I Still Hate the Electoral College

Almost two weeks after the US Presidential Election, and people are still angry about the outcome, including me.  In a post right before the election, I talked about the 2000 Presidential Election and how the Electoral College was unfair.  Much like what happened to Al Gore in 2000, Hillary Clinton was not elected president, even though she won the popular vote of the nation. Donald Trump was elected only because he won over 270 Electoral College votes. 

There has been a lot of talk from people who are happy that Trump won that are calling out people who aren’t.  Some are saying that the only reason people are upset is that their candidate didn’t win, not the Electoral College. This is definitely true for some people, but not all. The fact is that the Electoral College is unfair to the candidates and the American public. If I vote for someone, I want my vote to stand by itself, and count towards the big picture in the outcome.

The Electoral College stifles the vote of the public. Clinton received over 1.5 million votes more than Trump did, but not the right amount of Electors. It doesn’t make sense that a candidate with the highest amount of votes, could not get elected.  

The amount of electoral votes that a state has is equal to the number of people in Congress that the state has. The minimum being three, representing two people in the Senate and one in the House of Representatives. There are people from each party who are elected to vote in the Electoral College. They are usually very involved and are trusted to vote with the party they associate with.  The party of the candidate that wins more votes in the state gets to be the electors for that campaign.  This means that since Trump won the state of Texas, the only electors who get to vote in December are the ones appointed by the Republican Party.

North Dakota has a population of 756,927 people and has three electors.  This means that each vote represents 252,309 people. Texas’ population is nearly 27.5 million people and has 38 votes in the Electoral College. Each of those votes represents almost 723,000 people, which is almost as much as the whole state of North Dakota. If I vote in Texas, my vote could only be potentially 1/723,000 of one of the votes, but in North Dakota it could be 1/252,000.  The votes of people in smaller states are mathematically more reliable and accurate. Over 3.8 million people in Texas, and over 64 million in the whole country voted for Clinton, but because the majority of states with a higher, more influential population voted leaned towards her opponent, she lost.

When it was created, the Electoral College made some sense.  It was difficult to count all of the votes and get that information spread, but it was much easier for individual states to count them and send representatives. Now we have amazing technology and easy communication, so the system is impractical and makes our votes not count as much.  I don’t want my vote to be discounted because more people in my state voted a different way, regardless of my party affiliation.

By Bethany LaChance

Voting in 2016

(Photo credit: @swellbottle on Instagram)

Allison Grimaldo // @AlmGrimaldo

Every 4 years our country comes together on November 8th to vote for the next President of the United States. This year has been no different, if anything we have seen a major push to get out and vote from social media, news outlets and even celebrities.

When the last day to register to vote came in each state, Facebook and Google became merely some online sites helping internet users find out if they were registered. Why? Because it was widely understood how historic this election would be for our country.

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Photo Credit: Google Doodles; Sep. 26, 2016

 

Candidates can only do so much to push their supporters to vote. With more than half of the United States having access to the internet, and even more with a Facebook profile, it makes sense that we were seeing such a large push to vote online.

According to a post by Facebook founder Mark Zuckerberg, “…more than 2 million people have registered to vote by going through Facebook, some for the first time, according to estimates based on available data.” Not only was Facebook able to help many register to vote, the social media site also gave its users opportunities to find their polling place on Election Day. In addition to finding your polling place, Facebook even gave users a chance to see what would be on their ballot. All you had to do was input the correct county.

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Photo credit: I’ve Been Mugged Blog

On Instagram, I saw many companies encouraging their followers to go and vote as well. For example, S’well Bottle, a fairly new water bottle company known for their chic designs, commented on a photo they posted saying that voting was important to their CEO and that their headquarters were closed to let employees go vote.

It’s amazing how far we’ve come in regards to how we vote, how important voting now is, and what encourages us to get out there and vote. It’s interesting to think that in the next 100 years, voting could be completely online and as easy as ordering take-out. I’m really proud of companies like Facebook and S’well, who put a lot of effort into encouraging young voters to find their polls and help make a difference in the country. It shows how important voting is to everyone on every level.

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Photo credit: @swellbottle on Instagram 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Works Cited

Nissim, Karen. “It Looks like Facebook Motivated a Lot of People to Register to Vote.” Mashable. N.p., 12 Oct. 2016. Web. 13 Nov. 2016. http://mashable.com/2016/10/12/facebook-voter-registration-spike/#Rnt8.wuBHaqL

White, Daniel. “New Google Doodle Wants to Help Get You Registered to Vote.” Time. Time, 26 Sept. 2016. Web. 13 Nov. 2016. http://time.com/4507570/google-doodle-voter-registration-day/  

Zuckerberg, Mark. “We’re just a couple days away from Americans making important decisions about the future of our country…”. Facebook Post. Facebook, 6 Nov. 2016. Web. 13 Nov. 2016. https://www.facebook.com/zuck?fref=nf&pnref=story

Ballot Selfies Illegal?

