The Value of Your Vote

Students and staff at Oxnard High School discuss their views on the voting system for the 2016 Presidential Election.

With only one week remaining before the 2016 Presidential Election, Republican Presidential candidate Donald Trump is discussing the idea of “rigged elections”, which may or may not affect voter turnout. The important question, however, lies in the power that people believe their individual votes have. In other words, why vote if that teeny, tiny vote really isn’t going to make a difference?  

Many people in larger states, like California, feel that their vote does not count, or is not as important as other state’s votes. According to www.nytimes.com, there are 538 members in the electoral college that are determined by adding up a state’s senators and their representatives. Every state also has two senators and at least one member of Congress. This is done to be sure that no state could fall below three votes. 

Larger states are more valuable in terms of the total electoral vote count. Oxnard High School English teacher, Mr.Campos, agreed with this principle when he said “I think larger states should be valuable because it is a representation of their citizenship, their economy, and the population.”

If only one Californian voted in the presidential election, the voter would direct 55 votes in the electoral college. That in itself is already 20% of what a candidate needs to win the presidential election. 

Considering that the majority of the State of California’s voters are Democrats, the Republicans will have a difficult time winning the state’s electoral vote.

“People might say ‘if we already know the outcome of this, why should I even go to vote?’” said OHS teacher Mr. Datcher, who has taught the Government class to seniors for many years.

Some people believe that this violates political equality and the “one person, one vote” principle. “I don’t think it’s fair. I think everyone’s vote should count,” said OHS Junior, Alex Duran. 

Overall, the system that is used to account for the state’s electoral votes can sometimes give a result that is not expected. This is a disputed topic occurring throughout the country and is something to consider when casting one’s vote.