Alysha Posternak 0

Abolish the Electoral College

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Dear Senator Elizabeth Warren, I, Alysha Posternak, can not understand why we use the outdated electoral college systems,which has frequently landed us with a president that the majority of the country does not support. There are many things wrong with the electoral college system including faithless electors, its outdatedness, the inequality of citizens votes, and unwanted presidents. For these reasons, which I shall explain below, I suggest that Congress abolish this system and use the popular vote, like the rest of the first-world countries are using. First, I would like to point out the their are faithless electors. This means that the opinion of millions of people is ignored for the opinion of one, stubborn elector. This, in itself, should not be allowed, as, since all Americans should be equal, one person’s vote should not count more than any other’s. Unfortunately, this is not illegal, and while there are minor punishments in some states, according to National Archives and Records Administration, “There is no Constitutional provision or Federal law that requires Electors to vote according to the results of the popular vote in their states.” This that many 1 electors can vote for whoever these choose and there will be no consequences. According to, “There are 29 states (plus the District of Columbia) that require faithfulness issue a small variety of rarely enforced punishments for faithless electors, including fines and misdemeanors.” This means that 21 2 states do not have punishments for faithless electors, and the ones that do only have small punishments that Electors may think are worth more the the president of the United States. And it is not like this is a small problem. Also according to, “Since the founding of the Electoral College, there have been 157 faithless electors.” That is a lot of votes which have been made null and void. These selfish 157 electors nullified the votes of millions of American citizens, and many more can do so in the future. According to the 26th amendment, “The right of citizens of the United States, who are eighteen years of age or older, to vote shall not be denied or abridged by the United States or by any State on account of age.”3 This means it is illegal to deny an American citizen, over the age of 18, the right to vote; however, faithless electors are denying people's right to vote and; therefore, are breaking the 26th amendment. This means that not matter if the electoral college is abolished or not, being a faithless voter has to become illegal and have severe consequences. Second, the electoral college system is outdated. According to the Federalist Papers, “It was desirable that the sense of the people should operate in the choice of the person to whom so important a trust was to be confided. This end will be answered by committing the right of making it, not to any preestablished body, but to men chosen by the people for the special purpose, and at the particular conjuncture. It was equally desirable, that the immediate election should be made by men most capable of analyzing the qualities adapted to the station, and acting under circumstances favorable to deliberation, and to a judicious combination of all the reasons and inducements which were proper to govern their choice. A small number of persons, selected by their fellow-citizens from the general mass, will be most likely to possess the information and discernment requisite to such complicated investigations.” This 4 means that one of the reasons the electoral college was created was so that the smarter people, or the rich, powerful, land-owning, white males, could make all the decisions while the rest of the country thought 1 "U. S. Electoral College: Who Are the Electors? How Do They Vote?" National Archives and Records Administration. National Archives and Records Administration, 1 Mar. 2016. Web. 09 Nov. 2016. . 2 Http:// "Faithless Electors - Fairvote." FairVote. N.p., n.d. Web. 09 Nov. 2016. . 3 United States Government Printing Office (1971) (enacted). Print. 4 United States. Cong. The Federalist Papers. By Alexander Hamilton, James Madison, and John Jay. Cong. Bill. Washington, D.C.: Library of Congress, 1996. Print. they were living in a democracy. We say we live in a democracy, and we need to stand by what we say. We need to abolish this system that gave political figures more powerful. Third, we can easily get presidents that the majority of Americans do not want. In fact, of the 57 presidential elections which have taken place, 5 have been won by a candidate who did not win the majority of the votes. Also, according to Huffington Post, “According to a study done by Jesse Ruderman, “‘A presidential candidate could be elected with as a little as 21.8% of the popular vote by getting just over 50% of the votes in DC and each of 39 small states. This is true even when everyone votes and there are only two candidates. In other words, a candidate could lose with 78.2% of the popular vote by getting just under 50% in small states and 100% in large states.’” This means that a candidate could beat out another 5 candidate who got the overwhelming majority; in fact, the location of a candidate's supporters matters much more than the quantity; which brings me to my final point. Lastly, not every vote is equal. There are two parts to this: the amount of votes the state which the voter live in gets and whether or not the voter lives in a swing states. First, the amount of votes of the state a voter is in makes a big impact. Unless the election is extremely close, no one cares about who Alaska voted for. What they do care is who Florida, New York, Texas, Pennsylvania, and all the other states with a large amount of electoral college vote for. Candidates are less likely to campaign in states with low electoral votes and their votes often don’t play as large of a role in an election than someone who lives in Florida. According to Deseret News, the only election where a state like Alaska would have mattered was the election between John Adams and Thomas Jefferson, which is probably because there were less electoral votes back then (138). Even the second closest election, which also only had a total of 138 6 electoral votes, would’ve needed more than Alaska to change the outcome. That means if Florida one side by one vote, and Alaska won the other side without any vote’s for Florida’s side, Florida’s side would be winning by 26 electoral votes. Second, whether or not the state a voter lives in is a swing state also makes a huge impact. For example, unless the citizens of Massachusetts change or the values of the democratic party change drastically, Massachusetts is always going to vote for the democratic candidate. This means neither a republic nor a democratic voter will have a say in the outcome of their states’ election is already pre-determined. On the other hand, in a swing state like New Hampshire, every vote counts, as the most recent democratic candidate, Hillary Clinton, won New Hampshire by about 1,500 votes. That is an extremely small different, and while the number of electoral college votes may seem small, in a swing state like Florida, with 29 electoral votes, it makes a huge impact. We live in a new era where we realize that all people are equal, and in this new era, we need to give the right to vote to the people, not to an outdated system created to benefit the rich. 5 Lewis, Tyler. "Why We Should Abolish the Electoral College." The Huffington Post., 21 Jan. 2016. Web. 09 Nov. 2016. . 6 Hicken, By Jackie. "10 of the Closest Presidential Elections in United States History | Deseret News." N.p., 5 Nov. 2012. Web. 09 Nov. 2016. .

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