Replacing the Electoral College

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In a presidential election year, Michigan is one of the most impactful states in the union. This is because the United States functions on the electoral college system. 

Essentially the electoral college is a system where a state is assigned a number of votes per state based on population. Each state uses its own method of assigning votes to the electors in who then vote to decide the outcome of the election. Michigan uses the popular vote system to assign all of its votes.  So In the election year, the votes are tallied, and then whichever candidate gets the most votes gets every Michigan electorates vote

There are 538 electoral votes in total and 270 are necessary to win, Michigan holds 16 votes which is a little less than the 6% of the votes necessary to win, however, these votes are much more impactful than they may seem. Michigan is a swing state, which means it does not consistently for one party.

A vote for a Democratic presidential candidate in Michigan is much more likely to change the outcome than a vote for a Democratic candidate in Oklahoma, which has consistently voted Republican since 1968. 

It creates a system that requires presidential candidates to focus on a small subset of states in order to win, focussing in on the states that have a large number of votes and are likely to switch parties over years. 

In addition, the last third-party candidate to win more than one state in the electoral college was George Wallace in 1968.  The system was created for only two parties which can often leave people feeling as though they are stuck between a rock and a hard place. According to the Pew research center, 63% of Americans are unhappy with the options in the Biden Trump election. 

The electoral college was made very intentionally, in theory, it was made to balance the voice of the government with the voice of the people and establish consistency. It was never made to be perfect, it was made to be a compromise. 

However, as time has gone on this compromise has become out of date. It is no longer a balancing force and it creates a political system that is now a strategic game. Our electorate system should reflect the will of the people not which candidate most successfully gamed the system. 

While electing each branch of the national government through different means is important to create a separation of power, the pure popular vote is not the only option in ensuring the people’s will. 

Ranked-choice voting is a solution that fulfills all of the requirements. Ranked-choice voting a system of voting where voters rank their choices from best to worst. Votes are counted in rounds and candidates are eliminated by the lowest-ranked in each round. 

Ranked-choice voting is an option that not only eliminates the power differences between states but also eliminates the 2 party system by allowing everyone to cast a meaningful vote for the candidate they believe in while still supporting candidates they believe are more likely to win.