Popular Vote VS The Electoral College-Does Your Vote Count?

Popular Vote VS The Electoral College-Does Your Vote Count?

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 Popular Vote VS The Electoral College – Does Your Vote Count?  

The 2016 US presidential election is over. After all the popular votes were tallied, the 2016 US presidential results are as followed… 59,814,018 people nationwide voted for Secretary of State Hillary Clinton,  59,611,678 people nationwide voted for Donald Trump.  Gary Johnson received 4,058,500 votes, Jil Stein received over a million votes and 802,119 people voted for “other.” Yeah for Hillary Right?! She came, she saw, Donald Trump lost.  Not so fast Hillary, keep that champagne bottle on ice. The Electoral College tally shows that Hillary Clinton will receive a total of 228 electoral votes and Donald Trump will receive 279 electoral votes when the Electors get together to cast their votes in December. Even though Hillary Clinton won the popular vote, ladies, and gentleman, Donald Trump is the winner and will be the next president of the United States.

Typical Social Media Reaction

“Wait a minute… What? How can that be? Hillary Clinton received 202, 340 more popular votes than Donald Trump. I voted for Hillary! And what in the world is the Electoral Collge vote???? You mean to tell me that all those comments I read on social media about my vote, not counting are actually true? The Hell is going here??? This is a scam. The president is selected… not elected.”

The Popular Vote Vs Electoral College Vote

Does your vote count when voting for your next president? Of course, it does.  You just need to understand the process, how the system works and the difference between a popular vote and Electoral College Vote. Once you understand, you won’t catch yourself saying “my vote doesn’t count.”  You will either decide to participate in the voting process or not, so here is how it works.

When running for president… it’s not about how many popular votes a candidate gains, it’s about how many States a candidate can win, i.e. how many Electoral votes the candidate receives.  You see, in the 19th century,  the Founding Fathers of the United States established in the constitution the Electoral College process “as a compromise between election of the President by a vote in Congress and election of the President by a popular vote of qualified citizens.”

This compromise created a two-part process to determine a US President.  The first part is on Election Day.  Registered voters(YOU) in each state cast their votes for president, which is called the popular vote. The second part is the Electoral College Vote. The electors who won their state’s popular vote(Your vote on Election Day) get together in December in their respective state to submit their vote to elect the future president.

The Electoral College is not an institution of education.  It is a group of people selected by the presidential candidates’ political party who pledges to vote for them in the election. There are 538 electors in all, and they are distributed throughout the 50 states and the District of Columbia.  According to the constitution,

Each state shall appoint, in such manner as the Legislature thereof may direct, a number of electors, equal to the whole number of Senators and Representatives to which the State may be entitled in the Congress.

270 Electoral Votes is needed to win the presidency.  Let me rewrite that last sentence again…   270 Electoral Votes is needed to win the presidency. 

The list below demonstrates how the 538 electors are divided by state. This count is effective until the 2020 presidential election.

  • Alabama 9
  • Alaska 3
  • Arizona 3
  • Arkansas 11
  • California 55
  • Colorado 9
  • Connecticut 7
  • Delaware 3
  • District of Columbia 3
  • Florida 29
  • Georgia 16
  • Hawaii 4
  • Idaho 4
  • Illinois 20
  • Indiana 11
  • Iowa 6
  • Kansas 6
  • Kentucky 8
  • Louisiana 8
  • Maine 4
  • Maryland 10
  • Massachusetts 11
  • Michigan 16
  • Minnesota 10
  • Mississippi 6
  • Missouri 10
  • Montana 3
  • Nebraska 5
  • Nevada 6
  • New Hampshire 4
  • New Jersey 14
  • New Mexico 5
  • New York 29
  • North Carolina 15
  • North Dakota 3
  • Ohio 18
  • Oklahoma 7
  • Oregon 7
  • Pensylvania 20
  • Rhode Island 4
  • South Carolina 9
  • South Dakota 3
  • Tennesse 11
  • Texas 38
  • Utah 6
  • Vermont 3
  • Virginia 13
  • Washington 12
  • West Virginia 5
  • Wisconsin 10
  • Wyoming 3

How does one become an Elector? According to Article II, section 1, clause 2 of the US Constitution,

No Senator or Representative, or person holding an office of trust or profit under the United States, shall be appointed an elector.

So as long as you don’t fall under the above prohibitions you or anyone else for that matter can be an elector.  In typical fashion… the slate of electors are chosen by the candidate’s political party.  For example, Donald Trump, Hillary Clinton, Gary Johnson, Jill Stein and the “others” all had 55 electors representing their respective parties in the state of California. And 3 electors each in the state of Wyoming and so on and so forth…

Let’s put all this information into practice now.

Example 1.

