Home > B3 and B4, Learning > The Importance of the Electoral College

The Importance of the Electoral College

In this past trimester we have covered many topics regarding the government and how the government works.  We have gone over various topics and parts of the government such as presidency, campaigns, etc.  However, in my opinion the most fascinating and interesting thing that we have covered this trimester is the elections.  There are a lot of factors that go into the election process that very few people know about.  One of, if not the most, important factor that goes into the election process is the Electoral College.  The Electoral College is the deciding factor in an election, and has been involved with the government since the first days of the American government.  It has survived all the changes in the government that have occurred since the very beginning, and it remains one of the most important aspects of the government today.


The Electoral College is the process in which the President and Vice President are elected.   It started with the Founding Fathers, as they faced a challenging conflict between the people and congress.  This conflict was the people wanted the popular vote to decide the president, while congress wanted to decide the president because they felt the citizens weren’t able to make a sophisticated vote.  The Founding Fathers eventually came to a compromise between the two sides, which is now known as the Electoral College.  The Electoral College was established in the second article of the constitution, and amended in the 12th amendment.  The 12th amendment didn’t change the function of the Electoral College, but rather the process for choosing the electors. These electors are now appointed by each state; each state has a different number of electors.  The number of electors is determined by the number of members the state has in the House of Representatives.  These different electors are chosen by the political party committees in their state; there is a total of 538 electors that are members of the Electoral College.

The Electoral College works in a simple concept; the elector “pledges” to elect the candidate that the people vote for.  The candidate with the highest total of electoral votes wins the election.  However, like I said earlier not every state gets equal amount of electoral votes.  This concept of the Electoral College altars the way candidates approach voters and which states they will try harder for.  Candidates have realized that they will have the best opportunity to win if they attain the states with the highest electoral votes.  The candidate that ultimately receives 270 electoral votes will win the election.  This format in which the Electoral College is run has been under constant scrutiny in the past years.  The prime example of why the Electoral College is under criticism is the election between George Bush and Al Gore.  Al Gore won the popular vote, however, he didn’t win the election because George Bush won the majority of the electoral votes.  This incident frightened people because it showed that they were not getting what they wanted, or what they had voted for.


The election process is a very interesting and confusing concept.  It is very fascinating to me how the citizens allow for a group of electors to chose their leaders, who will lead and make all the important decisions for their country for at least the next four years.  However, this concept also allows for a more educated election.  Recent studies show that there has been a decrease in the participation of the people in the elections. This statistic shows that people aren’t putting substantial thought into who they want president, but more focused on the candidate of their political party or other uneducated motives for choosing a candidate.  This is why I believe that we should keep the electoral college. The Electoral College is a highly significant necessity of the election process, and it is greatly needed to keep the election process successful.  The Electoral College allows for a more educated way to vote for a candidate, which is why it is essential to keep it in the election process.

  1. May 1, 2012 at 2:21 pm

    Cole, great job!! I really enjoyed your post on the electoral college. It gave me a great idea of how it works. If I could give a piece of advice, you could give an opinion of whether or not the electoral college should stay. Other than that, great job!!

  2. ryanr13
    May 1, 2012 at 2:30 pm

    Cole, your post is good. You voice your opinion and you give background on your topic. However, the one suggestion that I have is that you organize your thoughts in a different way. Maybe this is just me, and I may be wrong, but the way your pictures are kind of causes breaks in your reading. I’d suggest maybe wrapping the text so there isn’t as much of a jump. Other than that, I like it.

  3. hunterp23
    May 1, 2012 at 2:30 pm

    You had a good post with a lot of information. Two things I didn’t like were how you didnt exactly explain the 12th amendment and state how you feel and then it would be great. Overall great article.

  4. May 5, 2012 at 7:45 pm

    Good effort! One thought:

    When you write: “citizens allow for a group of electors to chose their leaders” it appears that you’ve lost sight of a fact you’d mentioned earlier – “the elector “pledges” to elect the candidate that the people vote for”… in reality, then, the electors’ role is largely ceremonial; peoples’ votes count state-by-state.

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