Eliminate the Middleman

Electoral College discourages high voter turnout


Noma Kreegar, Editor in Chief

Voter awareness is at an all-time high, sparked by the massive controversy surrounding the 2016 presidential election.

The Electoral College has been used in the United States since its founding. Its purpose, according to the National Archives and Records Administration, is to form a compromise between the “election of the President by a vote in Congress” and an “election of the President by a popular vote of qualified citizens.”

This buffer between the population and the election of the president creates a perpetual middleman — and for what reason?

The Electoral College fosters a sense of indifference among voters — especially in circumstances where the popular vote outweighs the Electoral College.

For example, the 1824 election for president between Andrew Jackson and John Quincy Adams — although Jackson had more votes cast in his favor, Adams won more Electoral College votes. The popular votes were counted for the first time in American history during this election.

A democracy relies on elected representatives, and when people feel as though their voices aren’t heard, it creates a sense of tension and unease.

If you’re a liberal living in Texas, what’s the point of voting if you know your state’s electors will vote Republican? Alternatively, if you’re a conservative living in California, why would you go through the trouble of voting knowing your state will elect Democratically?

I would agree with the statement that every vote counts, but when only a reported 63 percent of people in Johnson County voted in the midterm elections, something needs to change.

Although the midterms are not based on an out-of-date system that encourages a lack of interest among voters, the indifference caused by the Electoral College visibly reflects in voter turnout.

These problems could be fixed very simply: eliminate the Electoral College, and base presidential elections off the popular vote.