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Electoral College: Flunking Out This work has been published in the Teen Ink monthly print magazine.

The Electoral College has become a topic of hot debate in recent years. Originally designed to expedite the voting process, many people no longer see a need for it, especially since it is possible for a presidential candidate to lose the popular vote and still win the election. This happened in 2000, in the race between George W. Bush and Al Gore, with Gore securing 48.38 percent of the popular vote and Bush receiving 47.87 percent. It doesn't seem right that in a democratic country, securing the majority vote can still result in losing the election. Clearly, something needs to change.

The second article of the 14th Amendment to the U.S. Constitution reads, “Representatives shall be apportioned among the several states according to their respective numbers, counting the whole number of persons in each state.” Therefore, it would seem logical that the Electoral College should work the same way. However, if this were true, Al Gore would have won that election. But because of the electoral college, he lost. Bush got 271 electoral votes, while Gore received 266, with one elector abstaining. Simply put, if the United States were a true democracy, Al Gore would have been president.

Another example of the electoral votes not being proportional to the popular votes was in the most recent election. Barack Obama received only 53 percent of the popular vote but drew a whopping 365 electoral college votes. In contrast, John McCain took 46 percent of the popular vote but had only 173 electoral college votes. Although McCain wouldn't have won either way, this shows how much the electoral college can differ from the actual vote.

Identifying a problem is easy enough, but fixing it requires work. Eradicating the electoral college would mean that politicians would no longer have any need to visit states with smaller populations. Instead, they would only visit the most populous regions of the country, resulting in a loss of power for smaller states.

This problem could be avoided by making the electoral college proportional, instead of all-or-nothing, as it is now. Currently if a presidential candidate wins the popular vote in California by 51 percent, the candidate gets all 55 of California's electoral votes. The other candidate may have taken 49 percent of the popular vote but ultimately loses all 55 electoral votes. However, if the candidate with 51 percent of the popular votes was given 51 percent of the electoral votes (about 28) and the other candidate received 49 percent (27), it would be much more representative of the voters.

According to the 14th Amendment, the people of the United States need fair representation. It is obvious that because of the electoral college, this is not happening. This misrepresentation has been proven in at least two recent elections, and people are getting more fed up with this failure of democracy. The Declaration of Independence says, “Whenever any Form of Government becomes destructive of these ends, it is the Right of the People to alter or to abolish it, and to institute new Government.” The electoral college, as it stands today, has become detrimental to liberty and the pursuit of happiness. As American citizens, it is our duty to fight for our right to fair representation. It is time for a change.

This work has been published in the Teen Ink monthly print magazine. This piece has been published in Teen Ink’s monthly print magazine.




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jackiee129 This work has been published in the Teen Ink monthly print magazine. said...
Sept. 11, 2012 at 4:03 pm:
amen.
There's honestly nothing in this I disagree with. you adressed the issue in a clear, concise manner and presented real solutions instead of just complaining about the state of things, which is always nice to see :)
 
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jackiee129 This work has been published in the Teen Ink monthly print magazine. said...
Sept. 11, 2012 at 4:03 pm:
amen.
There's honestly nothing in this I disagree with. you adressed the issue in a clear, concise manner and presented real solutions instead of just complaining about the state of things, which is always nice to see :)
 
Reply to this comment Post a new comment
 
jackiee129 This work has been published in the Teen Ink monthly print magazine. said...
Sept. 11, 2012 at 4:03 pm:
amen.
There's honestly nothing in this I disagree with. you adressed the issue in a clear, concise manner and presented real solutions instead of just complaining about the state of things, which is always nice to see :)
 
Reply to this comment Post a new comment
 
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