Is the American voting system fair?

BY SONALEI AMADOR

STAFF WRITER

 

Oct. 30, 2016, a woman kneels to take a "back break" while waiting in line at a weekend early voting polling place at the North Hollywood branch library in Los Angeles Photo Courtesy of Ap Images
Oct. 30, 2016, a woman kneels to take a “back break” while waiting in line at a weekend early voting polling place at the North Hollywood branch library in Los Angeles
Photo Courtesy of AP Images

Recently, there has been controversy regarding whether or not the American presidential voting system is fair.

The concerns of fairness include illegal immigrants voting in the election and the controversy of electoral votes vs. popular votes.

Before Election Day, Trump voiced his concern about large scale voter fraud in the presidential election. “It’s inconceivable that you don’t have to show identification in order to vote or that the identification doesn’t have to be somewhat foolproof,” he said.

Trump also said that, “it’s possible that non-citizen voters were responsible for Obama’s 2008 victory in North Carolina.” However, the North Carolina Board of Elections said, “We have no indication that thousands of non-citizens voted in the 2008 elections, and we don’t believe that amount of potential voter fraud would have gone unnoticed or unchallenged.”

In 2008, North Carolina reported 23 allegations of non-residents either voting or registering to vote. Elections board spokesman Pat Gannon said while the office currently tracks such allegations after referring them to the courts, it did not in 2008, so it’s unclear how many of those 23 reported cases were actually illegal.

A 2012 study by the Pew Center unlocked some truths behind the fairness of the American voting system.  These were the study’s findings:

  • Approximately 24 million—one of every eight—voter registrations in the United States are no longer valid or are significantly inaccurate.
  • Approximately 12.7 million records nationwide that appear to be out of date and no longer reflect the voter’s current information
  • About 12 million records with incorrect addresses, indicating that either the voters have moved, or that errors in the information on file make it unlikely the Postal Service can reach them
  • More than 1.8 million dead people are listed as voters
  • 2.75 million people are registered in more than one state

In order for a presidential candidate to win, the candidate must get at least 270 electoral votes to win the election. In this year’s election, Trump received 290 electoral votes.

Many claim that the voting system is in fault due to a nationwide popular vote winner being able to lose in the Electoral College. For this year’s election, Hillary Clinton won the popular votes, her 48% beating Trump’s 47%.

There is conflicting data and opinions regarding the fairness and accuracy of the voting system. In the future there is a possibility for a reformation of the system, but currently it seems that it is here to stay.

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