The Reasons Why The Electoral College System Should Be Abolished

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The Electoral College System

The Electoral College system was established in the constitution by the founders in 1787. The Electoral College consists of 538 electors who cast votes to decide the president and vice president of the United States. A presidential candidate must receive majority of 270 electors’ votes to be declared the winner. The eligible voters indirectly vote for the president and vice president through the electors as part of the plan to separate powers and authority.[1] The Electoral College has been the part of country’s history and has been the basis of the national electoral system. It was a perfect system in the early years but recently it is associated with bad qualities as it does not represent a democratic process as it should. This is because a candidate who loses the popular vote and wins the Electoral College votes became president of the United States. I believe that the Electoral College way of electing the president should be abolished and adopt a popular vote system which is more democratic.

The Will of the People

The first reason why the Electoral College system should be abolished is that it ignores the will of the people. In the United States, there are over 300 million people but it is unfortunate that the president and the vice president are actually elected by 538 Americans. In 2016 presidential race, for instance, Hilary Clinton received more popular votes by over 2.8 million votes but lost on Electoral College votes to Donald Trump who received 306 Electoral College votes. In addition, there were four times in United State history where the presidential candidate won the election despite being supported by Electoral votes and not the popular votes. A candidate who loses on popular vote may be considered unpopular president and particularly unsuccessful. Donald who benefited with the system in 2016 said “the Electoral College is a disaster for Democracy and he believed the president should be chosen by the people.[2]

The Lack of Political Awareness

The second, the founders of the system believed that the America public was uneducated and lacked political awareness when making the best decision of selecting the president. They proposed the Electoral College system through electors would ensure that the office of president is endowed by a qualified person.[3] This reason is no longer relevant due to availability of modern technology that allows people to get information to make informed decisions. Moreover, the electors are generally chosen by the candidate’s political party and are expected to vote along the party line and not their own opinion of the candidates.

Unfairness to Voters

Third, the Electoral College system results in unfairness to voters in the smaller state compared to larger states. It apportions each state the same number of Electoral College votes for each representative in Congress. This implies that the system produces a bad result because smaller states are over-represented while large states are underrepresented. The Electoral College system is supposed to complement the voter rights law by ensuring that a fair representative for all Americans which it fails to do. The equal apportionment of the Electoral College votes means that one is more worth if you live in a smaller state and less worth in a larger state. Consequently, this creates an unfair advantage to eligible voters in the small states whose votes count more than the eligible voters living in large and medium states.

The Focus on Swing States

Electoral College system was designed with the view of ensuring all states are involved in the process of selecting of the president. The idea was good because the presidential candidate would campaign in all states including the one with the smallest population. However, The Electoral College system the state get a predetermined number of electoral votes in spite of the voters turns out. The political party namely the democrat and republican can count with certain states that would vote for them. This makes the presidential candidates focus their attention on swing states. This makes the candidates shift most of the campaign effort to a limited state that can swing anyway and leaves the other states that they are can hardly get votes or guaranteed to vote for them. In 2016, two-thirds of all public campaign events were held in just six states, Ohio, Michigan, Pennsylvania, Florida, Virginia and North Carolina.[4] Consequently the system creates the same problem it aimed to fix since the national presidential campaign does not exist.

Unfair Representation and Geographic Diversity

The Electoral College is a winner takes all system that ensures the candidates with most votes are elected as states electors. This brings an unfair representation of geographical and demographic diversity. A state with majority democrat and minority republican then the republican in that state will not be represented. Consequently, the Republican in San Francisco will be discouraged to vote since their votes are worthless and the Democrats will win no matter what. If a popular vote could be used all American could be treated equally regardless of where they live.

Political Stability vs. Lack of Choice

Most people against the view of abolishing the Electoral College argue that the system encourages political stability. The Electoral College system focuses on two main political parties and makes it almost impossible for a third-party. This means that the presidents of the United State will be from either democrat or republican which create certainty of how the government will run no matter which party wins. If the United States could abolish the Electoral College system will result to emerge of smaller parties with slightly different views. In addition, the Electoral College system promotes cohesiveness in the country by ensuring the candidates campaign and receiving support from every state.[6] Abolishing the system will encourage the presidential candidates to focus their attention on larger states and ignore the states with a smaller population. However, as long as the Electoral College system is in place there will be no chance of alternative option of a more suitable candidate from the third party.

In Conclusion

In conclusion, Electoral College forms the basis of the voting system in the United States. The system of electing the president was perfect when it was established which may not be perfect in recent years. Current Electoral College system has many flaws than good as it does not represent a democratic system. The system is outdated; a system cannot stay perfect forever. This because the US has advanced with modern technology that allows easy access to information thus voters are more educated than when it was established. The presidential candidate focuses more on the swing States and ignores other states that hardly vote for them or are sure of their votes. The only solution to make a democratic system in America is to abolish the Electoral College system and adopt a popular vote system. This will ensure the president and vice president of United States is elected by millions of American eligible votes and not 538 electors.

References

1. Maskin, Eric, and Amartya Sen. "A better way to choose presidents." The New York Review of Books (2017).

2. Tyler Comrie, Time to End the Electoral College, The New yorlk Times.Retrieved from: https://www.nytimes.com/2016/12/19/opinion/time-to-end-the-electoral-college.html

3. Kiersten Essenpreis. Let the People Pick the Presiden. The New yorlk Times.Retrieved from: https://www.nytimes.com/2017/11/07/opinion/elections-electoral-college-voting.html

4. Reynolds, Nathaniel. "The True Electoral College." (2018).

5. Charles Fried. Should the Electoral College Be Abolished. The New yorlk Times.Retrieved from: https://www.nytimes.com/roomfordebate/2016/11/16/should-the-electoral-college-be-abolished

[1]

Maskin, Eric, and Amartya Sen. "A better way to choose presidents." The New York Review of Books (2017).

[2]

Comrie Tyler. Time to End the Electoral College, The New yorlk Times.Retrieved from: https://www.nytimes.com/2016/12/19/opinion/time-to-end-the-electoral-college.html

[3]Ibid 2

[4]

Essenpreis Kierstern. Let the People Pick the Presiden. The New yorlk Times.Retrieved from: https://www.nytimes.com/2017/11/07/opinion/elections-electoral-college-voting.html

[5]

Reynolds, Nathaniel. "The True Electoral College." (2018).

[6] Charles Fried. Should the Electoral College Be Abolished. The New yorlk Times.Retrieved from: https://www.nytimes.com/roomfordebate/2016/11/16/should-the-electoral-college-be-abolished

November 13, 2023
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