The right to vote and participate in government is one of the most cherished rights in the United States. And no other vote is more important than the one to elect the single individual citizen to represent the entire country-- the Office of the President of the United States. Out of all the things Americans vote for this would appear to be the granddaddy of them all. The big one. El numero uno. So it would make sense then that out of all the votes one casts as an American the vote for President would be the most pure and democratic of all. It's not because...
1. You may not even be voting at all
The sanctity of the democratic vote has been a topic of controversy for as long as voting has been in existence. Ensuring accuracy and protecting against fraud or tampering are the most important considerations. Just ask people in Russia, or Venezuela, or Syria, or North Korea, or Egypt how much fun an election is when the outcome is already determined. Not much incentive to brave the elements or travel a great distance to vote only to be laughed at while your ballot is turned into a paper airplane or used as toilet paper by election officials. Or for every one of your vote the guy next to you is voting 15 or 20 times.
Fixed elections aside, what exactly is a vote in the United States? You might bubble in a circle, poke a chad, pull a lever, or touch a computer screen, but does that mean you've actually voted? Of course the answer to that is a resounding eh, maybe. When you're dealing with millions of ballots the probability of error starts to creep into the whole 100% accuracy goal. Adding insult to injury is that people have their own political agendas during recounts that are done by hand or when ballots are challenged.
And then there is the whole possibility of computer malfunction. So when a computer gives a candidate -16,022 votes it's a problem. Not a huge problem, unless the outcome of an election hinges on 16,000 votes! So when you press that computer screen who knows what's really happening to that vote in the digital age in which we now live. You have no physical record of your vote. Your finger hasn't been dipped in ink to show who you voted for. You walk away hoping technology is protecting your democratic will and hasn't decided to flip you the finger and give your vote the Blue Screen of Death when being tallied.
But let's assume your vote isn't actually lost into the digital ether. It's not time to feel confident about your vote just yet because...
2. You are not actually voting for the President
Their names are right there on the ballot, before all the other offices up for election in your district. If you choose not to vote down party lines at the beginning you can crush that ballot with as much democracy as your pen, or pencil, or lever, or computer button will let you. It's a power that Americans have protected for centuries-- since the Founding Fathers wrote that all men (women eventually, minorities a little later) are created equal with the inalienable rights of life, liberty, the pursuit of happiness, and the right to choose which douchebag will jokingly represent your interests in government and protect you from Nazis or something.
So right at the beginning you see the choice for President. And there are names with boxes next to them. It stands to reason that whichever one you choose is getting your vote. Bzzzz. Wrong. But thank you for playing Voting 101. Wait. What?
Yeah. That's right. You are not actually voting for who you want to be President. Now, this is not the case for any of the OTHER candidates you vote for on that ballot because they are elected through a popular election: most votes wins. Not the President though. That office is special and requires a special list of ridiculous but amazingly interesting rules associated with it. To wit:
3. The Electoral College is going to vote for you... maybe
Many people have heard of the Electoral College. Few people, other than those that are REALLY into Presidential elections understand how it works, most of whom are the ones actually running for President. On election night they keep talking about how the winner needs 270 electoral votes in order to be declared the winner. Seems like a low number of votes in order to be elected president. Suzie Q probably got that many running for First Grade hall monitor. So why 270? Let's do some quick math:
Congress is composed of 435 members in the House of Representatives and 100 members in the Senate. Each of these elected officials represents 1 vote in the Electoral College, plus Washington D.C. gets 3 (1 for the House and 2 for the Senate). That's a total of 538 electoral votes available. One-half of 538 is 269. One more than half is 270, or the number of votes necessary to become President. Yay!
But how does this relate to my vote you say? Simple, each state has X number of electoral votes associated with it (total House seats + 2 Senate seats) and each state is considered winner-takes-all. So whichever candidate gets the most votes in a state receives ALL the electoral votes that go with it. Or not. Wait. What?
That's right! Members of the Electoral College are appointed by the governors of the respective states. But there are no federal laws requiring them to vote in accordance with the popular vote. And in the states that have local laws the punishment is simply a fine but the vote cannot be changed.
Ok fine you say! Whatever. Even if someone else is voting for me no one would ever actually vote against the will of the people would they? Of course they would! And it's happened 156 times since the founding of the Electoral College! Such delegates are referred to as "faithless electors."
So in summary. Not only are you not voting for the President, you're voting for someone to cast your vote for President and that person can just say "go ef yourself" and vote for whoever the hell they want.
That's not near a slap in the face as...
