It’s the most wonderful time of the year, again. All one sees anymore are campaign commercials. Even from the other room we are inundated with “I’m so-and-so, and I approve this message.” In Florida, the Republican Primary Campaign has taken over, leaving little room for the idea of an Obama-won Florida, and (through recent polls) an assumed Romney win. But why does everyone care so much about the little Sunshine State? Delegates.
A delegate is simply this; a member of the pre-election Electoral College. Each state is allowed a certain number of delegates, typically corresponding to the percentage of population a particular state has in comparison to the rest of the country, and Florida holds the largest amount of delegates we’ve seen in any other caucus this year: 50, however, only in a winner-takes-all situation.
Most states satisfy themselves with splitting up the delegates according to the percentages of wins throughout the state, giving each candidate an equal chance to make it to the Convention, unscathed with a ready following. Florida, however does not, leaving anyone who has not won the state completely empty-handed with wasted campaign money and little to no momentum.
Why is this an issue of concern? Because it’s not even Constitutional.
It’s true that the term “Electoral College” is not used in the Constitution, though, it is outlined in Article 2, Section 1 and the 12th Amendment. What about it is unconstitutional? The simple fact that your vote doesn’t count.
As a citizen of the United States, you are promised certain rights and liberties, one of them being your right to elect a representative, be it in local government or federal, under the assumption of the definition of democracy. When one participates in the in any election in this country, it is not their individual vote that counts, but rather the vote of the elected delegate. Of course, the elected delegate ‘promises’ to vote accordingly to what their represented area elects, but what happens when that’s not the case?
The most recent ignorance of the failure of the electoral college was the vote in 2000 between Republican candidate (and later President) George W. Bush and Democratic candidate Al Gore. Not to even mention polling manipulation, it was obvious that President Bush won Florida, purely through electoral votes, and not the popular vote as believed the morning of November 8th.
And that’s all fine and good, because the Electoral College said so, right?
If you think that your politicians are the only ones corrupted, you’re sadly mistaken. Once an electoral delegate walks into his or her voting booth, they are not held accountable. If they decided to change their vote, no one would be able to tell, due to the Secret Ballot Protection Act (SBPA).
For that matter, the problem with Florida is that your vote is even abolished, not only through the Electoral College, but also through the winner-takes-all scenario. When a candidate wins the state of Florida, they win all 50 of the delegates. Every other candidate loses, thus the votes for the caucus winner only count to the Convention. Hence, why certain candidates (such as Dr. Ron Paul) have maintained a different strategy, ignoring Florida’s unorthodox and unequal rules, collecting delegate votes elsewhere.
So, why bother voting? Because you can vote to abolish the Electoral College, and protest it. The inception of the Electoral College and other methods of voting were set in place because they were relevant to the time period; a period where mail was sent through horsemen (which I can nearly assure you that their packages arrived more swiftly). Even Thomas Jefferson, one of the most worshiped Founding Fathers said that “every generation needs a new revolution.”
This idea that the country should be under a state of constant change, growth, waxing, and waning, is implemented in every founding document we have, yet we think that a system which can be so easily manipulated in a time of technological genius is necessary?
It’s time to cut out the middle man and restore the Constitutional rights to each state, accordingly.