One would think, that a democratic country like the United States Of America, would have fair and balanced elections for their president. Which, in my opinion, means everyone has an equal chance of running for president and corresponding voting powers in the election. Unfortunately, this isn't the case, the primary and presidential preference elections are both party-driven which creates advantages for mainstream parties. Along the same lines, one would assume that everyone's vote is equal and would be counted accordingly in the actual presidential election. Once again, this isn't the case, the electoral college creates a discrimination among states with lower electoral college votes. The winner-take-all system that almost all states have in regards of electoral votes, creates a discrepancy in the voting powers of citizens in those states.
The government has no presence in the parties selection for who will represent them in the General election. Ergo, all of the elections leading up to the General Presidential election are ran by the parties themselves. This includes the Primary election and the Presidential Preference Election. This means that the higher capital parties like Democrats and Republicans can abuse their resources and money in funding these elections to gain more voters and recognition. Because of this, third-parties that are lacking support and/or capital have many difficulties running and creating these elections for their party. This leads to the two main parties, Democrats and Republicans, having an immense advantage over any other parties attempting to run in several ways. First they are able to find out which person representing their party has the most support and therefore has the greatest chance of winning the election. Secondly, there's a certain amount of recognition that comes along with these elections that the third-parties are unable to take advantage of. This system of party ran elections creates an elitist pair of parties able to disconnect third-parties from their voters through an abundance of capital and media recognition. Making it nearly impossible for contemporary third-parties to have a conceivable chance of winning the Presidential election.
When I was a child, I used to always think the Presidential election was won by having the majority of the nation vote for them .Theoretically speaking, that's not true. This year in AP Government, I have learned that while how many people vote for you is still important, it's more important which states those people are in that are voting for you. Through the Electoral College each state has a certain amount of electoral votes, this is determined by the combined total of senators and representatives from each individual state. Every state has a minimal of 3 electoral votes. This means that citizens that live in high electoral vote states that voted for their state's majority winning party had more value to their vote than citizens in lower electoral vote states. Lower electoral vote states like Montana, Idaho, and Wyoming, all of which have 3 electoral votes, have a relatively tiny impact on the Presidential Election compared to states like California that have 55 electoral votes. These discrepancies in how states are valued in the presidential election are apparent in many presidential candidate campaign trials. Presidential candidates are more likely to pay attention and adhere to citizens of the states with the most electoral votes. The same idea applies to in office presidents planning on running for a second term, they need to keep citizens from high electoral vote states happy if they want to win again.
The Electoral College is also ran on a winner-take-all rule in most states, meaning whichever party wins the majority of votes in a state, that party’s candidate will obtain all of that state's electoral votes . For example, if 51% of Californians vote democrat and 49% vote republican all 55 of the electoral votes will go to the democratic candidate, essentially nullifying 49% of the votes casted in California. In that situation, if you voted for the republican candidate your vote would have zero impact on that election and who would win. This system of winner-takes-all in the Electoral College invalidates an absurd amount of the populations votes. Completely negating the idea of fair and equal elections which democracy is built upon.
We must reinstate the core ideas of democracy through the pursuit of fair and equal elections. The leading and most necessary step in doing this is reorganizing the Electoral College system by first establishing the value of every citizen's vote. To do this we must force all states to adopt Nebraska and Maine’s method of dividing the electoral votes accordingly to the percentage of votes for each party. This would at least guarantee every citizen's vote to have an effect on the presidential election. The second step would be reconstructing how electoral votes are distributed to each state and making it more equal throughout the country. This would force presidential candidates and first term presidents to pay attention to all parts of the country instead of just the ones with the most electoral votes. Giving every citizen an equal voice and vote in government is what democracy is all about.