Should the Electoral College be changed?

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During the recent election, Donald Trump claimed the election was being rigged. Nonetheless, Trump won — even though he lost the popular vote by more than two million votes to Hillary Clinton. Now, Clinton supporters are calling the election unfair.

Although Trump is the president elect, the election isn’t officially over until the electors cast their votes on December 19. Congress counts the votes on January 6.

A petition gained 3.5 million signatures in less than a week, calling for the Electoral College to vote for Democratic candidate Hillary Clinton instead of Republican President Elect Donald Trump.

Trump’s election marks the second time since 2000 that the candidate who won the most votes cast on general election day did not win the presidency. That happened both times because the presidential election is decided by the Electoral College, not the popular vote.

Many do not fully understand what the Electoral College  is.

The Electoral College was established during the country’s founding when citizens were much more spread out. The federal government was not as strong and rural farmers wanted to prevent heavily populated states from electing a candidate.

Today, there are  538 electors between the 50 states and the District of Columbia. According to CNN, the number of electors from each state is equal to the number of congressional seats the state has in the U.S. House of Representatives and the U.S. Senate. The minimum number a state is permitted is three electors.

The Electoral College is comprised of state party officials who are chosen at the state’s conventions.

Forty-eight out of the 50 states are winner takes all, which means the candidate who gets the most ballots from a state’s voters gets all of that state’s electoral votes.

Since the number of electors is even, ties in the Electoral College are possible. It has happened twice in the nation’s history. In those rare instances, the House of Representatives is called upon to choose the new president.

Many think that after the Nov 8 results come in that the candidate with the most popular votes automatically becomes the president -elect; however, the president-elect does not become official until Dec. 19 when the electors  cast their ballots.

Electors are traditionally expected to vote for the candidate that won their designated state, but they could vote for the losing candidate if they chose. Some states forbid electors to go against the vote, but their votes are still counted and they only have to pay a small fine.

The Electoral College, however has never reversed itself and Clinton has conceded to Trump.

No matter who people voted for, many contend the Electoral College is an age- old process that should be changed. Many people feel that one vote should count for just that; one vote. They say the Electoral College leaves people feeling as if their votes don’t matter and fuels the cycle of people not going to the polls.

Lorette Thomas, a senior at Archbishop Ryan High school, stated, “I want my voice to be heard. A lot of people agree. We need a change.”

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