4. Where you live probably makes your vote useless
Jesus! There is more that could be invalidating my vote? Sure is. It's just like real estate: location, location, location! You see, because of the winner-takes-all system for the Electoral College your vote only goes toward the electoral votes your state has. And since electoral votes are primarily based on population, if you happen to live somewhere that has more cows than people, your state's piddly 3 electoral votes don't mean squat (sorry North Dakota, South Dakota, Wyoming, and Montana), as opposed to say California that is worth 55 electoral votes. And if you do live there don't expect the campaign trail to go through your state unless your definition of "go through" means "fly over" on the way to somewhere important. On the bright side, candidates don't spend money on political ads or robocalls in your state either. So you got that going for you.
And then we come to the other reason your location probably invalidates your vote-- many of the states almost always vote for a certain party. You a Republican? Don't live in New York or California. You a Democrat? Don't live in Texas. All those electoral votes almost always go to the same party every year. So before they even know who the candidates are there is already an idea of how many electoral votes a candidate will have simply based on state voting trends. This is why they talk about "battleground states," or states that have a decent number of electoral votes to be worthwhile AND do not always vote for the same party. So unless you live in Florida, Ohio, Pennsylvania, Michigan, Virginia, North Carolina, or Wisconsin, don't waste your time. Or consider dual residency.
Which brings us to the ultimate slap in the face...
5. The President can actually be the one that LOST the election
You read that right baby. Because of the Electoral College system it is possible for a candidate to get the least number of total votes but still be elected President. Here's how:
A candidate wins the states of California, Texas, New York, Florida, Pennsylvania, Illinois, Ohio, Michigan, Georgia, North Carolina, and New Jersey with 51% of the vote for a total of exactly 270 electoral votes. In addition they lose every other state without getting a single vote. If that had happened in the 2008 election the results would have looked like this:
Candidate Electoral Votes Popular Votes
Obama 270* 34,195,037
McCain 268 91,030,864
* (For ease of explanation the current electoral vote distribution following the 2010 census is being used)
The will of the people would have been heard, but not in a good way! Could you imagine the riots if a candidate only received 27% of the vote and was still elected President? Thankfully nothing like that could ever happen. Or not. Wait what?!?! That's right my lovelies. Not only has it happened, it's happened 3 times! In 1876 Hayes beat Tilden after losing the popular vote but winning in the Electoral College. In 1888 the same thing happened when Harrison defeated Cleveland. And who can forget 2000 when Bush lost the popular vote to Al Gore but won the election in the Electoral College? Talk about a tough way to lose. But it's not even the worst result possible because...
6. There could be a tie
Yep. That's right. The good ol' Electoral College screwing us again. There are combinations of electoral votes that could result in a tie, 269-269, and it's a distinct possibility in 2012! So what happens in a tie aside from complete and utter political Armageddon? Well the 12th Amendment provides that the House of Representatives (expected to be Republican-majority) elects the President and the Senate (most likely to remain Democrat-majority) elects the Vice-President. Who else can't wait for a Romney-Biden Presidency?
And what about those "faithless electors" that's already been discussed? Each and every electoral voter would single-handedly have the power to determine the President if they switched their vote. And what if they did? Sort of makes your vote look useless in comparison eh?
So make sure you listen to the debates, study the candidates, read up on the issues, and make an educated decision in November because that vote for President is about as powerful as those being stuffed into boxes by election officials in Russia and Venezuela.
Suzanne Gerard on March 16, 2018:
Perhaps the answer is that the electors be required to vote the will of their districts and every state cast the votes accordingly!
THE GREAT STATE OF ILLINOIS CASTS (hypothetical numbers) 12 VOTES FOR MR. REP AND 8 VOTES FOR MS. DEM!
I am not sure we should abolish the Electoral College but I am sure it should be reformed!
Natalie MacIntyre on October 06, 2017:
The government was responsible/had part in the shootings in Las Vegas.
Any real person in America wouldn't be surprised by this.
Natalie MacIntyre on October 05, 2017:
(Everything in this comment comes from an American's perspective - I live in the USA, so this is all stuff applies to the USA).
Guys, part of the voting stuff is that the next 4 presidents and more are already picked. The government just wants us to thing that we are a democracy. We are not, and we never were. No one's votes in any part of the world counts. The government is hiding so much from us, such as:
- We never went to the moon
- The ISS is fake
- The government searches everyone's texts in any part of the world.
- The USA is currently in 9 wars.
- It's illegal for the government to charge taxes
- The government is keeping secret files of evidence that aliens came to Earth.
- Fossils and dinosaurs are fake.
- John F. Kennedy was never killed by Oswald. The government actually killed him because he was a decent president. All of the witnesses that saw the government kill JFK were killed by the government, but the government told everyone that they died in a car crash. Surprising? Not really.
- Area 51 was never visited by aliens. The government used spy planes in the area that appeared to be UFO's and put weird patterns everywhere that seemed to have been from extraterrestrials. The government payed people to lie about the area.
- No one has ever taken a picture of our planet. Every picture is a marble.
- There are no planets in our solar system. They are just stars.
