Is your vote equal to everyone else’s? Or does your cousin in Nebraska have more political power than you?
The presidential election is over, and with the uproar about our president-elect, Donald Trump, people have begun questioning the voting process in the United States. A common argument is, if people really wanted to elect Clinton, they should’ve voted for her. However, most of the country did vote for Clinton. Wait…so, how is Trump the next president? According to the Constitution, all of us have equal power to decide who will be the next president, but what if I told you that your cousin in Nevada has more power in this election than you, a resident of Georgia.
The reason for this is something called the Electoral College. This gives states that have smaller populations more power than states with larger populations. For instance, each individual vote in Wyoming counts nearly four times as much in the Electoral College as each individual vote in Texas. This is because Wyoming has three electoral votes for a population of 532,668 citizens and Texas has thirty-two electoral votes for a population of almost 25 million. This system not only favors states with smaller populations but reduces the power of bigger populations as their vote and delegates are divided among more people.
So where did the Electoral College even originate? The founding fathers originally gave small states more power, in fear of politicians just focusing on issues concerning large states. Ironically, the contrary has occurred, smaller states’ issues almost control the direction and issues of the election. The minority has the most power, and politicians focus their money and attention on these states to win the delegates for these states. Not only is their money being spent in those states while campaigning, but the smaller states will elect candidates to office that support their platforms and prioritize their issues when they’re in office too. The Electoral College causes an excess focus the problems of family farms versus the transportation issues of cities despite the fact there are less than one million professional farmers compared to the tens of millions of people who live in the city.
Keep in mind, that these delegates are key to winning the election and can trump the power of citizens. Surprised? It’s happened quite recently, in the 2000 election with Al Gore winning the popular vote, but Bush winning the delegates; however since Bush won the delegates he ultimately became the president, not Al Gore. This means a candidate can win the election without winning the majority of actual votes, almost leaving the voting power of the citizens useless. For example, if Bernie Sanders earns the most votes from the people, this doesn’t guarantee his presidency. This system not only undermines the democratic process of the presidential election but the fairness of the total election.
Based on this system, Georgia only has a voting power of .85 and Wyoming has a voting power of 3.17. This system is unethical and violates and mocks the saying of “one man one vote” as some people apparently have more votes than another just because of where they live.