Electoral College Flaws

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America was molded by a group of individuals who felt that their voice was being drowned out by a tyrannical monarchy. After the revolution, this was resolved by creating a system that attempted to allow all people to have a say in the country’s government. The Electoral College was established as a representative way for the citizens of America to elect a leader; however, many are not satisfied with the results. A growing number of Americans would rather have a direct popular vote than the Electoral College. This disparity comes from believing that the current system is not democratic and prevents each vote from being viewed equally. The Electoral College needs to be changed because it misrepresents the opinions of the people, dismisses…show more content…
Another innate flaw in the Electoral College is it “damages the chances of third-party candidates [to make] a serious bid for the White House because such candidates rarely gain enough voter support to win entire states” (Newton and Rich, “Point: Electoral College”). Despite this, the presence of third party candidates can tip the popular vote in individual states, therefore affecting the total outcome of the election due to the “winner-takes-all” allocation of electoral votes. Such was the case with Ralph Nader, a Green Party presidential candidate, whose 1.6% of the popular vote in Florida was one of the factors that “shifted the state from Democratic nominee Al Gore to Republican George W. Bush” (Black, Minnpost). It is cases like these that hurt the overall case for third-party candidates, whose attempts to achieve office get dismissed by the general American public and other political parties. In the months surrounding the 2012 election, Republican campaign aides and officials were attempting to prevent Libertarian Party nominee Gary Johnson’s place on ballots out of fear that his presence would steal votes from Mitt Romney, the Republican Party candidate (Rutenberg, NYTimes). Practices like these show how the Electoral College indirectly allows the reduction of third-party candidates to ballot obstacles instead of legitimate contenders with valid ideas that could…show more content…
Presidential candidates will only seriously campaign in the 10-15 “swing” states where it is possible to persuade the vote (Liptak, NYTimes). These candidates do not show much campaigning effort toward “stalwart liberal states such as California and Massachusetts, or staunchly conservative states like South Carolina and Texas” either because “they know they have no chance of winning in the state or because they take for granted that they will win it” (Newton and Rich, “Point: Electoral College”). However, this attitude leads to indifferent voters. In 2008, 67% of the voter turnout was from the 15 states that received the most campaigning attention, which was six points higher than the turnout in the other 35 states (Liptak, NYTimes). Not only does this campaigning style diminish voter turnout, but it also causes candidates to cater their platform around what would benefit “swing” states rather than the nation as a whole. A candidate who needs Iowa’s electoral votes in order to win the election will have a platform that features ethanol subsides and agriculture-friendly policies, while a candidate’s platform who needs Florida’s votes will neglect to mention a cut in Medicare spending (Black, Minnpost). The way that candidates choose to campaign is a direct result from attempting to work the system in an effort to obtain as many electoral votes as possible, despite the
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