By Tanya Trimble

The American voting system is a fraudulent, worthless game played between members of the same elite corporate class. As America shakes with unrest, chaos and criminality, 58 percent of eligible voters have withheld their vote in the 57th Presidential election. Mostly, these decisions not to vote were made with good reason. Non-voting citizens believe that their vote has no effect on their future, as has been proven in countless previous elections. Americans are no longer able to rely on the political system to work as a fair democratic process, and instead face lies, misinformation, and the repeal of promises made. The majority of Americans no longer want to partake in this rigged game of elite power.

Reports from the beginning of November 2012 show that out of 207 million eligible voters only 150 million had registered to participate in the election. Many decided to withhold their vote as a sign of protest toward the two party system as it unfairly forces a vote between two candidates with only marginal differences and little to offer to the average American citizen. The stolen elections in 2000 and 2004 gave many people reason to believe that the election was not trustworthy. So why vote if the election has already been decided?

In America, the candidate who wins is chosen by the Electoral College rather than by direct popular vote. Thus, many believe the voting system is a fraud and that the individual’s vote no longer counts.

For example, as Caleb Maupin with New York’s International Action Center activist group points out, “If you are a Democrat in Texas or a Republican in New York, your vote will be overshadowed by the state’s majority”. Thus, many voters choose to stay at home.  According to forecasts presented before the 2012 election, the Democratic and Republican nominees, Obama and Romney, were each expected to be voted for by only 25 percent, or less, of eligible voters. Clearly, these two parties are not representing any majority of the American population, as very few were interested in truly supporting either candidate.

The time for reform is not only desperately needed, but has been so for decades. The Democratic and Republican parties have become one and the same, the Capitalist party. Both parties represent the interests of the corporations that fund their campaigns rather than what is important to the citizens of America.

Mike Harris, Managing Director of the Adamus Group states “If you look at the top 10 corporations contributing to either party, they’re essentially the same people, and this is why we have gridlock in this country and nothing changes”. Many citizens were in support of third party candidates, although their vote also did not count within the current Electoral College voting system. As it stands, third party candidates are forced to jump through many hoops just to get their name on the ballot, and even once this giant feat has successfully occurred they are not allowed to participate in the Presidential debates! This ridiculous system downplays the importance of third party political platforms and strategically ruins the chance for American citizens to make educated decisions on whom they would actually like to be in the White House and in control of their future.

The lack of participating voters, more than in any previous election, shows the true majority feeling of American citizens. The voting system is fraudulent and a waste of time. Reform isn’t just needed, it’s immediately required. However, until the citizens of this country demand change in the streets, at work and in their hearts we will continue to see the duopoly of corporate elite power rule over our lives.

Tanya Trimble is a  Sociology Major at Sonoma State University.