United States Electoral System

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Attention Materials: Did you remember that? In the United States, a presidential elector will be chosen with a minority vote.
This is opposed to the concept of democracy.
Article 2 of the Constitution of the United States created a framework for the election of the President of the Electoral College.
There are 538 electors, and a majority of 270 votes is expected to clinch the presidency (National Archives and Records Administration, n.d.). Following the fears that the populated areas will give undue advantage to the candidates who happen to come from those regions. In 1787, the constitution connection came up with a new voting system that is known as electoral connection. The process allows indirect participation of the people as they elect a representative who in turn votes for the presidential candidate.

Others objected as they did not want to leave the decision to the Congress alone. The system was adopted as a mean of resolving the conflicts that existed between smaller and larger states (National Archives and Records Administration, n.d.).

Transition: In the next section, we shall look at the advantages and as well disadvantages of the electoral system over the popular vote system.

Advantages and Disadvantages

Advantages: The system ensures that each state is as important as the other one. Thus, the candidates will pay attention to all the states regardless of their size or population. This ensures that their plights are addressed as candidates require the support to be spread across all states

Disadvantages: The system allows a president to elect with less than the majority votes. This has happened only four times in the United States history, and it happened in the 2016 election where Hillary Clinton won the popular votes by over 3 million votes but lost the electoral votes to Donald Trump (CNN Politics, 2016). The system allows overrepresentation of the smaller states.

Transition: There are some major criticism and counter-criticism of the system. The next section will evaluate different viewpoints.


The main criticism of the system emanates from the fact that a president can be elected by a minority vote. However, in spite of this criticism, it has withstood the test of time since 1787.

The electoral colleges are more informed and likely to replicate the peoples’ choice, and since they are elected by the people, the presumptions are that they represent the will of the people. The electoral colleges allow the separation of powers which would have been the case if Congress was allowed to elect the president (Howard, 2010).


Despite the criticisms of the system, it has withstood the test of time for over two centuries. It allows the presidential candidates to value all the states including those with low population.

The clincher: The fact that it has been operational for over 2 centuries is an indication that it is effective in fostering cohesion and equality amongst the states.


CNN Politics. (2016). 2016 presidential election results. Retrieved from http://edition.cnn.com/election/results/president

Howard, T. M. (2010). Untitled Document. Retrieved from https://www.harding.edu/howard/electoralcollege.htm

National Archives and Records Administration. (n.d.). U. S. Electoral College, Official - What is the Electoral College? Retrieved from https://www.archives.gov/federal-register/electoral-college/about.html

July 24, 2021


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Democracy Voting President

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