Home > A1, Learning > The Controversial Electoral College

The Controversial Electoral College

Electoral College

            The Electoral College is one of the most important group of people in political elections. This vital group of politicians is appointed to in the end elect the President and Vice President of the United States of America. The twelfth amendment tells us that each elector may cast one vote for the President and another for the Vice President.   The current Electoral College is defined as “The procedure for selecting the president of The United States, defined in the Article II of the constitution, whereby the voters in each state choose electors to attend a gathering where the electors make the final decision” (Textbook p. 122). This Electoral College is a very difficult process and has many pros and cons. One of the main opposition to the Electoral College is the fact that one can win the popular vote of America, but then lose the election due to the Electoral College.

            The main issue many seem to uncover with the Electoral College is that it lacks to convey the popular vote of America. When our founders composed our government it was intended to be a democracy and was founded for the people. Many might say that the Electoral College limits the people’s voices. This being in the way that the popular vote of America has little to no significance in who is going to be the leader of our country. “The first problem with the Electoral College system is that it is inherently unfair and may disenfranchise voters,” (Reader p. 126). This proves true in a few cases since presidential elections starting occurring 1788. Since 1824, there have been three cases where the president has won the popular vote of American people and gone on to lose the election. Although this is not a very high percentage or may seem like a large number in the least, it is still a flaw in the system in many people’s eyes. One view of many people is that the Electoral College was a very profound and effective system for the eighteenth century. “I consider the Electoral College a brilliant eighteenth century device that cleverly solved a cluster of eighteenth century problems.” Professor Amar stated. The main issue back when politics were just beginning in America was that many establishments and people were very spread out across the country. This in result made it very difficult for the average citizen of the United States to become educated about politics. A common belief is that the founders of our country wanted to ensure that the correct president was selected because the more educated votes were the ones that would be casted. The only issue with that is it disenfranchises the votes of the uneducated. Now that there are so many ways in our society to learn about politics and keep up with ongoing elections this is not as much of an issue anymore. People are becoming more educated in politics at a much younger age. A large discussion today is how we can modernize or make revisions to the system or if they are needed at all. “…they passed a law that would award the state’s electoral votes to the winner of the national popular vote- so long as other states agree to do the same,”(Textbook p. 125). This process if accepted by all states would be the best system to voice the opinions of the people. This is a very controversially topic and is ongoing today. http://uselectionatlas.org/INFORMATION/INFORMATION/electcollege_procon.php

Overall I believe that the Electoral College is out dated and is ready for a change. The fact that the president can be voted most popular by the United States of America and not win the election should not be a possibility. I also believe that if the Electoral College would still stay intact that it should make a change. A good way to change the system would to have all the electoral votes from a state directly contribute to the candidate that wins the popular vote. In the end the current process of the Electoral College disenfranchises votes from the people and quiets the voice of the people.

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  1. April 25, 2012 at 2:33 pm

    The National Popular Vote bill would guarantee the Presidency to the candidate who receives the most popular votes in all 50 states (and DC).

    Every vote, everywhere, would be politically relevant and equal in presidential elections. No more distorting and divisive red and blue state maps. There would no longer be a handful of ‘battleground’ states where voters and policies are more important than those of the voters in more than 3/4ths of the states that now are just ‘spectators’ and ignored after the primaries.

    When the bill is enacted by states possessing a majority of the electoral votes– enough electoral votes to elect a President (270 of 538), all the electoral votes from the enacting states would be awarded to the presidential candidate who receives the most popular votes in all 50 states and DC.

    The bill uses the power given to each state by the Founding Fathers in the Constitution to change how they award their electoral votes for President. Historically, virtually all of the major changes in the method of electing the President, including ending the requirement that only men who owned substantial property could vote and 48 current state-by-state winner-take-all laws, have come about by state legislative action.

    In Gallup polls since 1944, only about 20% of the public has supported the current system of awarding all of a state’s electoral votes to the presidential candidate who receives the most votes in each separate state (with about 70% opposed and about 10% undecided). Support for a national popular vote is strong among Republicans, Democrats, and Independent voters, as well as every demographic group in virtually every state surveyed in recent polls in closely divided Battleground states: CO – 68%, FL – 78%, IA 75%, MI – 73%, MO – 70%, NH – 69%, NV – 72%, NM– 76%, NC – 74%, OH – 70%, PA – 78%, VA – 74%, and WI – 71%; in Small states (3 to 5 electoral votes): AK – 70%, DC – 76%, DE – 75%, ID – 77%, ME – 77%, MT – 72%, NE 74%, NH – 69%, NV – 72%, NM – 76%, OK – 81%, RI – 74%, SD – 71%, UT – 70%, VT – 75%, WV – 81%, and WY – 69%; in Southern and Border states: AR – 80%,, KY- 80%, MS – 77%, MO – 70%, NC – 74%, OK – 81%, SC – 71%, TN – 83%, VA – 74%, and WV – 81%; and in other states polled: CA – 70%, CT – 74%, MA – 73%, MN – 75%, NY – 79%, OR – 76%, and WA – 77%. Americans believe that the candidate who receives the most votes should win.

    The bill has passed 31 state legislative chambers in 21 states. The bill has been enacted by 9 jurisdictions possessing 132 electoral votes – 49% of the 270 necessary to go into effect.

    Follow National Popular Vote on Facebook via nationalpopularvoteinc

  2. govq20
    May 1, 2012 at 7:37 am

    HI LUKE, your paper is very interesting to me invoking this hot subject. If I had to suggest some changes, I think you should add a more interesting tittle as well as it is needed for you to have hyperlinks. Overall the quality and length of the paper is very good, but you have a few grammatical errors in the main body paragraph. The maid idea and the citation used to prove it were good though.

  3. 18travis
    May 1, 2012 at 7:37 am

    Your first paragraph looks a little weird being centered and I would consider changing it. I like the quote that you put in the first paragraph from out textbook. I might suggest separating the second paragraph into different paragraphs because it feels a little long to me and I think that I could be more impact full if they were shorter. I like how at the end you stated how you feel about the electoral college but think that a hyperlink to a website that supports your side would be helpful.

  4. May 1, 2012 at 7:51 am

    Luke, I think you have written a very interesting reflection. I would say that if you changed anything perhaps divdiding up your second paragraph into two parts. I also think that you could give a hyperlink that goes to a graph or percentages as well as having the picture you have on your reflection. By doing this you can help the reader by giving them more to look at and understand.

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