The student news site of West Chicago Community High School

Wildcat Chronicle

The student news site of West Chicago Community High School

Wildcat Chronicle

The student news site of West Chicago Community High School

Wildcat Chronicle

Distinguished Sites Banner
SUPPORT US
$725
$750
Contributed
Our Goal

Your donation will support the student journalists of West Chicago Community High School. Your contribution will help us cover our annual website hosting costs. We appreciate your support!

INSTAGRAM FEED

[OPINION] The outdated system: the Electoral College

The presidential voting system in the United States contains some flaws.
Voter+registration+can+be+completed+online%2C+by+mail+or+in+person.+
Photo by Sasha Baumgartner
Voter registration can be completed online, by mail or in person.

Every four years, Americans pile into the polling places extremely eager to vote for the candidate they believe to be slightly less horrible. But with the Electoral College system that elects America’s chief executive, many Americans think, “Does my vote even matter?”

Originally created at the Constitutional Convention in 1787, the Electoral College was a compromise made by founding fathers. Some founding fathers wanted the president to be elected by a general popular vote, while others thought it should be done by Congress solely: hence the creation of the complicated Electoral College.

“They were tired, impatient, frustrated. They cobbled together this plan because they couldn’t agree on anything else,” emeritus political science professor at Texas A&M University George Edwards III said via History.com.  

Each U.S. state has the same number of electors as their representatives in Congress; those electors review the state citizens’ votes and then determine their pick based on that. The first presidential candidate to receive 270 electoral votes is determined the winner of the race.

“The Electoral College will systematically overrepresent the views of relatively small numbers of people due to the structure of the Electoral College. As currently constituted, each state has two Electoral College votes regardless of population size, plus additional votes to match its number of House members. That format over represents small- and medium-sized states at the expense of large states,” senior fellow at the Center for Technology Innovation at The Brookings Institute, Darrell M. West, said. 

One of the main reasons this system proves to be outdated is that every state has the same number of electors no matter how large their population becomes. In a presidential election, Wyoming has the same amount of say as New York although New York has millions of more people per square kilometer. The Electoral College gives a great deal more power to small, rural states. 

Furthermore, the popular vote is not obeyed in American presidential elections with the electoral college. During five occasions, the presidential candidate who lost the popular vote was still inaugurated into office. This has occurred twice recently in 2000 and 2016. The president who took office did not win the popular vote of the country – proving the Electoral College to be out of fashion. 

Each state is delegated their number of electors based on the census, the number of senators and representatives within a state. (Photo illustration created by Sasha Baumgartner via Canva).

“At no other point since the elder Bush’s first term came to a sudden end with the 1992 contest has a Republican won the popular vote at all, much less with a majority of votes cast. While Republicans have controlled the White House for 12 of the past 20 years, only four of those years have resulted from a Republican having gotten more votes than his Democratic opponent,” Philip Bump said via The Washington Post.

Not only is the Electoral College outdated and unfair, but it represents an ugly time in America’s history. The system, created in colonial times, has disclusion and knotty writing woven through it. If the majority of the country individually votes for a presidential candidate then that is who the president should be, nothing more complicated than that. Through the Electoral College, presidential candidates have an opportunity to play with the system; win the presidential election but not the popular vote. 

When Prom king and queen are selected by the school’s popular vote, no one bats an eye, but when it comes to the presidential election, politicians aim to make the voting process as complicated as possible.

In the future, the United States must look into alternatives for voting in the presidential election. Whether a popular vote is adapted or another system is formed, something needs to be done for citizens of the U.S. to feel like their vote matters. Everyone deserves an equal say in politics and the future of this country – no matter where they live. 

View Comments (1)
Donate to Wildcat Chronicle
$725
$750
Contributed
Our Goal

Your donation will support the student journalists of West Chicago Community High School. Your contribution will help us cover our annual website hosting costs. We appreciate your support!

About the Contributor
Sasha Baumgartner
Sasha Baumgartner, Editor-in-Chief
Sasha is a senior, and this is her third year being a part of the Wildcat Chronicle. She found a swift passion for journalism during her sophomore year, learning how to write for fun and in many different ways. She has continued with the paper since 2021. Outside of journalism, Sasha is a member of the WEGO Dance team, a ROAR mentor and a member of National Honors Society and WEGO Global at the high school. Sasha’s main hobbies outside of school include working at a retirement community serving guests in the dining room, spending time with friends and family, and finishing up work for the Wildcat Chronicle. In the future, Sasha plans to attend college for psychology to be able to help people on a daily basis. 
Donate to Wildcat Chronicle
$725
$750
Contributed
Our Goal

Comments (1)

Any comment made will go through the Wildcat Chronicle to be approved. Obscene, suggestive, vulgar, profane, threatening, disrespectful, defamatory language will not be published. Attacks made towards race, gender, sexual orientation, or creed will not be tolerated. Comments should be relevant to the article or the writer; please respect the author and the other commenters. Comments must be 300 words or less. All comments are the property of the Wildcat Chronicle after being submitted. In order to submit a comment, a valid e-mail address must be used, and the email must be verified. Impersonating another person’s name is prohibited.
All Wildcat Chronicle Picks Reader Picks Sort: Newest

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

  • Mr. AielloApr 30, 2024 at 10:50 am

    Interesting perspective. While I can agree that in some states the electoral college may render your vote less important, there are definitely still some benefits to the electoral system. There is something to be said about giving a voice to the smaller states. If we adopted a popular vote system, its possible that smaller or more rural states could be overlooked entirely when it comes to a national election.