- All of the pictures taken from Hubble and other space probes are fake.
- The sun is way closer to us than 90,000,000 miles. A estimated 6,000,000 miles away is the actual distance.
- The government is trying to wipe out the human race. They were the people that poisoned the water with lead in Michigan.
- We are not revolving around the sun. The sun, the stars, and the moon are revolving around us.
- Much, much more.
Here's a song to open up your eyes: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7OM5YMNr9Ck&fe...
Come on America. Wake up. Don't be a sheeple.
Jiex on May 04, 2017:
SiletzChick on November 11, 2016:
Obama DID win the popular vote as well as the Electoral College, your information is WRONG and meant to perpetuate a lie by the republican party and I for one am sick and tired of all the blatant LIES and ugliness of this past presidential campaign and the past eight years of republican hate! TELL THE DAM TRUTH, if your reasoning doesn't work without lying then obviously there is something seriously wrong with your reasoning!
TLK on November 08, 2016:
Who Lucifer wants in office will be in office. We who are Gods don't have to go quietly. We can stand against the coming darkness but in the end prophecy must be fulfilled. Thus votes are good to make a stand and to ensure you have a right to complain. BUT the winner is already destined to lead to a downfall of society. So who darkness wishes in to further this decline will win.
George on November 08, 2016:
brettmw : Thanks for the article. have you seen the Ted talk by David Bismark? If so, what do you think about it. Possible solution to many issues with our current voting process.
Willow on November 08, 2016:
You are absolutely hilarious!!!! I stumbled upon this article by accident and decided to read it, I'm so glad I did. Not only did I learn something, but I also got a few laughs out of it too. Thank you:) I hope to read more things from you in the future.
westmitten on November 08, 2016:
Really enjoyed this article (and at the same time, it further depresses me).
Question: are the state electors already determined and in place for this election, or are they determined by the popular vote results? I was reading about how electors are chosen at https://www.archives.gov/federal-register/electora... and I was a bit confused by this: "The second part of the process happens on Election Day. When the voters in each state cast votes for the Presidential candidate of their choice they are voting to select their state's Electors. The potential Electors' names may or may not appear on the ballot below the name of the Presidential candidates, depending on election procedures and ballot formats in each state.
The winning Presidential candidate's slate of potential Electors are appointed as the state's Electors—except in Nebraska and Maine, which have proportional distribution of the Electors. In Nebraska and Maine, the state winner receives two Electors and the winner of each congressional district (who may be the same as the overall winner or a different candidate) receives one Elector. This system permits the Electors from Nebraska and Maine to be awarded to more than one candidate."
gypsysojourner on November 07, 2016:
brettmw thanks for this really informative, super funny and timeless [hopefully not forever] piece. Hell yeah, it still applies.
nicomp really from Ohio, USA on October 31, 2016:
justchel , don't make it simple because it gets in the way of the conspiracies. What fun is that?
justchel on October 31, 2016:
The Electoral College is not some obscure all powerful secret order that will vote in whatever way they see fit or because they have been "paid off".
Every single candidate/party running for Presidency pre-selects their very own Electors in each and every state plus DC according to how many Electors are allowed for that state. The candidates/parties choose their Electors because of long standing loyalties and support for their platform, who are citizens and also cannot be government officials. When a candidate wins a state's majority "popular vote", that candidate's Electors from that state can now vote in the EC.
For example, in Delaware 3 Electors are allowed into the EC. So the Republicans have pre-selected 3 loyal Electors, the Democrats have pre-selected 3 Electors, the Green Party has pre-selected 3 Electors, and so on. If the Republicans win that state's majority vote whether it's by a 34% vote or 95%, ONLY the 3 Republican party Electors move on to the EC to represent that entire state's votes. And that happens in every state, it's not super complicated.
It's pretty certain that an Elector selected by that party is going to vote for their candidate as there are mutually beneficial reasons for them to do so. They are not required to, but it's incredibly rare that they wouldn't, and that's not really a compelling issue.
Knowing how it works demystifies the process and allows you to more accurately debate the EC's place in modern politics.
Whatever on October 19, 2016:
Why the hell do we need one president anyway? Shit's gonna be f***ed up whether there's a president or not. I say terminate the position and get a blow-up doll with an anonymous voice over actor to address the people and represent the country to other nations. At least that would be amusing.
brettmw (author) from Dallas, TX on October 19, 2016:
Wow. I should update this article. It applied 4+ year ago when I wrote it but it applies even more now because even if our vote DOES matter we're screwed either way. Thanks for the compliments though everyone!
nicomp really from Ohio, USA on October 11, 2016:
@Sauce, you does seem over-sensitive on this here topic. Hopefully yew er not ensulted by mah coments.
Sauce on October 11, 2016:
I found this article to be hilarious and refreshing.
