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Voters analyze popular vote as election day nears

Published: Tuesday, November 6, 2012

Updated: Tuesday, November 6, 2012 01:11

In the U.S., even though a democratic system is in place, the method for electing the president isn’t solely dependent on the popular vote.

With the implementation of the Electoral College system many people may wonder if their vote actually counts on Election Day, but sophomore communications major Hannah Weger said she believes it truly does.

“When you are looking at the 2004 and 2008 elections and how close they were, even a hundred votes could have made a huge difference in margin,” Weger said. “I feel like the Electoral College’s role is still really prevalent in the election, but I don’t know if it is enough to say that the popular vote doesn’t matter.”

The electors cast ballots in their individual states in December, actually determining who the president will be. Since the election in 1800, states have begun using a “winner-takes-all” system for electors. Currently 48 states use this winner-takes all system, raising the question of the relevance of the minority party votes.

“I am really annoyed that it has become a winner-takes-all system because it marginalizes certain states,” said political science professor, Ted Brown. “If we look at Texas, which goes Republican traditionally in the national elections, are Democrats represented at all when it comes to voting for president? Under a winner-takes-all system, as long as the majority says they want republicans then that’s the way it goes.”

Brown said the decision to vote shouldn’t solely be based on whether or not one thinks they can choose the president. Brown also said voting in local elections is equally as important as voting in the presidential elections.

“We always think of elections for president as being more important than local elections, but we hold local elections at the same time, and that’s where your vote actually does matter,” Brown said. “Local elections are where we really get the flavor of things that will actually affect your life. So that is the reason that people should go out and vote. “
Senior political science major, Abby Richardson, said she believes voting is an American duty. She views it as a right that should be used.

“It’s a privilege,” Richardson said. “Not voting is a slap in the face to the men and women who died fighting to gain that privilege for us.”

 

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