The electoral college is a fair system

Now, more than ever, is the time for Civics education

Opinion

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By Arlene Jones

Columnist

If Donald Trump's election and future presidency is to have one lingering aspect, it is that the majority of Americans need a civics class. I would urge that one of the first pieces of legislation needs to be a federal mandate that Civics be taught to every high school student — reason being that I was listening to the radio in the days following Trump's win and those unhappy with the results were declaring that since Hillary won the "popular vote," we need to do away with the electoral college. What I found interesting in the past was that in 2008, many of the same political pundits were pushing the electoral college as a way for Obama to win the presidency.

Why do we have an electoral college at all? The framers of the constitution were knowledgeable men. The popular vote is OK for everyone but the president and vice president. Another reason for the electoral college is because of the name of this country: the United States. In order for someone to win the presidency, they have to win more than just the most populous states. They have to win states all over this country using a system called the electoral college, which, in essence, balances out inequality in population. The electoral number for each state is based on the number of House of Representatives members (that number is determined every 10 years by the census count on the population of each state) along with the two U.S. senators. Those two numbers combined gives each state their electoral number. So in Illinois we have 20 electoral votes representing our 18 House members and two senators while Delaware has three electoral votes for its one House member and two senators.

Another reason for the electoral college is that it lessens the chances of someone stealing the election for president via fraud. Every state knows the number of voters registered in it along with the number of absentee ballots sent out. Once the polls close, the number of voters are tallied along with the votes cast for each office. Absentee ballots that are received are counted and imagine if three absentee ballots were outstanding. In a tie situation, those three votes could make the difference between a candidate winning or losing. We already know how in Chicago certain wards have mysteriously found votes in a close election. Would we really want that to happen for the presidency?

Another reason to have Civics as part of the curriculum is to truly begin to have educated voters. There is a push to have Washington D.C. made into a state. The Founding Fathers purposefully made the District of Columbia so as to not have a state with the capitol in it. If the district were to ever become a state, I can bet that it would be the whitest and wealthiest state in the union, wielding power like no other, which is why it should remain a district that is the center of power and not a state.

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Sherry Malone  

Posted: December 15th, 2016 3:40 PM

I do agree no, low or misinformation drove our recent presidential election. But you might want to review all of the founders reason for an electoral college. Some of the delegates at the Constitutional Convention were skeptical about the ability of each American to cast an informed vote. (Sounds about right!) They felt that illiteracy, geography and misinformation could harm a voters capacity to judge the pretensions of a candidate (can you say fake news and russian hacks?) The electoral delegates job was to learn about the candidates, debate their qualifications ... and vote for the people The way I see it, leaks, hacks, russians, voter suppression and FBI intervention, our current electoral system failed big time. While it may be fair in your mind, it enable 62,958,481 Americans (who are clearly being taken for a ride) and taking a majority voting population 65,818,412 along. That makes it outdated in serving its intended purpose. And, finally, I agree requiring civics lessons would definitely benefit all Americans. Let's be sure to require all our elected officials to take it and maybe a refresher or the Constitution while we're at it..

Guiovanny Rangel from Chicago  

Posted: November 16th, 2016 5:26 AM

Thank you for the knowledge. I still think there should be a better system. Im not happy that my vote didn't count. It's not fair to me or the rest of the population in the United States. There is so many things that the constitution does not make sense and us living in the 21 century still have to adopt? We need change...

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