I recently watched a show (think it's called Andy Ruins Everything?) explaining the very points made in this article, although it was done in a slightly less satirical fashion. I had forgotten some of the points and wanted to refresh myself on how the system works; of course, since it's very close to election day, even trying to 'Google,' "does my vote count" results in propaganda to steer us towards (in my opinion) wasting our time on election day.
Thank you, Brett, for writing this, even if it was four years ago. Thank you to everyone who commented, whether you agree or disagree, for keeping this article alive so it turned up in my results. I have renewed confidence that I have many, many other better things to do on November 8th. If I happen to be so unfortunate as to not have better things to do, I will make something up.
I will be bookmarking this page for the occasional laugh, especially at the comments. :)
P.S. to anyone who reads and chooses to comment after me: Please remember to check your grammar/spelling/punctuation before you sling insults. If it's off, your insults just ring hollow and are no longer entertaining.
nicomp really from Ohio, USA on October 10, 2016:
@artOfLifeCoaching, your time could be better spent.
artoflifecoaching on October 10, 2016:
Brett, this is the best post on this I have found and explains it so well. I think you wrote it years ago, but I've been sharing it now as "election day" draws closer. You know what would be really great? If you made it into one of those videos where there's a pencil drawing it all out as the voice-over explains it. I'd be happy to do the voice-over if you'd want to do that (no charge). It'd be great to get it to go viral before next month.
Tim Knutson on October 09, 2016:
If you want to change the Presidential election options, go to your local city and regional meetings, pay attention to who is running for local office, suggest someone for local office, and good candidates from the bottom up. If you want the top to change, you have to change the bottom, because that is where the top comes from! Presidential candidates come from LOCAL communities where somebody voted them in, and probably never even met them in person. PAY ATTENTION TO LOCAL POLITICS, and we can START to change national politics.
Becky on September 07, 2016:
I am honestly not convinced that anyone's vote counts. We do not live in a true democracy.
ptosis from Arizona on August 02, 2016:
Excellent article! The Electoral College is an artifact of slavery when a black man was worth 3/5 white man for counting people for Representatives. . I guess woman were considered worthless. Black man got the vote decades before females did in the 1920's.
¯\_(ツ)_/¯ on July 23, 2016:
I'll never vote for trump as a joke but anyone who does seriously is living a joke.
I'm voting Bernie because my vote doesn't matter anyhow but I'm allowed two paid hours off of work and I'm going to vote with my convictions.
People are scared about splitting the party but i don't give a shit. They've already decided what's going to happen. Why do i care?
Putlockerstv on July 17, 2016:
Very good article. Your current site style is great as well!
greetings from us http://www.putlockerstv.com/
nicomp really from Ohio, USA on July 04, 2016:
This year both Republican and Democrat presidential votes will be wasted.
Maria Thomson on July 04, 2016:
Kind of funny how people get so annoyed at you for providing them with arguments that prove some of their ideas are wrong.
When i was young I used to believe that voting has an effect (even though small) but several articles similar to this made me realize that it's not worth it at all.
firstname.lastname@example.org on July 03, 2016:
There really is no reason for the people to vote in the system we have. It was set up for the white men with money to control the government. We are better off than some. But non the less we the people are losing more and more rights. I also believe we should have a popular vote. Money rules and has and is corrupting our system. That is why the gap between the wealthy and poor is growin wider. Our county governments to the whitehouse are corrupt. That's why so many have trashed Obama. He's not white. I'm half white and part Native American. Why is the white man think they rule? They're the only class of people on earth who have traumatized others yet never have been themselves. They are truly self serving. Our whole system is corrupt and controlled so the white man can continue to be in control. I thought we are all equal. Oh I forgot, hypocrites created that.
krs7 on June 20, 2016:
When they allow serial rapist to rape you in the Army, allow him to stalk you throughout your life sabotaging causing great harm and still keep trying to attack, when they murder veterans not hold them accountable and when they allow violent retaliations, when they mocked 911 and when they pre-plan a rape and orchestrate such harm and then deny proper care, when they protect the criminal and deny you legal help to hold the thug accountable for decades and decades giving money only to personal agenda while betraying an American that has served our Country our votes don’t count they make it appear to be that way!!!
brettmw (author) from Dallas, TX on June 16, 2016:
Thanks so much Linda! Glad you liked it.
Linda Robinson from Cicero, New York on June 15, 2016:
Hello Bret and so nice meeting you, Happy to be following you. What an absolutely engrossing compelling hub, just awesome, I really enjoyed reading it. Wow you covered so much detailed interesting content. I have often wondered about many of the concerns you covered so thoroughly. I look forward to reading many more of your hubs, tremendous writing. Linda
Jazz on March 17, 2016:
Im so glad to read some of these comments and realize I'm not the only one with some SENSE about our shit show *cough cough* I mean country
nicomp really from Ohio, USA on March 16, 2016:
@roob, it would be sad if a candidate under FBI investigation was elected President.
