Electoral College Vs Popular Vote

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The 2000 presidential elections demonstrated an incredible loophole in the race for the Presidency, found in the Electoral College. In the results of the elections, George W. Bush had lost the popular vote 545,000 votes, but won the Presidency by swinging a lead of 5 votes in the Electoral College. This discrepancy outraged citizens and politicians across the United States. This is not the only instance of the majority candidate not winning the race, for it has happened three times throughout American history (Longley, Pierce 28-29). The Electoral College poses the challenge of evaluating a process that is both highly disputed in how legislators believe it should be run and so incredibly vital to the function of the United States Government.…show more content…
One of the primary arguments to the credit of the Electoral College is that a winner can be more easily determined in the Electoral College vs the popular vote. The Electoral College has a system for handling ties (The House of Representatives), and is much more accurate than the popular vote. It is not possible to attain 100% accuracy when the voting population totals above 126 million, making for difficult logistics and guaranteed recounts, whereas determining a majority in a state to assign electors is trivial in comparison, thus “saving the nation ‘from the effects of an ambiguous outcome‘”(Hardaway 127). As well as being highly accurate in deciding a winner, the Electoral College also ensures that political candidates must campaign in nearly every state because of the power of each to affect the election, ensuring that every state actively participates in the political process. In addition, the winner-take-all system, also known as “unit rule”, while not always necessarily representative of the popular vote, “the electoral college and unit rule provide decisive majorities that lend stability to our presidential election system” (Josephson, Ross 162). This stability compliments the argument that it simply isn’t worth the effort to make any changes to the Electoral College because of the work involved and how functional it is. The Electoral College may not be the most ideal system, but it performs the functions it was designed to do. As said by Alexander Bickel on the…show more content…
This institution, created as a method of compromise during a time long past has persisted in its original form, and we are starting to notice its effects on society, how its design enables it to maintain stability in the presidential election system and give more balanced influence on the federal government to every state. Yet it also has its downfalls, from the “faithless electors” to the misrepresentation of the public, especially 3rd party candidates and minorities. These collectively draw a picture of a system that, as of yet, has not needed to be changed, but may be in the near future. It is versatile enough to change to fit the needs of the people when it is needed to be changed through amendment of the constitution, and ultimately in itself has caused no problems. The problems are side effects of how it has been implemented, but not of the College itself. The debate surrounding the Electoral College is not about the College itself, but how the vote is handled by the college, and whether as a country we value the importance of every state, or the importance of every
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