Have you ever looked at a map of red and blue states as presidential votes are counted, and asked, “Hmmm, why aren’t we just counting votes”?
You may know that the U.S. Constitution is still mostly the same as when it was written in the 1780s and 1790s. Yes, some positive changes have occurred, like extending the vote to women and people of color, but the main features of our electoral system still remain. These include the rights of states to decide how they run their elections, the undemocratic nature of the electoral college votes, and the stunning lack of equality between states in the U.S. Senate.
This year’s election highlighted the insanity of 50 different states voting in different ways and counting votes differently. Some of the “most important” swing states take longest to count their votes, not because people voted late, but because their legislatures wouldn’t allow mail-in ballots to be counted before 7:00 a.m. on election day!
It also highlighted again how the electoral college system not only allows the winner of a state to take all the electoral votes, even if they got only one vote less than the winner. It also gives proportionally more electoral votes to small states when compared to larger states.
And, as if the way we vote isn’t confusing enough, in the U.S. Senate, small states like Wyoming – population 578,759 in 2019 – have political power equal to California’s 39.51 million people! Each state gets two senators. So much for political equality.
There is no question that this “democracy” is a sham. And that’s what the nation’s founders intended. They wanted to maintain their control, and make it very hard to change. And under a capitalist economic system, where the wealthy dominate and politicians work for them, real democracy will never be allowed.