It’s becoming a trend…well, ever since the 2000 election. All day yesterday I saw posts on Facebook and heard people say publicly that, “My vote doesn’t count,” “The electoral process is broken” and similar comments in reference to the United State’s use of the Electoral College versus a popular vote. It is perceived that because a candidate MAY win the Electoral College but lose the “Popular” Vote that some voting injustice is taking place. That is not true and in fact only three U.S. Presidents have won the Electoral College while failing to win the Popular Vote. A quick fact and then a quick explanation as to how your vote actually DOES count in the electoral college process and then you can get right back to stalking people on social media:
FACT: We are not a democracy, we are a (representative) republic. A democracy utilizes a popular vote to decide elections, policies, etc.; a republic chooses representatives to go make policies on behalf of them and their states.
Why Your Vote Matters: First, a democracy would not work and our forefathers were very wise in understanding this. If elections were decided based on popular vote, states that had a larger population like California and New York would make all of the decisions for the entire country since they have a larger population. For example: California has a population of 37.7 Million people and New Hampshire has 1.3 Million people, that is a huge difference when it comes to deciding important issues such as the presidency.
Second, your vote does matter! So goes your vote, so goes your state and your state provides presidential candidates a specified number of electoral votes that help win elections. A republic uses a popularity vote within the state, just not nationwide. Sure, everyone says that the battleground states are what decide elections, but that is only half true. If George W. Bush had not won West Virginia (5 votes) or New Hampshire (4 votes), he would not have won the Presidency in 2000.
RECAP: 1. A democracy would utilize a popular vote resulting in more votes from larger populated areas. Presidents and national issues would be decided by the larger populated states. 2. A republic uses a representative system which allows those states to elect our President based on the population of that state. Those representatives vote based on the popularity vote of that state. Your vote matters in determining who your state casts their vote for. It’s worked for 236 years…in fact it worked this year with President Obama winning both the Electoral College and the Popular Vote…and it will continue to work in the future.