Essay, Research Paper: Electoral College 


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The Electoral College has been used to elect the President since the beginnings
of the United States. In the two hundred some odd years of history, there have
been instances when the college did not work. There have been many ideas that
have floated around about fixing the problem with the electorate. Then again,
there are many plusses to using the Electoral College system. In an election,
the President is elected not by the popular vote, but by the votes of the
electorates. The electorates are representative of each state. There are a
number of electorates per state equal to the amount of persons in both the House
of Representatives, and the Senate. The District of Columbia also has three
votes to cast. One of the major drawbacks to the Electoral College is the fact
that it can at times be very undemocratic. If a candidate wins the votes in
certain states, and gets all their electoral votes, it is possible to win the
Presidency, without getting the most popular vote. In the 1800’s, there were
three instances where the Electoral College disagreed with the popular vote. On
the same note, in 1968, the race would have ended up in congress shy of a few
votes for George Wallace. Again in 1976, the electoral vote gave Gerald Ford the
victory even though Jimmy Carter one the most popular support. How would you fix
this problem, there is no easy answer to this question. One way to solve this is
send percentages of electoral votes, or ignore the winner-take all system. For
instance, say that in Florida, who has 25 votes, 80 percent of the popular vote
supports the democratic nomination, whereas the other 20 percent went for the
republican nomination. Then 20 electoral votes would go to the democrat, and 5
would go to the republican. Another way to solve this problem would be to base
electoral votes solely on the population, separate the nation into regions with
approximately the same population, and give them each votes. In this, there
would be no actual state borders, just a set number of voting regions. A third
and final way to solve the problem would be to do away with the system entirely,
and let the popular vote be the sole decision making factor. This would be the
easiest and quickest way to solve the Electoral College problem. The electoral
system is not all bad. There are several pluses to its use. One of those plusses
is the declaration of a clear winner. Whichever candidate wins the most votes,
or the first to get 270 votes, wins. Also with the current winner-take all
policy, it makes the smaller states votes more important and less significant to
the candidates. There is also the ability to tell that a clear winner may or may
not have a mandate. A mandate states that the public endorses a candidate’s
programs and that the candidate should put them into affect when he finally
reaches office. The Electoral College is the system of the United States, set up
even before the first actual political parties, that is used to elect the
President and the Vice President. The Electoral College is not perfect by any
means. There have been some instances when a President has been elected even
though he wasn’t the popular choice, but the plusses given to the election
process by having it are worth the few mistakes.
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