Anticipating the 2012 presidential election, Seton Hill University (SHU) students voiced their opinions of the Electoral College System and faculty explained the importance of the largely misunderstood system.
With the up coming election often times there is one aspect of voting that is over looked until the day of when people start to see that colorful red and blue map all over the televisions. The Electoral College is the system used to elect the president but what do people know about the system?
“We are not 300 million people all individually voting, we are coalitions of 50 states all voting individually by democratic principles.” said Joshua Sasmor, professor of mathematics. Sasmor goes on to say the system is important because without it, areas of higher population would be campaign superpowers. “California, New York and Florida is half the country,” said Sasmor.
“The Electoral College was developed so that we could not have a federal government out ranking the privileges of the state governments,” said Sasmor. He said he believes that the Electoral College is a valid system because he believes in the republic of states. Sasmor said, “If we want to continue to be 50 states working in concert to elect a president, the Electoral College must survive.”
Students were asked about the system and how their knowledge compared to the fact. “You need 270 electoral votes to be elected as president and that’s about all I know,” said freshman art therapy major, Rebecca Roberts. “Although the Electoral College has final say in who becomes president, I don’t think I’ll stop voting because of that.”
“What kind of sucks about the system is that it’s the whole state that gets one vote,” said freshman bio-chemistry major Thaine Woodrow. He goes on to mention how he believes states like California and Texas have a larger pull because they have a larger population. “Because my vote doesn’t have much of an impact, it makes me no want to vote. I probably will still vote but I’m not sure if I will,” said Woodrow
“The number of votes each state can give is in representation of their state,” said senior communications major Karlee Cleary, “I could be wrong, but I think each states number of votes is based off of their senate.” Cleary said she thought that PA has 4 electoral votes for over 12 million people. Pennsylvania actually has 20 Electoral College votes.
“My opinion is that the Electoral College deteriorates the meaning of each individual vote from each person,” said Cleary, “I think we should have each vote individually counted.” Cleary said it was her first year voting and although she said although she has a negative opinion of the system, she will still vote. “Even though my vote is insignificant, I’ll still vote out of the goodness of my heart,” she said.
Makenzie Bilodeau, an education major, said she didn’t like the system because, “If 51% of a state votes one way and 49% vote another, that whole 49% doesn’t really matter anymore.It kind of makes me feel like my vote doesn’t really matter anymore.”