Los Angeles High School of the Arts

The Electoral College: An unfair system

How did Donald Trump get elected? That’s the question running through many minds since the election results. Now that Trump is the official president-elect and will take office this January, there are many worries and fears from hundreds of thousands of people about what will actually happen once Trump enters the White House and takes office.

There have been numerous protests from schools nationwide over the election results. Adults are watching teens walk out of school and thinking we adolescents are protesting for something we didn’t even vote for, that we have no say in anything involving the election. Even if we didn’t vote in this election, being underaged, it still affects our lives greatly. Adults don’t realize that teens truly care and have deep worries.

The majority of those hundred of thousands of people are shocked Hillary Clinton wasn’t elected. Even with Clinton winning the popular vote, the Electoral College comes in and decides who gets elected. It’s a pretty unfair system.

To be more specific with the election results, Clinton won the popular vote with about 2.5 million votes, according to NBC News. Yet, Trump won the Electoral College. It’s frustrating to know the candidate that was most wanted is the loser. If over a million people voted for Clinton and not Trump, it really means something.

In this system, whoever reaches 270 votes first gets elected. Here’s the catch, all the states choose their representatives in the Electoral College. Those representatives will choose the president weeks after the election.

There have been cases where one candidate wins the popular vote and the other wins the Electoral College. Let’s go back almost two decades ago to one of those cases in the 2000 Election between Al Gore and George W. Bush. Gore had half a million more votes than Bush, causing him to win the popular vote. Just like this current election, Bush was elected president because he won the Electoral College. Unfortunately until this day, many consider Bush one of the worst presidents in history. Within three years of his presidency, United States was already involved two wars. To sum that up, the Bush administration promised a quick war with Iraq but we’re still in that war today in 2016.

Another outcome from his presidency was in 2008. That year is known for its worst financial collapse since the Great Depression. Hundreds of jobs were being lost each month and the American auto industry almost ended up in extinction. Let’s just say 2008 is a year many do not want to remember. If it weren’t for the Electoral College, there’s a high chance Al Gore would have been president.

The 2000 Election is a great example on the fears and worries citizens have on this election today. The Electoral College can truly be an inefficient system as proven with the Bush presidency. A direct election can be a much more efficient system to end up with a more experienced and fit president. Just like any other voting system, with the exception of the presidential elections, all votes are counted up and whoever has the most votes wins. Why must the presidential election have a different voting system? The answer to that question goes back all the way to the year 1787.

The Framers of the U.S Constitution decided to create the Electoral College. These national leaders believed having a voting system that depended on a popular vote would give too much power to a presidential candidate who was familiar with the people of a populated area. Other national leaders rejected the idea of congress picking the electors. Soon after the 12th Amendment was made, this amendment stated the procedure for electing the president using the Electoral College.

To possibly get rid of an amendment, it’s a long process. First there’d have to be a proposal to repeal the amendment by two-thirds vote of the Houses of Congress, including the Senate and House of Representatives. After it would need to be ratified by three-fourths of the states.

Needless to say, the Electoral College plays a big part in shaping the United States’ future depending on who is elected president in this system. Since the Electoral College is in the amendments, it would be nearly impossible repeal it. It’s just a system we’ll have to deal with.