Power to the… Electoral College?

In order for a candidate to become President of the United States, they must find their way through the maze of the electoral college system. Instead of simply removing the maze and letting voters’ voices be heard, one wrong turn can lead a candidate to failure. Graphic by Johanna Hall.

By JOHANNA HALL – ODTV Executive Director

The Electoral College has been taking power away from the people and creating unfair and illogical presidential election results since its creation in 1787.

Lucy has five cookies and gives four to Billy and one to Sally. Danny and Timmy each have three cookies and give two to Sally and one to Billy. So, Billy has six cookies and Sally has five. Billy has more cookies.

“But wait!” the American political system says. “Since Sally got most of two people’s cookies and Billy got most of only one person’s cookies, then Sally has more!”

Makes perfect sense, right?

No.

The intent of the Electoral College was to create a barrier between the citizenry and the government. Two hundred thirty years later, the system is still controlling American elections.

According to CNN Politics, 65,844,954 people, or 48.2 percent of voters, cast their ballot for Hillary Clinton on November 8, 2016. Compare that to the 62,979,879 people, or 46.1 percent of voters, who cast for Donald Trump.

Now, these numbers are a bit bigger than five and six, but the difference between them is roughly 2.9 million people.

Hillary Clinton lost because she got 2.9 million votes, or cookies, more than Donald Trump got.

But since they came from less people, or states, she lost.

This isn’t the first time this has happened, however. There have been five presidents who didn’t win the popular vote.

In 1824, it was John Quincy Adams; in 1876, Rutherford B. Hayes; in 1888, Benjamin Harrison; in 2000, George W. Bush. And now, it’s Donald J. Trump.

How has that worked out?

George W. Bush got us into the Iraq War, and Trump attempted to pass a Muslim ban within his first 10 days in office.

If these dangerous actions are taken, they should be done with the support of the majority.

But the system can be changed.

Drafted in 2006, the National Popular Vote Bill states that whichever candidate receives the national popular vote will be given every electoral vote from the states with the bill.

The bill was introduced to the Georgia General Assembly on Jan. 24r. According to the Georgia General Assembly, it is currently being reviewed by a subcommittee.

However, it will not be enacted until the participating states’ electoral votes are collectively greater than 270, or enough to win the presidency. It is currently at 165.

This is a crucial time for change. Call the legislators. Get it passed. No candidate should lose if they get more cookies than another. Each cookie is a vote, and every vote should have the same power, no matter who or where it comes from.

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