Aveneu Park, Starling, Australia

The one elector fails to vote for

The 2016 Presidential election was one of the most controversial elections in modern history. Both parties believed the other interfered with the election results, but in the end a winner was chosen, albeit while still losing the popular vote by almost 3 million votes. So this begs the question, would having the president elected by the popular vote truly have changed the results in 2016? Hello, my name is Erin Li, and my partner is Jack Goldscher. We are the pro constructive speakers here to affirm the resolution that the president elect should be sworn into office by the popular vote of the people. Our first contention is the popular vote prevents the risk of faithless electors. Faithless electors are members of the Electoral College who do not vote for their party’s designated candidate. According to Social Studies for Kids found on Sirs Discoverer, faithless electors could make a huge difference because 21 states do not have a law compelling their electors to vote for a pledged candidate. Although 21 is not the majority, the states that have faithless electors could make a huge difference in a election; therefore, it could alter the election turnout even though throughout history, faithless electors haven’t made much of a difference. Although the faithless electors have not changed voter turnout, their votes are a representation of a large portion of people in every state. If they come to the decision to vote for the other side, many citizens’ votes will be misrepresented. For example, in Texas, there is 38 state electors and if one elector fails to vote for their designated candidate, 73 thousand people’s votes are misrepresented, and the elector doesn’t even receive a punishment.The electoral college reduces or depresses the voter turnout. Because of the nature of the electoral college, there are swing states that majorly impact the winner of the election. According to NPR, data shows that out of the the 15 states that were labelled as “swing states”, 12 of them  had a significantly higher amount of voters in comparison to the national rate of 58.4%. During the 2012 election, Harvard Politics did a survey; it showed that the states that are considered “swing states” had a voter turnout of 63% in comparison to the “safety states” voter turnout of 55%. Safety states are the states that the candidates of each of the two parties can count on. For example, anyone with minimal knowledge knows that California votes democrat almost every election. With the winner takes all rule, the republican voters may just stay home knowing that their vote will not count. This poses the question for these states, “Should we even go vote if our vote doesn’t even matter?” The Founding Fathers gave the power to the people which is evident in the preamble of the Constitution by stating, “We the people, …do ordain and establish this Constitution for the United States of America.” The people fought the British to have a say in who their leader is, but now they no longer have that privilege if their vote doesn’t matter.The electoral college fails to represent the national will. John Quincy Adams was elected president in 1824,  despite neither winning the popular vote nor the electoral vote. Andrew Jackson was the winner in both categories. Despite his victories, Jackson didn’t reach the 131 electoral votes needed in the Electoral College; the results were 99 to 84 in favor of Jackson. The decision went to the House of Representatives, which voted Adams into the White House. The problem of the winner of the popular vote losing the presidency is still eminent today. In 2016, Donald Trump won the electoral vote 304 to 227 over Hillary Clinton, but Trump lost the popular vote. Clinton received nearly 2.9 million more votes than Trump, according to an analysis by the Associated Press of the certified results in all 50 states and the District of Columbia. Even worse, 15 times the winner failed to receive at least 50% of the national vote. According to the New York Times, the distribution of Electoral votes in the College also tends to over-represent people in rural States. This is because the number of Electors for each State is determined by the number of members it has in the House of Representatives; which is based on the state’s population size, plus the number of members it has in the Senate; which is always two regardless of the State’s population. The result of this distribution is that in 1988, the combined voting age population of the seven least populous states, which totaled 3,111,119,000 voters, carried the same voting power in the Electoral College as the 9,614,000 people of voting age in the state of Florida, 21 electoral votes. Each Floridian’s potential vote carried about one third the weight of a potential vote in the 7 least populous states. This is unfair and violates the one-person one-vote policy.The electoral college has been the way of voting for the US president since the Founding Fathers; it is now time we change that. The electoral college allows for faithless electors, depresses voter turnout, and misrepresents the people of the United States. Therefore, the president should be elected into office by the popular vote.


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