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Electoral College is Unnecessary

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Electoral College is Unnecessary

By Lizzie Deal, Managing Editor

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From the moment Donald Trump was declared the presidential elect, Hillary Clinton supporters, as well as those for independent parties, have been stunned. I, for one, was confident that Clinton would pull ahead all through election night, but the success never came. While neither of the candidates completely embodied an  ideal president in my eyes, between the major parties, Clinton was the one best qualified for the job.

Clearly, I was not the only one who had hoped that the United States would soon be inaugurating its first woman president, as half of the nation spent the day following the election in a shocked state of mourning. The results of the election were very hard to digest; I spent much of the day waiting for there to be some sort of issue with how the votes were counted, but nothing came. I took some comfort in the fact that Clinton won the popular vote, but no amount of protesting or moping will change the fact that Donald Trump had surpassed the 270 electoral votes from winning over states. He took the title with a whopping 20 Electoral College votes over Clinton.

To me, the Electoral College has  always hovered around elections as a sort of necessary evil; I had no idea why it was in place, but it seemed to have made sense to the rest of the nation as no one else had really questioned the institution. The Electoral College was put in place for a good reason despite the backlash it receives today; it was a sort of checks and balances during elections when people couldn’t be trusted entirely to be educated and make the right decision that reflected their values. Back then, the electors were more educated would vote for the candidate that best represented the area they lived in, eliminating anyone from making the wrong decision. It also gave southern states more of a voice in elections, which had been one of their major fears about the Constitution.

Regardless of why it was put in place, the Electoral College makes little sense in our current society. Americans are required to go to school and receive an education, so it shouldn’t be a problem for voters to make an educated decision on the presidential candidates. It is also the job of every adult citizen to be properly informed on the candidates and their policies, as well as to show cast their ballots on election day. In our era of technology, there’s no excuse to not be well informed on the candidates and vote for them accordingly.

The Electoral College is relatively useless when it comes to eliminating campaigns targeted at certain areas. With the Electoral College, presidential candidates focus specifically on battleground states that could end up voting either way depending on voter turnout. With campaigns focused on these states, others, like Texas, which have a large number of electoral votes, are often ignored because they vote specifically for one party or the other year after year. Without the Electoral College, candidates would have to campaign more evenly in different states. While they might tend to focus on densely populated areas, it would at least spread out the campaigns.

Everyone in this nation should have a voice in elections and help decide who our president will be. While the Electoral College might have served its purpose in the past, our president should be the man or woman that gains the most support, regardless of what state you live in or how many people near you disagree. Your individual voice should be heard in the election directly through the candidate that you vote for because in every state that a candidate wins, people are left unhappy.

Despite what people may think, Donald Trump is not president yet. On Dec. 19, the  Electoral College will cast their ballots and officially determine who will and will not become president. In most cases, electors vote in accordance with the candidates their state has chosen, but not all states require them to do so. In some states it is unlawful to vote against the candidate that their state has elected, but the only punishment for doing so is a fine, which in as controversial of an election as this, many would be willing to pay. It is because of this that a petition for electors to vote democratically has surfaced and gained traction as a way to attempt to please the majority of the population.

Everyone should have an equal say in deciding our president, and just as it is for so many other decisions , the majority should win. The majority of the nation should decide the president, not the Electoral College. The system is outdated and no longer holds any value to American society or the election process; it only hinders the growth of our nation and can result in the majority of the nation upset over an election. Our goal as a nation should be to elect the candidate that we, as a whole, feel will be the most suitable person to guide us through the next four years. The Electoral College can no longer do this for us.

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