American Government and Politics
Argue for or against the electoral college
The 2000 United States (U.S.) presidential election concluded with Vice President Al Gore winning half a million more popular votes than George W. Bush (50,992,335 to 50,455,156) yet losing the White House in the Electoral College by only five votes (271 to 266). It once again raised questions about the validity of the Electoral College as the same scenario has occurred in the 1824, 1876, and 1888 presidential elections. This essay will discuss two problems of the Electoral College: the failure to accurately reflect national popular vote will and the problem of state bias. I argue that the U.S. should abolish the Electoral College and implementthe direct popular election of the president. The Electoral College fails to accurately reflect national popular vote will as it is possible to elect a minority president. As mentioned above, this “incident” has happened four times in history. The Electoral College is fundamentally unfair to voters where voting rights are grounded in the one person, one vote principle. By giving a chance for the Electoral College to elect a minority president, it shows that the Electoral College ignores the people’s choice. The Electoral College also faces the problem of state bias which favors the votes of some citizens over that of others. Firstly, it gives undue weight to the votes of citizens in the smaller states. As the constitution assigns a number of electors equal to the whole number of senators and representatives, each state will at least have three electors, including the smaller states. This system gives “bonus votes” to the smaller states since the three electors they have are more than what they deserve on the basis of their population share. Therefore, this bias gives added power to citizens of small states. For example, in the 2000 election, California cast one electoral vote for every 203,071 voters while Wyoming cast one electoral vote for...
References: Abbott, David W. and James P. Levine, 1991. Wrong Winner: the Coming Debacle in the Electoral College. Connecticut: Preagar Publisher.
Feerick, John D, 1968
[ 3 ]. Carolyn Jefferson Jenkins, “Who Should Elect the President? The Case Against the Electoral Collge,” National Civic Review, Vol 90, Issue 2, (Summer 2001)
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