Ruby from United States on March 16, 2016:
@Suanna Gerard: I wouldn't say Kasich is just one of them or something
Suanne Gerard on March 16, 2016:
Either the electoral votes need to be split , at least on the first vote and not voted as winner takes all or they need to be eliminated!
It sounds as if the party has already decided on a Ryan/Kaisich ticket to be shoived down our throats by the good-old-boy net work. Should it be allowed?
Ruby from United States on March 16, 2016:
@nicomp you said points based on FBI investigations, that makes it sound like the one with the most points would win... that is why I said Hillary would win with a sad face. I want a republican.
nicomp really from Ohio, USA on March 16, 2016:
@roob, how many Republican candidates are under FBI investigation? Answer: none.
Ruby from United States on March 16, 2016:
@nicomp no way! Then Hillary would win :(
nicomp really from Ohio, USA on March 16, 2016:
@roob what if they got points based on FBI investigations?
Ruby from United States on March 15, 2016:
Wow very interesting!! Also that is cool about your views over the last day lol! I wish they would have a popular vote based on percentage like each state is worth 10 points and if someone gets 20 percent they get 2 points. Then if there is a tie breaker we play rock paper scissors lol!(:
fsd on March 10, 2016:
so a candidate can easily payoff electoral voters because there's only about 500 of them. So billionaires like trump can easily pay each electoral voters at least millions of dollars to defraud the system easily.
brettmw (author) from Dallas, TX on March 02, 2016:
That you for your comments Jason. Apparently people aren't happy as this silly article I wrote 4 years ago has been read over 5,000 times in the last day. :)
Jason on March 02, 2016:
- obvious (from 11 months ago)
We are a Democratic Republic. Not just a republic.
A democracy means we vote, self rule
A republic means our representatives decide
A democratic Republic means we get to choose who represents us, who makes decisions.
So "go back to sixth grade buddy" ( as you so eloquently put it yourself )
Jason on March 02, 2016:
Loved the article. Loved the humor. If people were honest they would admit the same.
Those who say that the electoral college is better than a simple majority vote obviously either don't understand just how horrible it is, or they like the current system (probably live in a Battleground state and like being "worth more" than the rest of us!)
Those who are so worried about states like North Dakota, South Dakota, Wyoming and Montana would be under represented should do a little research. If you add together the populations of all four of those states it equals only 3,200,810, translating to 12 electoral college votes. If you compare that to just one highly populated state like Illinois's 12,880,000 it seems to prove their stance.
But what they don't take into consideration is that nearly out of Illinois' 12,880,000 total population there were only 5,280,000 total ballots in 2012. Of those ballots 3,041,280 were Democrat, and 2,238,780 were Republican. And since it's all or nothing, 2,238,780 people were not represented AT ALL, which is nearly the entire population of all four states. Not exactly, but you see my point that MILLIONS of votes are being tossed in the garbage. All those voting Republican had ZERO representation.
Illinois has voted Democrat 23 times and Republican 24 times units history. Just think of the huge sway that creates. Just think how many entire regions of our country it negates when it flip flops one way or another.
If a simple majority of votes was tallied for instance, if there was a dangerous lunatic like Donald trump running for president that the entire nation worth of reasonable voters could insure that states don't always vote the same way, and that it doesn't come down to only a handful of states to decide. That millions here and there will add up.
Ask yourself "why" do we use this system. The simple answer wasn't because we wanted low population states to have a voice... It's because before the era of computers and telecommunications there had to be an easy way to count the votes. Think back to the era of the pony express, before the industrial revolution. How would states send millions of votes over hard terrain??
Now if we counted each and every vote it would mean that every time someone voted it actually meant something. And that millions of people don't lose their say in the matter. And we have a safe, easy, technological means to accomplish it!!!
(I picked Illinois because that is where I live, I would suspect more populated states like New York, California and Florida would prove my point even better)
brettmw (author) from Dallas, TX on February 27, 2016:
Hey Tony, learn grammar before you start calling people "idiots" rotfl. It's you're, not your. But thanks for stopping by!
Logic& Reason on February 11, 2016:
And why do we need Electoral College "representatives" to vote for the states anyway?
If a majority of voters in a given state say put Johnny-awesome in power, then do it.
We dont need an intermediary that earns 5-10 times more salary than the working class voter, just to repeat what we already chose.
Shenanigans, all of it.
Popular vote, or bust.
bartender on November 03, 2015:
Hey author you clearly are a malignant narcissist being your a freaking idiot.
-Tony from NJ
Caleb on October 21, 2015:
I demand a new system of voting altogether. The United States government's system of election will change. Every United State's citizen should be enabled to vote for what they wish to take the time to vote on at the state and federal level. Every representative should be required to vote the way their state's majority popular vote holds. Representatives would then become what they should be, formulators and translators of current legislation. Every piece of legislation up in the house of representatives and senate would then be free for the public to vote on.
