Around this time of year everyone gets a little more anxious. It’s not because of the holidays or the changing weather or even the extra hour of sleep, it’s because it’s election season.
But many people aren’t quite sure why we vote or even how it works. Not to worry, Yellow Scene is here to clear everything up for you.A
Democrat: this is anyone belonging to the Democratic party which stems from the word democracy. This is a form of government where citizens vote for their leaders or representatives.
Republican: this is anyone belonging to the Republican party which stems from the word republic. This is another form of government that places the power in the hands of citizens who, in turn, elect one or more representatives either directly or indirectly through voting.
Federalism: this, again, is a form of government with a large nationalized government which contains a smaller government for each individualized state within the country or nation. This is the foundation that America was first founded on in 1789 (ex. Federal Gov’t vs State Gov’t).
Today the United States government is considered a Democratic Federalist Constitutional Republic which combines elements of the above three types of government while also adhering to the laws put in place by a nationally recognized constitution. However, the Democratic and Republic aspects often take a back seat compared to Federalism. The biggest example of this is the Electoral College.
This is the perfect example of Federalism, especially here in America. The Electoral College was first established with the government in 1789. It made in the belief that cities would become overpopulated and could therefore dilute or even help concentrate votes towards a certain candidate, plus it helps get rid of people buying or influencing votes through money or scare tactics (mostly). The Electoral College is a group of people who are placed in each state by the representatives of the people (ex. Senators, house representatives, etc.). These people are placed in the Electoral College based on their voting preference (Democratic, Republican or other) but are not forced to vote a certain way. Each state has at least two Electoral College voters, represented by the two senators from each state, and gain an extra voter for each person in the states house of representatives. For example, last presidential election Colorado was given nine voters in the Electoral College. Two voters came from the two senators and the other seven came from the seven representatives of the state. The American constitution states that the members of the Electoral College cannot be members of congress, an official of high rank within one of the American governmental branches or military or someone who has openly started or engaged in rebellion against the US.
Unlike the general election or the primaries, the presidential election is the only American election that uses the Electoral College system. All other elections rely on the majority vote of the citizens, more commonly known as the popular vote. In terms of the presidential election, only the Electoral College votes are counted toward the electing of a president. The popular vote is not officially counted toward electing the American commander-in-chief. In the event of a tie, the House of Representatives decides the winner through a vote. There have been only four times in American history where the popular vote and the Electoral College vote opposed each other (1824, 1876, 1888, 2000) and has only gone to a deciding House of Representatives vote once (1800) which is the only election in American history to see an official tie. The election of 1800 is the main reason behind the passing of the 12th Amendment (separate voting for the Vice President).
Because the popular vote doesn’t officially count in electing US Presidents is the reason many people despise the Electoral College. Many people believe that the Electoral College voters can become corrupt or that they have too much power. This system was designed to coincide with our government and the laws set in place by our constitution. It was enacted to help combat corruption and manipulation of the government. With that being said it was established in 1789 and has allowed for little growth or variances within the system. Is it time to change how we elect our officials, or is the system just fine the way it is?