Electoral College System Analysis

Subject: Politics & Government
Pages: 5
Words: 1283
Reading time:
5 min
Study level: School

The presidential election process of the US is one of the complex processes in the world but at the same time the most fascinating process. The process is also long starting from candidate’s nomination to the inauguration of the newly elected president.

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The campaign takes almost two years where abundance of money is witnessed by the American citizens. The actual voting takes place on every November 4th. After this 4th of November, in mid December the president and his/her vice are subjected to another voting of the Electoral College. The Electoral College is comprised of five hundred and eight voters who are American citizens and was established in the American Constitution in its Article 2 which was later amended in 1804 (Longley).

This college is a representation of the whole country where in each state there are their representatives. The electors of the Electoral College of each state are given according to the number Representatives in the House and then for each of the two US Senators one elector is added. The members of this college have the responsibility of voting for the candidate that individuals had voted for during the actual voting of the Americans.

The college members are like now pledging the votes and the candidate who gets the popular vote in each state is declared winner. The only state that gets three electors is the Columbia District. Though the state laws stipulate how these electors are chosen, within each state the political party committees select them. Each elector is given one vote and a total of 270 votes are needed for one to be declared a winner. If non of the candidate gets this target of the majority votes, the House of Representatives decides on the winner though this is not a frequent occurrence and in fact it has only happened twice in the history of America; in 1801 and 1825 during the time of president Thomas Jefferson and john Quincy respectively(Longley).

For all the electoral systems in the world there are always problems and successes and the Electoral College in the US is no exception. One of the major problems is that the representation is determined by the congressmen/women in the house of the representatives and it happens that the state with greater populations results with getting a greater number of electors in the college. This is problematic since the states with few congressional representatives get few voting rights. America is a country of democracy and where it is argued that in democratic state the majority should rule, the minority should be given their way which is not the case in the US. In most cases the country is much divided politically hence the votes are split amongst the presidents (Hardy).

It also happens that the time between the general election’s voting process and the Electoral College voting is very long. This is because the counting of votes and hearing of protests, recounting and settling any dispute takes time hence the delay. Although a particular candidate might have been declared winner in the general election voting, it might turn out that in the Electoral College voting the candidate is again defeated.

This denies the winner to lose the popular vote by the majority citizens and hence the declared winner by the college will not be a representative of the majority. For instance, a president may end up not getting any vote in a particular state but end up being declared the winner by the Electoral College votes (www.geocities.com ). This is especially a case where the electors change when they go to vote and hence betraying the citizens who gave them the mandate to go and elect the president of their choice. This has happened in the past (1876, 1888 and 2000). In 2000 general election, Al Gore was declared a loser though he had won with popular votes against George Bush who was declared winner through the Electoral College votes (Longley).

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The other major problem is where the turnout of voters is jeopardized. The number of electors is equalized in each state and hence their turnout does not make any difference and hence the minority states will have equal voting rights. The system does not show clearly the popularity of the winner. This is because the electors seem to represent the states that are considered unproductive excessively. This is because the numbers in the house of the representatives determine the number of the electors selected in that state. This number does not represent the popularity of the president (Hardy).

The system though has some goodness in it and the process of Electoral College voting might be a good thing for American people. One advantage is that the process upholds the cohesion that is vital for all the citizens in America. These electors act as the distribution agents of the popularity of the elected president. In this, the president will not be elected on the basis of one single state with large population and denying the states with small population the right to elect their president of their choice.

There is no single state that has majority electors’ votes and hence there is distribution of popularity in the country. Due to the fact that the president to be is not allowed to select his/her running vice president from his/her state, it happens that the president to be will actually try to mend the ties with almost every state and hence the Electoral College does not result into unequal popularity distribution (www.spiritus-temporis.com ).

The minority states are protected by this process since their electors may actually change the election where the president is elected by majority and hence enhancing their status in the country. This minority population seems to be concentrated where least votes come from and hence the aspiring president seeks their support and becomes more sensitive to their needs. Should there a case where the election is determined by the majority votes, the minority group would ever continue to suffer since they have no say in any particular elections.

The Electoral College system helps to maintain the status quo in America by being a two party state which enhances political stability. A new party would find it very hard to have popularity and governing the country. As to such, the constitution of America that states that America is federal governed. This is ensured by reserving the political power to the states where each state is represented in the house of the representatives on the basis of the size of the population in each state (www.geocities.com ).

Though it has support of some Americans, the college’s disadvantages outweighs the advantages. Elections are held in order to renew the popularity of the president and if this process is carried out by the simple majority of the electors in the Electoral College, then this will not have assured the meritocracy of the elected president. The most affected people in this process is the minority group. There is no use of going through the Electoral College process since it seems like duplication of work already done by the majority population.

On the other hand, the presidential post should be competitive and hence giving opportunities to every American citizen by going through the general election voting. This can be solved if each state had equal number of representatives. This will reduce much power that is bestowed to the small states in the college voting which is unnecessary. The candidate who wins the popular vote should be reserved a particular number of Electoral College votes. By doing this, it would be very hard for the popular candidate to lose on an election even if the electors in the Electoral College voted against him/her.

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Works Cited

Robert Longley: The Electoral College System: Why does it Work This Way. Web.

Frank W. Hardy: How to Understand the US Presidential Elections. Web.

Elections and the Electoral Process. Web.