The Presidential race of 1824 between John Q. Adams and Andrew Jackson is just one example of where the candidate who won the national popular vote did not win the electoral vote. Jackson won the popular vote by 38,149 votes but lost the presidential run to Adams when Adams won the majority of votes in the House of Representatives after he garnered up support from the fourth most popular candidate’s Electoral voters, Henry Clay.

Another, more recent example of this was the 2000 presidential race between George W. Bush and Al Gore. Al Gore held the popular vote victory at 543,895 (0.5%), but lost the Electoral College vote to Bush by a 271-266 vote count.

The popular vote is no more than a popularity contest survey that doesn’t even matter because the Electoral College exists. Until the Electoral College is completely demolished or its role in the voting process is reworked, your vote will never matter.

Thankfully, there is a bill being endorsed by 2,110 State Legislators called the National Popular Vote Bill that aims to make the popular vote the deciding factor of who becomes the President of the United States versus the Electoral College system we have today. Whether or not this bill will one day become law remains to be seen.

In the end, the Electoral College is only half the problem. The other half is some of the voters themselves and their unwillingness to see past one political party or another. Until we fix how we vote, those votes will never matter.