-Caleb Shell Smith
A person is a person no matter where they are. Take care with you, drop bitterness in homemade rolls.
Blob on September 30, 2015:
Is the canadian system any better?
nicomp really from Ohio, USA on June 15, 2015:
Matthew in CA on June 15, 2015:
Even with our 55 electoral votes, California doesn't really matter in a presidential election because elections are called before our polls have even closed. We're the most populous state and we have the biggest economy, yet presidential candidates couldn't care less about California.
brettmw (author) from Dallas, TX on April 08, 2015:
nicomp really from Ohio, USA on March 28, 2015:
Obvious , it's fun to be anonymous, isn't it?
Obvious on March 28, 2015:
Was this actually written by a five year old? The writing is complete garbage and provided no "factual" information, just a bunch of word play:
"Fixed elections aside, what exactly is a vote in the United States? You might bubble in a circle, poke a chad, pull a lever, or touch a computer screen, but does that mean you've actually voted? Of course the answer to that is a resounding eh, maybe."
I'm sorry if realizing that we are a Republic, read not a Democracy, was shocking news for you but welcome to sixth grade buddy.
shauna on March 19, 2015:
Take away their money and take away there time in office and then the only reason they would want to be there is for the right reason. Funny how people agree and understand your article ( As they should because it is the truth/facts) but they call people that openly believe this way conspirisy theorists. lol Id rather be a conspiracy theorist than an idiot that thinks their vote matters. THE INFO IS AVAILABLE TO YOU, WAKE UP , OPEN YOUR EYES
Phillip on August 18, 2014:
Politicians champion whatever Constitutional articles that keeps them in power like those that protect the EC - it works for them. However, they become the hypocrites they are when they work to ban other articles like the 2nd. Americans need to enjoy the popular vote again along with term limits. Our nations beginnings were dependent on the EC due to the lack of technology. Candidates weren't flying around in jets, and traveling in motorhomes, no satellite TV and 24/7 breaking news channels. The printing press, horse and rider were the only source of media (word of mouth) that was able to disseminate the news.
Washington had no other choice but to rely on the EC. How's does that policy transfer today? Ridiculous. But, it's still a fact - just argue with a liberal and they'll tell you that the laws are in stone except regarding the 2nd amendment. Liberals deem this argument okay to re-decipher because of what gun control then meant versus today. You know - muskets vs. fully automatic. Liberals have a mental disease when it comes to understanding what keeps freedom free. That's why they want the EC to remain because it furthers their utopian and socialist ideology.
"Can't we just all get along????" This nation is soooo screwed. Have a nice day.
Phillip on August 18, 2014:
Brett, you obviously realize that lib-tards are incredibly loyal to their elitist virtues, right? I mean, whatever is written in stone must be complied and submitted too - except the Bible and it's precepts. If you are a right-winger, or independent, or libertarian then you're positions on common sense issues are mute. My wife, bless her heart, is like this. If I ever talk and yammer about how things should be instead of how they are rammed down our throats, she makes sure that I am wrong by pointing out the facts. It doesn't matter if they are dated, unreasonable, fallible, or just plain stupid. Of course, some facts are just fine and best left alone - but that takes wisdom and discernment to insure they are the right ones.
Facts are fine, but broken things need fixing when they aren't working any longer. Our Fore Fathers were awesome and highly educated geniuses when they authored our Constitution. Nobody today could ever pen a document like this. I'm not necessarily promoting continuous amendments to any of our articles, but there has to be a way to stop the manipulation.
The EC worked back then - no hi-tech. However, the our officiates today manipulate the system. That's what we're witnessing with the current status of the EC - ie,. 1 million illegals every year who predominantly vote Democrat (stacking the deck). In 25 years, our nation won't be recognized because the democratic vote will be immense -furthering the liberal agenda. Their won't be a plutocracy of Republicans any longer. The Demon-crats will always be in office - and as everybody knows, Demon-crats are always perfect.
Here's a website that has a solution that may be what we need. Check it out.
brettmw (author) from Dallas, TX on April 03, 2014:
The current idiot 18-20 somethings that missed the boat getting to elect the first Black President will be shoving each other out of the way to be able to say they elected the first female President in 2016. And you're right. It doesn't matter. They're all terrible. All of them.
