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The variational finite element method is applied to tackle the electromagnetic wave propagation problem in the presence of anisotropy and one‐dimensional inhomogeneity. The problem is first formulated to a variational equation through a new approach based on the induction theorem, reactions, and reciprocity. The obtained variational equation is then solved via the finite element method. Numerical results for the problem of wave normally incident upon a stratified magnetoplasma are also included.