For many of us it may seem as if the Electoral College stands in the way of Democracy, and some may say the Electoral College is the only “thing” that decides the results of the elections. But it really doesn’t work that way. For example, in 52 of 56 elections, the popular vote was key to elect the President of the United States. In two of those cases, the President was elected by another branch of the government. For instance, John Quincy Adams was elected by Congress and George W. Bush was elected by the Supreme Court, who obstructed the 100% counting of the popular vote, which Bush did lose to Gore.
For many voters it may be demoralizing when this happens, but it only happened a few times in history. And we are aware that the Electoral College only decides the positions of the president and the vice president. The popular vote directly elects officials who have positions that have a direct impact on us— the voters. These positions include a community representative, who would elect the district’s representative to the state legislature, who would elect the district’s Member of Congress, who would in turn elect the president and the vice president.
It is often said that if those who voted for President also voted in the off years (for congressmen and congresswoman), we wouldn’t have the same inactive Congress we have today. The voter apathy we have been seeing, hitting a 20 year low, has far more to do with the detachment between Washington and popular voice, than the Electoral College could ever have.
So… does your vote matter? Yes, it does! It gives the Electoral College a concrete and solid idea of who the people want as their next president. Although the final decision is up to them, one should keep practicing the right to vote for local, state, and general elections.