Election day 2016 is in sight and ballot selfies are challenging the ban against them. Ballot selfies are people taking pictures of themselves in front of their completed ballot meant to state their political view. Approximately 78% of the U.S population is on social media on one platform or more. We are people who share our lives, views and opinions with communication to the world at the tips of our fingers.

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Screenshot Curtsey of: TMZ

Recently Justin Timberlake flew into Memphis to vote and captured it in a ballot selfie, which was quickly removed from Instagram and Twitter after a supposed investigation against him. Knowing this may be considered a violation of free speech the local prosecutors did not pursue the matter.

The free speech law was made to allow citizens to express their views and opinions including original posts on social media. Not allowing citizens who are doing their civil duty of voting should be a clear violation of the first amendment. Unfortunately, not every state has evolved their laws to correspond with the social media age where citizens like to voice their opinions.

There are currently nineteen states that outlaw pictures of a completed ballot with penalties varying from fines to jail time. Reasoning for outlawing pictures of ballots range from protecting the privacy of other voters, voter intimidation and coercion. Their reasoning is valid in certain polling site cases but why are photos with mail-in votes also consider illegal in those states?

So when you hit the polls on November 8th, if you haven’t already, and live in the following states do not post a ballot selfie:

  • Alabama
  • Alaska
  • Colorado
  • Florida
  • Georgia
  • Iowa
  • Maryland
  • Massachusetts
  • Mississippi
  • Nevada
  • New Mexico
  • New York
  • North Carolina
  • South Carolina
  • South Dakota
  • Tennessee
  • Texas
  • West Virginia
  • Wisconsin

Regardless of what state you are in and have not yet casted your vote be sure to hit up the polls and let your voice be heard! It is your civil duty to participate in elections and it gives you the right to complain if Donald Trump (or the candidate you were not in favor of) wins.

Social Media and The Election of 2016

Written By: Cassandra Deakin

No matter which side of the fence you’re on, this year’s election is…unique. Both major parties have candidates with not only large personalities but also controversy surrounding them. Another unique aspect of this election is the role of social media. According to an article by Sci-Tech, social media is a “doorway to the rest of the campaign.” On Facebook alone, from the months of January to October, 109 million Americans generated 5.3 billion likes, post, comments, and shares about the election, according to the company. The election is also being discussed and promoted through other platforms such as Twitter, Snapchat, Instagram, YouTube, Pinterest, and LinkedIn.

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Photo Credit: Natalie Andrews

What I personally find most interesting about the effects of social media on the election is how accessible it is making it to people. Before the voter registration deadline, many platforms were encouraging people to check whether or not they were registered and explained to how to register for those that weren’t. In my opinion, it was extremely helpful. I was never taught how to register to vote, let alone where polling stations were and how the process worked. By simply clicking a link on Facebook, I was lead to a site that not only explained where and how to register, but also where and how to vote. While some may consider this laziness, I personally consider it to be a fantastic way to simplify and streamline a confusing process.

The primary reason why so many platforms have been pushing for voter registration is millennials. Millennials make up 31 percent of eligible voters this year, according to a recent article by Reuters. Multiple states have reported spikes in voter registration in the millennial demographic after social media platforms began issuing reminders and registration prompts. The question remains, of course, will millennials actually vote? I like to think so (I voted!), but Donald Green, a professor of political science, is “skeptical that an increase in young voter registration will correspond with millennials unseating the Baby Boomers as the most active voting bloc.”

In addition, all three major presidential debates between Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump were streamed on social media. Many millennials don’t even have cable, so the online streaming coupled with the hashtags and chats surrounding them greatly increased the number of people engaged in the debates. Unfortunately, this also means that poorly made political memes are on the rise, but alas, one cannot expect progress to be able to completely avoid internet idiocy. Thanks to social media, Ken Bone, an undecided voter at a debate, became an internet sensation. I even saw people dress up as him for Halloween…but that’s a discussion for another post.

According to Sci-Tech, the candidates have also used social media to broadcast rallies live, conduct Q&As, and even raise funding. Hashtags such as #LockHerUp and #ImWithHer have been following the two major candidates for the majority of the campaign.

At any rate, this election is the first in our history to be so involved with social media (Tweets have been discussed at debates. How crazy is that?!). It will be interesting to see which way it swings, and whether or not the influx of millennial registrations due to social media played a factor.