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WHAT ARE YOUR THOUGHTS ON THE USE OF THE ELECTORAL COLLEGE? SHOULD THE U.S. CONTINUE USING THE ELECTORAL COLLEGE TO ELECT A PRESIDENT OR GO WITH POPULAR VOTE OR ANOTHER SYSTEM?

In most of our general elections, we use a direct voting system. This is not the case with the election of the President and Vice President. The Electoral College is used instead. The Electoral College consists of 538 electors who vote on the election of a presidential candidate. A 270 vote majority is required to win an election. Electoral votes are distributed among states based on population.

Senior Kamryn Kimbrough said, “I think the electoral college served its purpose. They needed it back then, but it’s outdated as of now. The reason it was put into place was because there was a lack of publicity that could be reached about the election, but now we have social media and very advanced technology that makes it so much easier for everyone to be able to vote. And if the popular vote chooses a president then that should be it.”

Freshman Emma Doren said, “I think the US should use the popular vote instead because that is what shows how actual citizens voted. Plus, the electoral college was created when the founding fathers believed that average citizens weren’t smart enough to vote for president, which was sort of true back then, but now that a majority of people are educated and know what they’re doing. I think it’s pointless to keep it.”

Senior Amari Jackson said, “I feel like the popular vote should have more say in the election. In the end, we the citizens will be affected the most.”

Economics teacher Kyle Shack said, “I have wavered in my conclusions about the electoral college over the years, but after reading and speaking with colleagues and experts on the subject, I have come to the conclusion that it is time for the Electoral College to be discarded. This belief stems from a few lines of thinking, some of which have been highlighted by recent events. Given the electoral imbalance that the Electoral College presents, it is becoming increasingly clear that the system as currently constructed does more harm than good, as it creates an environment where a minority of voters are prized, and the vast majority are taken for granted.

The claim of the Electoral College, outside of its initial promise of protecting the southern states from having to give up slavery, has been that it protects small states from being ruled by the masses of the larger states. That sounds great, but in the last few cycles it has become increasingly clear that candidates are not traveling to small states in the weeks before an election or crafting their policies to defend the people of those states. Instead, swing states, like Michigan, are given a disproportionately large amount of influence as candidates clamour to appeal to their voters. While the Electoral College was billed as a tool to protect the minority from the majority, it seems to have led us into a situation where the majority are ruled by the minority.

As I stated above I believe that the United States should move on from the Electoral College, but to what I am not sure. The simplest answer seems to be a popular vote, as that is one that our system as currently constructed would tolerate. Many point towards the proportional representation model that is used in places like the United Kingdom, as a potential solution to the "two party problem". However, this would require some massive retooling of the US Constitution, as our current set-up is not conducive to this voting structure.