Does Your Vote Really Count? - KAIT Jonesboro, AR - Region 8 News, weather, sports

Jonesboro, AR -- Melissa Simas reports

Does Your Vote Really Count?

October 22, 2004 -- Posted 6:00 p.m. CDT

Jonesboro, AR -- The electoral college is a devise the U.S. Constitution set up to elect the President of the United States. It was put together by our founding fathers, who didn't want large populated areas to decide elections.

"They decided the best thing to do given the lack of communication back then was to have a group of people who were selected by the state legislature to elect the President, these people would be politically sophisticated," said Constitutional Law Professor David England.

In the State of Arkansas there are 6 electors, compare that to Florida with 27.

"I feel the size of the state represents how many people there are, so I prefer the electoral being taken towards the President," said one Jonesboro resident.

There's also the school of thought that the electoral college system is antiquated. For example, Al Gore won the popular vote in 2000, but lost the electoral college and therefore the election.

"Your individual vote I think should count," said another Jonesboro resident.

Professor England does not believe the system will change because it would take a constitutional amendment that he says would end up hurting smaller states.

"States like Arkansas for example, we have more say in electing the President under the electoral college, than we would if we just counted the popular vote," said England.

There are a total of 538 electoral college votes to win the Presidency. A candidate must reach a total of 270.

Analysts predict at this time Bush and Kerry each have a total of 200 electoral votes in their pockets. The 3 states that could predict the outcome are Florida, Ohio, and Pennsylvania.

"These swing states are very very important and the big ones are the really important ones because they could add up to 270 very, very quickly," said England.

Unless of course we once again have problems with hanging chads.

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