Bella Mezzacapo photojournalist
Voting is an American principle and a basic democratic right that should be protected, promoted, and practiced. Casting your vote is important in some instances. You can make yourself heard, and you can sometimes create great change. However, voting is not always important.
Why do I think voting can be unimportant and at times pointless? I present to you: the Electoral College. The Electoral College is the process by which the United States elects the President. In this process, the states elect the President and Vice President. When people cast their vote, they are actually voting for a group of people called electors. The number of electors each state gets is equal to its total number of Senators and Representatives in Congress, a total of 538 electors from the Electoral College. Each elector casts one vote following the general election.
The Electoral College vote totals determine the winner, not the statistical plurality or majority a candidate may have in the national popular vote totals. Electoral votes are said to be awarded based on the popular vote in each state. However, that is not always the case. Five times a candidate did not win the popular vote, yet they won the election. The following candidates won the popular vote, but they lost their election: Andrew Jackson (1824), Samuel Tilden (1876), Grover Cleveland (1888), Al Gore (2000), and Hillary Clinton (2016).
The five times that a candidate lost the election, even though they won the popular vote, there were unfaithful electors. It may have only been five times, but that’s five times too many. The Electoral College will take care of who wins the Presidency at the end of the day. Because of this, I feel that voting in Presidential elections is unnecessary and not the most important thing in the world. However, I do think that voting in local and state elections is important.
Just this summer, people across the United States voted either Yes or No, in favor of or against banning abortions in their state. I think that voting in elections like this is extremely important. These are the elections that matter. Not only were people’s rights at stake, but our votes genuinely mattered and actually made a difference. The same cannot be said about Presidential Elections.
So, in my opinion, it is unimportant to vote if my vote does not matter. If my vote is in the hands of someone else, someone who has been unfaithful before, why should I trust it? Why should I cast my vote when the higher-ups are going to select who they want at the end of the day? Just because candidates who won the popular vote lost the electoral vote only happened five times, that does not mean that there were only unfaithful electors five times.
Overall, voting is important for the sole fact that it gives us a chance to use our voices. Voting is important when you can impact someone’s life and make a difference. However, voting in Presidential Elections is and always will be unimportant.