While this year’s election day held on November 4, served as the day when millions and millions of Americans went to the voting booth and cast their vote for who they wanted to be president. As we all know a majority of U.S. citizens cast their vote for Barack Obama. Not saying that our votes didn’t matter, but that wasn’t the day when the next president is officially picked. That day comes in December when the Electoral College meets and it is then when those few select people formally select who will be the next President and Vice-President of the United States of America.
This year, the electoral college met on Monday, December 15. In the capital cities of every U.S. state, they met and officially made Barack Obama our 44th President of the United States. Most people are aware that our country participates in this type of indirect election, but many of those same people do not like it at all.
Around this time every four years, it isn’t out of the ordinary to hear calls to get the system re-tooled, this time without the Electoral College. These calls were more abundant than normal eight years ago when we saw one of the closest elections in over a hundred years. Then Vice-President Al Gore had won a popular vote, meaning more Americans voted for him than his opponent George W. Bush. But the reason we had George Bush as our president for the past eight years is because Gore failed to capture what he needed for electors, in essence being “you win the state, you get the electors.” That’s why supporters argue that candidates must build a base that is geographically broader and diverse across the nation. In other words, he or she would have to have a wider appeal to the people and not just in urban areas where much of the population is centered.
Not for nothin’, but elections are essentially the battle for a state’s vote, not just people. Of course it cant’ be done without the people, but its a work-around or a middle man that we’ll have to put up with probably for a very long time. It’s fortunate that candidates recognize this fact, specifically this year and now we do not have to worry about any controversy such as in 2000 or 2004. But its unfortunate that it’s part of the reason why candidates put so much focus and attention on swing states.