*Original Post Date: November 8th 2016*
Every election year the following debate strikes, “Does Your Vote Really Matter”. With the increasing population in the US growing, the way voting works leaves many less political savvy people confused. To understand if your vote really matters, we must break everything down.
How Does The “Electoral College” Work?
The American citizens elect a new president every four years per-say, but it is not directly.
In the November of an election year, each U.S. state plus Washington D.C. holds an election for the president. All eligible citizens may vote unless you have committed a felony or are restricted because of something prior.
At a poll center, voters receive a ballot. They fill in who they would like to cast their vote for and submit it. Although the president isn’t the only thing to vote for, we will we just stick with that.
The outcome of the voting via citizens determines who the slate of electors, hence ‘electoral college’ will vote for in that state. The amount of electors a state has depends on the state’s population. The amount fluctuates every now and then, but as of 2016 California leads the way with 55. The majority of the time, the aforementioned electors vote for the person that was decided via popular vote, but sometimes not. If the latter were to happen, these are called “faithless electors”. Although they don’t happen often, if and when they do, they have little impact because it is still a two-thirds voting process.
So does it matter?
Even with the above stated, it is still hard to take in. Your vote still matters very dearly, but it really depends on where you are located on the map.
States that lean or are dominant to one party
I hate to put it like this, but bluntly, your vote really doesn’t matter. If you live in California and vote third party, republican or not at all, the Democratic party is still going to win Cali. The reason for this is because there is enough whole-hearted, dedicated Democrats that will go out there and vote in California, to the point where your vote means less.
The above is increasingly true in other states like Texas, New York, Mississippi, Alabama, and Illinois. So essentially, the majority of these states your vote does not really matter, but you still should exercise your right regardless.
This is where the debates really happen and where everything really does matter. In states commonly referred to “battlegrounds” like Ohio, North Carolina, Nevada, and Iowa, every single vote matters. Because of the way to above electoral college works, every vote still matters because even just ONE more vote in that state could mean your candidate gets the electors he or she needs.
An example of this is the ever so commonly referred to 2000 election. Al Gore and George Bush headed into one of the tightest races in American history that night, and Al Gore came out on top — or did he? Al Gore won the popular vote by 500,000 votes in 2000, but Bush won the election. The reason for the latter is because Bush narrowly edged out Florida which awarded him 25 votes, which put him over Gore by 4.
The answer is that it goes back to the famous saying of “Location, Location, Location”. It really just depends on where you are located.
So, if you haven’t learned anything from this article, just know this. Regardless of where you are located, or who you vote for, you might not see it but your vote still matters. Your vote matters because it is a given right by the Government so you should do everything in your power to exercise it.
I’m with both hers.
My personal viewing point is that if I could vote since I live in New York I would vote for Jill Stein. If I lived in a swing states I would progressively vote Hillary.