My first column that I posted on the Rogue Generation website is about, why the electoral college should be removed and replaced. Since the start of this nation the United States always selected its President by the electoral college system. Each state is given a number of electoral votes. That number is created by taking the two Senators that each state has and adds that to the number of Representatives that the state has. The number of representatives each state has is chosen by the population of the state. So for example New York has 29 electoral votes, that means the state has 27 Representatives and two Senators. This system should be removed and replaced with a direct election, like we do with electing Senators, Governors, and Representatives.
The electoral college system does a few things that limits the Americans people's voice. First off it can alter elections. Election 1876, 1888, and 2000 outcomes were all different from what the people wanted because of the electoral college. In election 1876, Republican candidate Rutherford B. Hayes lost the popular vote with 4,036,298 votes, but won the electoral college with 185 electoral votes. His opponent Samuel J. Tilden a Democrat, won the popular vote with 4,300,590 votes, but lost the electoral college with 184 electoral votes. Hayes was elected President of the United States because he received more electoral votes. In 1888 Republican Benjamin Harrison lost the popular vote with 5,439,853 votes but won the electoral college with 233 electoral votes. His opponent, Democrat Grover Cleveland won the popular vote with 5,540,309 votes but lost the electoral college with 168 electoral votes. Benjamin Harrison was elected President because he won the electoral college. Then we get to the famous 2000 Presidential election. Republican George W. Bush lost the popular vote with 50,456,062 votes but won the electoral college with 271 electoral votes. His opponent, Democrat Albert Gore, Jr. won the popular vote with 50,996,582 votes but lost the electoral college with 266 electoral votes. George W. Bush was elected President because he won Florida which gave him 271 electoral votes, and 270 electoral votes were needed to win. Thank god.
The electoral college also deters people from voting because they believe their vote does not matter. We have 190 million people in this country that are eligible to vote. In election 2012 only 126,821,812 eligible voters voted. Why are so many Americans not voting? Well that's because many Americans live in states that have a trend of always voting Republican or always voting Democratic. For example, New York state. New York has voted for a Democrat in every presidential election since 1988. 1984 was the last time New York voted Republican, that's when Reagan was running for reelection against Mondale. New York has 62 counties, 12 of those counties are run by a Democrat county executive. New York state has about 13 million registered voters, in election 2012 only 6,102,463 registered voters actually voted. That means a little more than half the state did not vote. If we removed the electoral college that other half would probably have come out to vote because now they know their vote matters. Now how is this proven? Well New York had a three term Republican governor named George Pataki, he was Governor from 1995 to 2006. New York can choose Republicans to hold an elected office, we have seen this before in Governor elections, and we see it now with majority of the county's in Republican control. All we need is turn out. A large turnout will come if the electoral college is removed.
The electoral college changes the real outcome of a Presidential election as well as deters the American voter from voting. The only way to change this is by removing the current system and replace it will direct elections by the people. The government is supposed to work for by and of the people. The electoral college gets in the way of this.
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