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Rock the vote. Get out the vote.

You hear it from professors, celeb-
rities, politicians, the news and parents:
Vote. Your vote counts. Is it actually
true, though?
To answer this question, its nec-
essary to take a look at the Electoral
The Founding Fathers institut-
ed the Electoral College in 1787 as a
compromise between Congress electing
the president and citizens electing the
president by popular vote.
Justin Coffey, associate professor of
history at Quincy University, said the Photo courtesy of
Founding Fathers created the Electoral

Does your vote really count?

College because they didnt really want
the United States to be a true democ-
The Electoral College, to a certain
extent, was created so that the people
Coffey said. However, state law does because theres absolutely no chance Electoral College and the presidency.
the Founding Fathers thought were the
not trump federal law. Its the other way that Donald Trump is going to win This happened most recently in the
better of us would do the electing -- the
around. An elector can decide to write California, he said. The same is true in 2000 election when Al Gore won the
electors -- so, it was created so that
in the name of whatever candidate they a state like Mississippi. Donald Trumps popular vote but George W. Bush won
the popular vote would not decide the
actually want. That will never happen going to win it. Hillary has no chance. the Electoral College.
election, he said.
today because all 20 are usually very But it does depress voter turnout. If you There was an outcry at that point
Simply put, the Electoral College
partisan democrats who are going changed to it to a winner-take-all liter- to change (the Electoral College), but it
consists of 538 state-selected electors
to vote for Hillary Clinton, but they ally popular vote, your one vote really went nowhere because there are states
who meet a month after the election
still dont have to vote the way theyre makes a difference. that benefit from the electoral college
and vote for president and vice pres-
pledged to when they send in their vote Coffey said the United States aver- and the representatives from those
ident. Whoever gets the majority of
to Washington, D.C. Its complicated, age voter participation level every four states in the House and the Senate are
votes wins the presidency.
but they have the right to vote for who- years is about 53 percent. The rate was not going to vote to (abolish it), Coffey
The number of electors from each
ever they want to. 57 percent in 2008 when Barack Obama said.
state -- and Washington, D.C. -- is
The problem with the Elector- first ran for president. The rate dropped The only way to change the Elector-
dependent on the number of elected of-
al College is that many Americans to 54 percent in 2012. Coffey predicts al College would be through a Consti-
ficials it has in Congress. For example,
perceive that their votes in presidential that this years rate will be as low as 51 tutional amendment. Amendments
the state of Wyoming has one represen-
elections do not count. percent. require a two-thirds majority vote from
tative in the House of Representatives
In a way, that perception is based Voters should bear in mind that both the House and the Senate as well
and two senators in the Senate, so it has
in truth. they really can make a difference. They as ratification from three-fourths (or
three electors. The state of California
Your vote really does not count for could possibly sway their states to the 38) of the states to become a part of the
has 53 representatives in the House and
the actual winner, Coffey said. What opposite side of the political spectrum. Constitution.
two senators, so it has 55 electors.
youre voting for is an elector, and Texas right now is as Republican Coffey contends that the Elector-
Seven states and Washington, D.C.
youre voting for an elector from just as you can get, but if Latino voters keep al College will never be abolished or
have only three electors -- the low-
your state. A lot of people dont vote voting Democratic, they might switch it amended.
est number possible. California has
because the state theyre in is predeter- from Republican to Democrat, Coffey The states that make a difference
the highest number. To become the
mined. In fact, in the overwhelming said. in the race like Ohio, Virginia, Flori-
president, a candidate must receive a
majority of states, you know whos go- The Electoral College has been da, New Hampshire, they dont want
majority of 270 votes.
ing to win the state before the presiden- around for more than 200 years, but to abolish because it benefits them,
Political parties select electors,
tial election. it has never really evolved. This is he said. They get candidates coming
and state law dictates how electors are
Coffey believes this leads to low primarily due to the belief, Coffey said, to their states to campaign. They get
chosen. Electors are pledged to their
voter turnout -- not just in presidential that the Constitution was written by the hundreds of millions of dollars and
partys candidate, but, in actuality, they
elections but also in congressional elec- highly revered Founding Fathers. television advertising, so theres no push
can vote for whomever they want.
tions and even gubernatorial races. Its almost a sacred document and to abolish it.
For example, Illinois has 20
It does keep people away from the should not be changed unless there is a Yes, your vote does count.
electors. Hillary Clinton is going to
polls because if you live in California real need for it, Coffey said. Just not in the way you think it
win Illinois. There will be 20 electors
and youre a Republican, theres almost Four times in the nations history, does.
pledged, therefore, to Hillary Clinton,
no point in you going to the polls the winner of the popular vote lost the