By James Turnage
Do you want your vote to count? In presidential elections, it often doesn’t. I doubt if many people in this country truly understand how the electoral college works.
Each state has a number of votes in the electoral college. It is based on population. For example, our state, Nevada, had five in the 2008 election. After the 2010 census was finished, we now have six. The candidate who wins the popular vote gets all six electoral votes. So, if the popular vote was 499,000 for one candidate, and 499,001 for the other, one vote would decide who gets all six of our state’s votes. If you were one of the 499,000, your vote didn’t count.
In the 2000 election, Al Gore won the popular vote but lost the election. The Bush campaign was focused only on states with large numbers in the electoral college. They won, but it involved interference by the United States Supreme Court to make it happen.
There have been several efforts to change this antiquated and unfair law, but they have been blocked by the political parties who might achieve an upper hand in an election. The hundreds of millions of dollars spent on campaigning are focused on the “swing states.” Each party is positive certain states’ electoral votes will be given to them. Therefore, only a handful of states decide the election. Do the math: Most voters waste their time exercising one of our most precious rights.
All of the people should elect their President. We all matter, in spite of what the Congress and Senate believe. You will see efforts by a few conscientious legislators to change this unfair practice. Support them. So many of the average citizen’s rights and privileges have been taken away. Let’s reclaim at least one of them: a very important one.