Popular ballot gives purpose to each individual vote

The popular vote represents the will of the people, but an Electoral College system makes it seem as if each individual vote does not count, because in the end, it does not ("Worthwhile to consider Electoral College system" by Mr Ronnie Lee Kok Tong; Wednesday, and "Electoral College system has its flaws" by Mr Peh Chwee Hoe; yesterday).

Direct popular voting, however, gives purpose to each and every individual vote, so it more clearly represents what the people want, and not what political leaders want.

A direct popular vote, unlike an Electoral College vote, gives every citizen more incentive to vote, because the vote will definitely matter. This will encourage more people to vote, because they know their votes count.

An Electoral College system makes it possible to win an election without having the most number of direct votes.

It may also result in politicians campaigning in high-vote constituencies. It gives votes to "electors" who will vote on your behalf, because when you cast your vote, you also vote for an unknown elector who is nominated from the Electoral College. That means the system gives votes to the electors and not the people.

The Electoral College system takes the power of election away from the people and puts it into a small number of hands. This goes against what a true democratic system is.

Furthermore, because the Electoral College system is a complex one, many people may not understand it and may abstain from voting, or may even spoil votes.

A government or head of state must be elected by the people.

Over the past three decades, swing states in the United States have really been the only relevant factor in determining the outcome of the presidential election.

It is easy to predict which states the candidates there need to control in order to win the election.

Does the Electoral College vote represent the true voice of the electorate in giving too much weight to larger swing states?

The Electoral College system undermines the democratic principle of "one man, one vote".

Francis Cheng

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on July 01, 2016, with the headline 'Popular ballot gives purpose to each individual vote'. Print Edition | Subscribe