End Wage Slavery on April 03, 2014:
This article makes some very valid points but misses the biggest reason to not vote. That is because even if everything else goes correctly (the one who gets more real votes in the popular vote also gets more electoral votes, the electors vote for who their constituents wanted them to vote for etc.) it is still 100% meaningless. The reason is because anyone we are allowed to choose between whether it is a primary or the general election (especially in the general election) is guaranteed to be someone who is already so deep in the waistcoat pocket of this country's billionaires and big corporations that the "choice" we make on election day amounts to this: Hand puppet of the billionaire oligarchs with an "R" next to their name versus hand puppet of the billionaire oligarchs with a "D" next to their name. If you don't believe me just take an honest look at how Mr. Hope & Change President Obama turned out. From day one he has been nothing but Bush-Cheney Part 2. Millions of stupid 18-year-olds and young 20-somethings registered to vote so they could help elect the First Black President of the U.S. who they thought would actually help change this country for the better. Six + years into his presidency and what do we have to show for it? What better way to disillusion millions of young people than to have them think they're electing a genuine progressive only to find out he's Bush 2.0.
The root of the problem is the private financing of election campaigns. Any candidate's campaign is so awash in the plutocrats' money that it is a foregone conclusion to all but the most naïve that all they're participating in is a sordid quid-pro-quo process by which the billionaires fund the campaign of this or that candidate and when elected he makes sure to repay them with favors, tax breaks, sweetheart deals for well-connected corporations etc. Without public financing of campaigns (i.e. each candidate gets the same amount of tax dollars which have to be audited and accounted for) the whole idea of democracy in America is dead on arrival.
Drquantum on April 30, 2013:
sorry Brett I disagree with you on this topic too. When 120 million votes are counted you will mathematically always get a 50/50 split +/-10%. The electoral college will provide mathematically a 2.5 times multiplier because of it's all or nothing function. This is a function of randomness with bias just as financial markets work. I blogged in detail about this back during the election and actually do all the math "...Under a truly democratic structure there is one man, one vote. Under a Republic structure there is a requirement for coherent rule base and distributed authority. A democracy will always result in a distribution of votes that is not representative of the general idea of the people but rather distribution with regards to the options. Two options 50/50 split, three options 33/33/33 so forth when considering large populations. The 1984 election of Ronald Reagan is the best example..." http://drquantum.blogspot.com/2012/06/how-lincoln-...
den on February 28, 2013:
RavenBiker from Pittsburgh, PA. on January 22, 2013:
Sorry, I can't go along wit your hub---mainly because it wasn't well researched.
Case in point on just one item your hub mentions: the Electoral college. Not one iota of why the EC was established. Check out http://uselectionatlas.org/INFORMATION/INFORMATION...
Has any EC ties that ever occurred? Let me again help you: http://712educators.about.com/cs/polisciresource/f...
The hub state only these facts:
--You are not actually voting for the President.
--The Electoral College is going to vote for you... maybe. (while this maybe true but is ever so highly unlikely. imagine the chaos if our representatives didn't follow this constitution tennant)
---There could be a tie. (if you lived in the 19th century perhaps. read why the Conress ended with 535 members:
and the 23rd Constitutional Amendment.
brettmw (author) from Dallas, TX on December 15, 2012:
I agree it is all broken and wish something could be done about it. Thank you for the kind comment. Glad you liked the article.
christinet44 on December 15, 2012:
even if our votes mattered we have to remember that the politicians are only going to pass laws that make their campaign contributors happy so they will be able to get more campaign dollars in the next election... the only true way to fix the system is to get the money out of the equation and limit the terms of the people in office. If they have term limits and no hope of getting millions of dollars in campaign contributions then instead of focusing their time on schmoozing to get money and get re-elected they would spend their time keeping their campaign promises to the people that voted for them.
I love this article by the way and no it's not funny - it's the truth and it's exactly how America works.
Hahahahahaha on November 15, 2012:
Anyone who goes out to vote on Election Day thinking they are making a difference are idiots. Smart people are the ones who DON'T VOTE. I stopped being a voter when those voting machines replaced paper ballots. I ripped up my voter registration card and PROUDLY threw it in the trash. And that's what the government is now... trash!
sdfgeyhwt5 on November 10, 2012:
Elections are rigged. Have been for decades. Every politician is nothing but a power hungry crook wanting office so they can steal your money! It doesn't matter who wins. We the people lose.
LOL on November 07, 2012:
Funny, Florida's votes don't matter.
pie on November 07, 2012:
didn't George Washington warn against a party system? it makes it so that people vote simply for the party and not for the person. (it could have been a different president though, I don't remember.)
hh15 on November 07, 2012:
I think the idea behind the electoral college is that you have smart people who know what's going on voting, because there are some very stupid people in America who are easily swayed by political adds and all that shit, which we should all know that aren't usually true, or twist the facts around.
Scott on November 07, 2012:
Chinese for breakfast, yum!
