Opinion: Electoral College a remnant of a flawed electoral system

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Political minority voices are suffocated under the current electoral system.

The election is now less than a week away, and people across the nation are asking themselves “Who will be the next president of the United States?” The answer to that question resides mostly on the people in 7 states.

According to the New York Times Electoral Map, 43 states are already virtually decided. Only Colorado, Ohio, New Hampshire, Florida, Virginia, Iowa, and Wisconsin remain undecided. Does that represent true democracy? A Democrat in the heart of Texas effectively does not have a vote, since Texas will always go Republican. The same goes for a republican in California, which is always viewed as a left-leaning state. To a candidate, the most important votes are those in the “swing states.” In this election, Minnesota is not considered a swing state. That’s why many of us have seen little to no ads from either candidate, since they think their money is better spent in the important states. Under the Electoral College, this is thought with good reason. Governor Romney already has a good 207 electoral votes in states that will most assuredly vote for him. Because of this, his efforts are better focused on the states that could go to either candidate. But is that fair to citizens who don’t reside in these states? They don’t receive the attention or the focus that they deserve.

The Electoral College is an outdated system that no longer serves its true purpose. When our nation was founded, the system was imperative to the well-being of the country. During that time, information was hard to come by and there were many uninformed voters. Additionally, states were much more important to the governmental system. In order to maintain the integrity of the nation, informed and knowledgeable electors were necessary. However, as the times have progressed, information has become more readily available and easy to obtain. Because of this, voters are much more informed and aware of the issues and each candidate’s approach to them.

The government has become much more federally-centralized. It has moved away from its focus on state governments. Because of this, the Electoral College no longer represents the will of the people. Instead, a direct popular vote should be employed. This makes every voter important again. Instead of trying to win states, the candidates would have to win votes. And to do this, they would have to appeal to people all throughout the nation. President Obama would feel the vote from the Democrat in Texas, and Governor Romney would feel the vote of the Republican in California.

This election will be pivotal for the future of America. And it will be decided by only 53,908,163 people. That’s only 17% of the entire U.S. population. Something needs to change for the 83% that are ignored. Otherwise, 100% of us lose.