The Electoral College, found in Article II, Section 1, Clause 2 and 3 of the U.S. Constitution abrogates many citizen’s “right to vote” on account of geographical location.
The Constitution provides in various amendments that the “right of Citizens of the United States to vote” cannot be infringed “on account of race, color, [sex], [age], or previous condition of servitude.”
The congress amended the Constitution in direct response to the discrimination of those protected groups to ensure their “right to vote.” For, if there were no universal right to the vote, there would be no need for the universal protection from discrimination in the exercise of that right.
Therefore, if voting is a “right” after a citizen turns 18 years old, then counting a citizen’s vote as null because of the state in which they reside is the equivalent of no vote at all, and a direct infringement on the “right to vote.” For a single vote towards a person of their choice should count as one, not as none.
Under the current system, if the candidate a person votes for emerges victorious in the Electoral College but loses that person’s home state, their vote does not count towards that victory. It is the functional equivalent of that person not voting at all, or being turned away from the polls on account of their sex, race, or color. The outcome is the same. It is unconstitutional.
In turn, our presidential candidates deserve to reap the benefits of their labor by having the votes cast in their favor count, not because their constituent is a resident-citizen of a “battleground state,” but because they are a citizen of the United States.
Furthermore, the framers of the Constitution developed the Electoral College in a manner that did not, and could not have envisioned a modern society connected in the various ways that technology allows. Their desire to separate the electors to ensure that unqualified persons were prevented from muddling in the selection process for president is reasoning made stale by the world today. Ironically, even the modern “electoral map” of red states and blue states is precisely the type of “faction[s]” the framers aimed to prevent.
At the time of our founding, the framers perceived that the infant American democracy was vulnerable to forces that no longer threaten it today. The nation today has been left with an archaic security measure not fit for our adult system.
The popular vote is both in law and in custom the standard measure of fairness and inclusion that a democracy should embody. From the inconsequential winning of game shows, to the important selection of elected offices from school board to U.S. Senator, the majority by one or more is the deciding factor in whether a person is the victor or not.
By diverging from this standard via the Electoral College, citizens are grouped and plainly and obviously discriminated against on account of where they reside in the United States.
Every citizen’s vote should retain its equal value and weight on account of their citizenship. If we truly want to be a unified nation, we must break the real divide which binds both the most unfair aspect of our democracy to the most important exercise of our way of life.
I will end with this, in 2012 President Elect Donald J. Trump sent a message on Twitter at 11:45 p.m. on Nov. 6th, 2012 that said, “The electoral college is a disaster for democracy.”
On this Mr. President Elect, we agree.
E. Alex Silva currently works as a paralegal in the private sector. He is a first-year law student at Quinnipiac University School of Law. He was a Connecticut P.O.S.T. certified police officer for over five years, served one term as an elected member of the Rocky Hill Board of Education and four years in the United States Marine Corps, and over 10 years as a volunteer firefighter.