Werdykt on November 06, 2012:
The vote for president does not count. The only ting I can say is "What will they do when they are done selling this country to China?" People died, and die for this country. Makes me sad that paper (money) is worth more than human life. They are no different than dictators. Citizens need to take this country back. Stop being so hopeless, naïve, and stupid. Stop listening to their propaganda. If unemployment went down then where are the jobs, and if there are any new jobs they are low minimum wage replacing the good paying jobs. When they sell you stuff from China they take money out of this country and they don't give anything back. All they do is take. U.S. will become third world country thanks to corporations and corrupt government. China will have us for breakfast.
AAVERY4U on November 06, 2012:
My vote doesn't count. It never has. We just all should stop voting and just leave it to the electoral college where it's vote is the only one that matters.
xxx on November 06, 2012:
WELL SAID frantisek78 . American system is F*CKED up and it will never change
jimmyjames on November 06, 2012:
The best article I have read thus far with regard to american politics
frantisek78 on November 06, 2012:
A popular vote would be a lot better. 99% of Americans have no idea how the Electoral College works. They get propaganda of "Your vote could make the difference" shoved down their throats, and sadly many actually believe this. Having more than two viable choices would be nice too. The current two party system is like having a popularity contest between the two most "popular", arrogant jocks on the HS football team... gung-ho voters who blindly follow either party are like bimbo cheerleaders who really have no clue that they are being used in order to further a broken system.
brettmw (author) from Dallas, TX on November 06, 2012:
At least under that system I'd get a gift. :)
tommyjesus on November 05, 2012:
thomas, please tell me you are joking...
Thomas on November 05, 2012:
The system might be the way it is but with a popular vote candidates could bribe their way in to office. The electoral college was created because honestly the American people cannot be trusted with their vote. If it was a popular vote, candidates would not be campaigning with ads but sending out gifts and throwing parties. It would be on who gave the best gifts and the best parties. Face it; any voting system sucks. -Thomas, a High School Senior.
brettmw (author) from Dallas, TX on November 05, 2012:
How is focusing only on 8 states any different than focusing only on large population areas? A candidate spending 5 days touring Ohio doesn't disenfranchise the millions in Texas and California that get no visits because they always vote red or blue? At least elections wouldn't be determined by the same 5% of the voters in Ohio every 4 years.
matt on November 05, 2012:
Having only a popular vote would be a disaster. Candidates willn then only care about the most populous regions only. No one would worry about Ohio right now or Wisconsin and you can't do that to these states. It's called the UNITED States of America not who gets the most votes by only caring about New York California and Texas.
nicomp really from Ohio, USA on November 05, 2012:
Nah, it's satire. These guest users are generally clueless.
ashley on November 05, 2012:
This article is truth. Wake up people.
cam car on November 05, 2012:
The article wasn't funny, it was depressing.
brettmw (author) from Dallas, TX on November 05, 2012:
It's supposed to be a satirical look at the Presidential voting process in the United States. I'm sorry if you didn't find it funny.
h on November 03, 2012:
And what is the point of this web site? It isn't funny?
h on November 03, 2012:
So I voted by absentee ballot. My vote doesn't count? Really? What if no one bothered to vote?
Derek on October 15, 2012:
nicomp that reasoning works when we talk about diving up resources, money allocation, etc. But that argument actually doesn't work when you are talking about the presidential election. Everyone's vote would be 100% the same. Campaigning would not change, many states already get ignored.
nicomp really from Ohio, USA on August 27, 2012:
It it was popular vote, the lesser populated regions would be even more underrepresented. No candidate in their right mind would campaign outside the east and west coasts.
brettmw (author) from Dallas, TX on August 27, 2012:
Jennifer - The Electoral College should be removed and the system should be popular vote. That way there is no confusion, you cannot have a tie, and your vote in a blue/red state still has meaning. This would mimic other elections where most votes wins.
Jennifer Stewart from TN on August 26, 2012:
Do you know of a country that has a better system? And do you know how it works? I'm still confused, but I don't always learn easy. Thank you for this
nicomp really from Ohio, USA on August 16, 2012:
The president cannot be the one who lost the election, except in your mind.
Davesworld from Cottage Grove, MN 55016 on March 09, 2012:
What do ya know, I learned something new today. Now I can take the rest of the day off ...
Thanks for the info.
brettmw (author) from Dallas, TX on March 08, 2012:
I'm not worried about it. It's more a satire humor piece. But it has happened 156 times and those people are called "faithless electors." You can see a history of each one here: http://archive.fairvote.org/e_college/faithless.ht...
Davesworld from Cottage Grove, MN 55016 on March 08, 2012:
It would be a brave elector to cast a vote for someone other than the party endorsed candidate. Being a member of the Electoral College is generally speaking a reward for years (decades) of faithful party service. These people are died-in-the-wool party members who can be relied on to vote the party line.
To the best of my knowledge, this happened only once and unfortunately I don't recall if it was John Adams or Jefferson, but one man felt that only George Washington should be elected unanimously and so voted for somebody else.
This is something I wouldn't worry about.