It’s Election Day. David lives in the state of Florida.  David heads out to the polling place to cast his popular vote. David cast his vote(popular vote) for Gary Johnson in Florida. When the popular votes are tallied in Florida. The results show that Donald Trump wins the Florida state’s popular vote. The list above tells us that in the State of Florida there are 29 electors for each presidential candidate. David’s preferred candidate, Gary Johnson, loses the popular vote in Florida.  Gary Johnson’s and all of the other presidential candidates 29 electors are obsolete.  Donald Trump’s 29 Electors win the state’s popular vote and all 29 will cast their Electoral vote for him.

Example 2.

It’s Election Day.  Patrick lives in the State of California and cast his vote(Popular vote) for Jill Stein.  All of the popular votes in California are tallied and the results show that Hillary Clinton wins the California State’s popular vote.  The list above tells us that in the state of California there are 55 electors for each presidential candidate.  Patrick’s preferred candidate, Jill Stein, loses the states’ popular vote. Jill Stein and all of the other presidential candidates 55 electors are obsolete.  Hillary Clinton’s 55 electors win the state’s popular vote and all 55 will cast their electoral vote for her.

Example 3.

Salomon lives in the state of Texas and cast his vote(Popular vote) for Jill Stein.  All of the popular votes in Texas are tallied and the results show that Donald Trump wins the Texas State’s popular vote.  The list above tells us that in the state of Texas there are 38 electors for each presidential candidate.  Salomon’s preferred candidate, Jill Stein, loses.  Jill Stein and all of the other presidential candidates 38 electors are obsolete.  Donald Trump’s 38 electors win the state’s popular vote and all 38 will cast their electoral vote for him.

Summarization of 3 examples.

We tally Hillary Clinton’s and Donald Trump’s total popular votes and total Electoral votes using the 3 examples above.  In Florida, the popular vote count shows, Hillary Clinton received 3 million popular votes but lost that state. In Cali, Hillary received 10 million votes and won the state. In Texas, Hillary received 6 million votes, also losing this state.   So after we tally the numbers for these 3 states…  Hillary received a grand total of 19 million popular votes and 55 electoral votes.

Donald Trump received 4 million popular votes in Florida and won that states.  He received 6 million votes in California and lost the state’s popular vote. In Texas, Trump received 7 million votes to win that state as well.  Trumps total popular vote number is 17 million. When we tally Trump’s numbers for these 3 states… Trump received a grand total of 17 million popular votes and 69 electoral votes.

Hillary, at this point of the race, is ahead in the popular vote by a full 2 million.  However, she is losing by 14 Electoral votes.   Now that we understand that it’s not about how many popular votes one receives and that it’s about how many states you can win… we know that Hillary Clinton is currently losing the election for the Presidential seat by 14 electoral votes and she will need to win more states than Donald to overtake him and win the presidential seat.  Remember… Like I stated before… 270 electoral votes is needed to win the presidential seat.

In closing

Does your vote count? Yes… it most definitely does. Our examples show that all of the individuals who voted for Hillary Clinton in California helped her win the state’s popular vote and all 55 electoral votes will go to her.  Those 55 electoral votes won’t go to Trump, they won’t go to Jill Stein, they won’t go to Gary Johnson and they won’t got to any other party candidate… All 55 electoral votes will go to Hillary. And the same goes for Trump for the states that he won. Trump won the state’s popular vote in both Florida and Texas. So the 29 and 38 electoral votes allocated to those states will go to him.  The only circumstance where one would ask the question “Does Your Vote Count?” is if the electors do not cast their vote for the presidential candidate who won the state’s popular vote. eg., they(all 55 electors in California) cast a vote that was supposed to go to Clinton and gave it to Trump.

Bottom line…  There has never been a case in the history of the US Election where the electors did not cast their vote for the presidential candidate that won the state’s popular vote.  Faithless electors who go against the state’s popular vote are disqualified and replaced.  That’s just the way it is… If you choose not to exercise your right to vote, you have every right not too… but do it for the right reasons… don’t do it because you think, your vote doesn’t count… because your vote does count. When one decides to participate in the election by exercising their right to vote… you can’t be a sore loser about it and say “Your vote doesn’t count or that the president is selected and not elected,” when your preferred candidate loses the race.  Your candidate’s party should have done a better job campaigning in the state’s that were lost…

Staff writer – David P
The images may be subject to copyright.

References : https://www.archives.gov/federal-register/electoral-college/about.html

David P Fenelus is presently studying Social Media and Digital Marketing, at Herzing College, in Montreal, Quebec, Canada.  He is the web publisher of www.nuwla.com. His interests are digital marketing; traditional marketing; content marketing; black history; reading; social issues; NBA basketball; NFL Football; and fantasy sports. You can follow him on Twitter @davidfenelus For information on how to achieve maximum user experience at Nuwla.com click the following link, http://nuwla.com/information-for-maximum-u

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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