This blog is about to be a lot more all over the place than usual, but here it goes!
I was challenged by one of my professors to write between 500-1000 words every day, and so I thought, sure, I can do that! Plus, there are so many benefits: establishing my writing discipline, exploring topics that I otherwise put on the back-burner, and (OF COURSE) the thrill of controversy! So, in a thousand words (or less, depending on how tired I get), I want to explore a topic that is completely misunderstood according to most Facebook posts I read.
*DISCLAIMER* There is no need to fear, I have no interest in talking you into or out-of supporting our new President. This is just an informative blog about a largely misunderstood part of our government.
POPULAR VOTE VS ELECTORAL VOTE
During every election there’s an uproar about something, and the roots are usually embedded in a false belief about our government and how it works. So, without further introduction, this is why the ELECTORAL vote is more democratic than the POPULAR vote.
*SECOND DISCLAIMER* This is going to be wayyyy simplified, but I’ll probably post more specific blogs about exactly HOW the electoral college works and how we can work on finding presidential candidates that we can be excited for and proud of in the future.
Popular Vote: The total amount of individuals who vote for a specific candidate
Electoral Vote: (More complicated) A total of 538 votes– each state gets a certain amount of votes, and in order to win the candidate must get 270 of them. (In addition to the 50 states, the District of Columbia, or Washington D.C., also gets a set amount of votes). In order to gain a state’s electoral votes, the candidate must win the popular vote in that state (there are two exceptions, in Maine and Nebraska, but I’ll save that for a different time).
In other words, while it might seem that the Popular Vote is more democratic, it is actually the Electoral Vote that makes sure all demographics and voices are heard equally in the states. Instead of pouring all of their resources and interests into a select few highly-populated cities or states, the candidate is forced to gain the support of the majority of each state. This is important, because (according to the US Census Bureau study of 2013),
the 5 states with the highest population carry 36.9% of the popular vote.
Bring it up to the top ten, 45.7%.
The top fifteen states? 57.55%.
That means 35 other states combined can’t compete with the high populations of the largest states, leaving large areas of the U.S. without a voice.
This system (along with plenty of other systems in our government) is NOT perfect, however, the system was created to prevent the largest, loudest demographics from having the final say in our government, not to complicate things with the “evil of politics.”
Still feel like your voice isn’t being heard? I get that, trust me, I do. But if you want to complain about something, start by examining the people who represent you- who are your local government officials? Who are your state senators? Who is sitting in the House of Representatives in your stead?
If you don’t know, you might want to hold off on complaining about “the system”, and instead start talking to the people who have the power to make the change. And hey, if you can’t find someone who does the job to your satisfaction, maybe that’s because you’re the person for the job!
Okay guys, looks like I made my word count! Keep on reading, and keep on asking questions– especially if it seems like the most popular opinion on Facebook! 😉
As my gov. professor always says, “Be well!”