The Electoral College: Indispensible or Unnecessary? The Electoral College plays a vital role in American politics — so why is it so misunderstood and so frequently criticized? The Electoral College is the method by which a president is elected: each state and the District of Columbia hold voting contests, then cast a set number of electoral votes for a candidate based on the results of the state contest. A candidate must gain 270 electoral votes to win the presidency.
In Document C, Samples provides a federalist argument for supporting the electoral college by stating that it gives states an important role in choosing the president and thus supporting a fundamental principle of our democracy. The problem with Sample’s argument is that the electoral college is in essence undemocratic. We know that the electoral college is undemocratic because not only are small states over represented but a citizens vote can be weighted more or less depending on the state in which they reside in. In Document F, we are told what happens in case of a tie or no one winning the electoral vote. In case of this situation occurring then the House of Representatives will decide on who becomes president where state representatives will all get an equal vote.
Political parties have been a part of the United States’ government since the end of Washington’s presidency and they have become the backbone of how people shape their opinions and view the government. However, these parties were inevitable and would have happened had they been a part of the government process or not. Political parties had to form in the 19th century in order for people to successfully win elections at all, as it was hard for candidates to get their views out to the people, and because people need a group that they can sympathise with and support.
Current day, it has little relevancy since it was originally included to address also issues that do not exist anymore, including not trusting the decision to be made by the American people. When originally founded, they wanted to ensure the President was decided by electors who had the knowledge to make what they felt was informed decisions. Now, many people feel as though too much power is given to the electoral votes, and that their vote does not mean as much as someone in a different state. As it stands, many feel that small states are largely misrepresented and given too much power since the votes are not divided equally among the population. In fact, if the Electoral College system was not in the Constitution, it would undoubtedly be removed due to it being unconstitutional, because using the electoral votes violates the principle of one-person, one-vote.
The electoral college also know as the presidential electors are chosen to indirectly vote for the next U.S. presidents and vice presidents. The founding fathers had put this process in place in order to ensure the presidency was being elected by informed and educated people and not just by popular vote. The electoral college consists of 538 electors and in order to win the presidency, a majority of 270 electoral votes are required. Each state has a given specific amount of electors, which consists of one member from the House of Representatives and two from the House of Senates. For example, the state of California, on of the largest states holds 55 of the 270 electoral votes, while Vermont one of the smaller states, only holds 3 of the votes.
Most importantly, term limits prevent a president from becoming too powerful by limiting his time in power. Term limits prevent the government from turning into a dictatorship.
If the answer is, it isn’t, that’s not the way the founders intended it, then we shouldn’t use a hastily created system made by people who came from a time when the common man was illiterate. It was a system created because the founders believed that the average person couldn’t truly be trusted electing the leader, so they created a system to separate their decisions from how the president is picked. Whether or not the founders were
Jackson was previously known as a national hero, someone who did what they could to ensure the security of the nation’s people. He was also an experienced politician especially in the West. By running for president in 1824 for the first time, the voting process changed as more and more people started to get involved. According to “Methods of Electing Presidential Electors: 1816 to 1836”, 4 years before Jackson’s first run for office Massachusetts, Illinois, and Maine were the only states that used the people to vote for the president. When Jackson entered campaigning, he relied on the opinion of the people which in turn people voted to make their voice known.
“The Founding Fathers established The Electoral College as a compromise between election of the President by a vote in Congress and election of the President by a popular vote of qualified citizens.” according to archives.gov. The Electoral College was an option out of four ideas as stated in a peer-reviewed article by William C. Kimberling, a Deputy Director FEC Office of Election Administration. He stated that during this time, the colonies had a small population and people where very spread out, an idea of a patriarchal figure is very displeasing, those are a couple of problems the Convention had to go through... The Constitutional Convention had a couple of ideas like for example Congress choosing the president, state legislature chooses the president and the popular vote, but they ultimately chose the Electoral College.
No other nation has so ornamental a manner of determining their leader in this circumstance, as president of the United States. The framers petrified that a presidential plebiscite and—with reminiscences of how the Roman republic deteriorated into an kingdom—dreaded that the people together with a president who controlled the armed forces might imperil liberty and constitutional government. Their distress of mobocracy led them to cast-off popular election of the president (Genovese “Electoral College”). Unlike the electoral process for members of Congress or governors, citizens do not directly elect the president of the United States. Instead, the president is chosen by a group of 538 electors that comprise the Electoral College.
After much heated debate, and leaving the subject of the executive branch and returning to it, an idea was proposed. This proposal goes to the roots of our nation as it was made in compromise of the two most popular standing ideas. This proposal was the electoral college. This gave the votes to the electors who chose how their state would use their electoral votes. The votes were based on the size of each state.
If the people were to elect the president directly, certain situations/problems wouldn’t be as analyzed like the Electoral College analyzes it. (McGraw Hill pg.385) If we were to get rid of the electoral college the states with a higher population would dominate the elections, therefore, leaving the small rural states unnoticed or with no voice. That would be very unfair towards rural areas, the present system gives the state’s power more strength and secures our federal system’s strength. (McGraw Hill pg.385)
The Electoral College’s opponents believe that it is an unfair way of doing things because it doesn’t necessarily make every vote count, but they may not realize that it lets every state have a say. The candidate with an absolute majority in each state receives the elector’s votes, therefore it really boils down to a popular election just on a state by state basis, rather than a national one. “The proposals to abolish the Electoral College are proposals to abolish the Federal principle in presidential elections”(Best). The Electoral College has history on it’s side, the system they use really works, it is the best option we have, and it needs to be
The Electoral College is a system that was put in place in 1787 when the founding fathers were determining how to fairly elect a president in a country that had different sized states that separated themselves from a centralized national government in a time when national votes being collected from all of the people, given the rural areas and lack of transportation or communication, was not feasible, thus eliminating the idea of a simple national popular vote. Other ideas suggested included having Congress or state legislatures elect the president, but these too were discarded due to the risks of upsetting balance of the power, either between the executive and legislative branch, or between state and federal governments. In the end, the concept of the Electoral College was passed. With the Electoral College, each state has a specified number of voting districts, these divided and based upon the population of that state. During an election, the people vote for the candidate they choose, and the candidate who wins the popular vote wins the election - for that state.
They may argue that it gives less populated areas a voice, leading to a unified country (Kimberling). William C. Kimberling notes, “Proponents argue that the Electoral College system contributes to the cohesiveness of the country by requiring a distribution of popular support to be elected president, without such a mechanism, they point out, president would be selected either through the domination of one populous region over the others or through the domination of large metropolitan areas over the rural ones.” When stated this way, one can see the benefits of the Electoral College. On the contrary, some believe it allows rural populations to have the upperhand (Kimberling). This is due to the fact that electoral votes are not determined by population size, but by the number of House and Senate members.