In the midst of President’s Day, many Americans may reflect upon the country’s leadership. The results of the 2016 election brought about much speculation on the credibility of the press, the impact of social media, and most importantly, the effectiveness of the electoral college.
The US Census occurs every ten years and counts the population of each state, county, and city, in addition to its demographics and living situations. The statistics gathered by the census are then used to determine government funding allocations and the redrawing of congressional boundaries.
Congressional boundaries are the 435 areas from which members are elected to the US House of Representatives. The size and scope of each congressional boundary is dependent upon the number of people that live in a given area. Essentially, the amount of representatives that a state holds is dependent upon the state’s population level; a statistic collected by the census.
The United States Congress is a legislative powerhouse for the country, as they create and pass national laws. Congress additionally holds equal power to the executive branch, led by the President, as well as the judicial branch, led by the United States Supreme Court.
The United States’ general election, which occurs every four years, collects results for a popular vote and an electoral college vote. The popular vote is the sum of each individual voter who selects a president and vice president. Each vote is then used to build a group of electors, which thus creates the electoral college.
In the electoral college system, each state has a specified number of electors based on its representation in Congress. As explained above, Congress is built dependent upon each state’s population.
The census develops statistics that are used to draw congressional boundaries, dictate the number of representatives for each area, and essentially dictates the number of electoral college voters for the general election. The impact of the Census is increasingly significant, and in the midst of a polarized political climate, ensuring that each person counts within a boundary ensures that their beliefs, their values, and their opinions count as well.
The United States is a democracy, and the Census is a major aspect of ensuring that our democracy is representative of the people within it. Even though the popular vote doesn’t determine our President, it is a representation of this country’s beliefs. This upcoming Census will redraw those boundaries, recount the electors, and has the potential to change this country’s future.
This 2020, make sure that your voice counts, and that all #CougsCount.