There’s an opportunity this year, one that has only been available one other time in the last few decades. This year, the race looks so close that there’s a decent chance that the person who wins the popular vote may not win the election due to the antiquated Electoral College. For this reason and others, it’s imperative that everyone who has the ability to vote should do so.
Of course, there are other obvious reasons. There are state and local elections that need your input. There are ballot measures that deserve attention. There’s the simple responsibility that every American has to exercise the right that our forefathers earned for us. Still, the most important reason this year is the opportunity to make it close regardless of who wins. The closer the election is, the better the chance that we can finally rid ourselves of the silliness of the Electoral College.
There was a time when it made sense. The idea was to keep the power with the states, to prevent larger states from having an unfair sway on the election. Today, it has the wrong effect. Today, there are at most 12 states who have a say over who the next President will be. If you aren’t in one of the swing states, your vote for President has zero impact on the outcome. In a country that is based around equal rights, the Electoral College gives individuals in swing states a more valuable vote than those in locked-in states.
You can see the effects. The candidates have no need to spend time in Oklahoma or California. They don’t have to share their messages there or in any of the 38 locked-in states. They don’t have to listen to the people in these states. They have to gear their policies and promises strictly around what the people in the 12 swing states want to hear.
This is wrong.
Even if you’re in California, Oklahoma, or any of the other states that “don’t matter”, it’s important that you still vote for the candidate you want to see. You may not be able to affect the outcome, but the more that people vote, the more important it will be that we change the law. It won’t be easy. Amendments never are. It can, however, happen. You can help.