Does The American Vote Really Count?
January 16, 2013
This paper was prepared for English 2001, Section 06, taught by Professor Phillips.
Without the Electoral College, one sole human being or a party of political influence such as congress could possibly have too much governmental power. This is why the Founders chose to establish a safeguard of sorts to help with the checks and balances the Constitution refers to. Although very dated, this institution could benefit from some modernization. No longer do we have issues with communication: we have email, cell-phones and electronic voting machines. Prior to writing this essay this researcher had immense opposition to the Electoral College. However, after researching the evidence for this essay, and comparing the information leading to the pros and cons, this writer has a better understanding of the system and it’s interworking. From the information you peruse it is expected that the reader will required to be use it to make an informed decision to clearly decide whether or not the Electoral College is still required to be used to elect our President. Does the college need to remain, updated or be abolished. My interest for this paper was why do we still use the Electoral College? After an extensive review of ten articles, I have developed the following information: The President of the United States is not chosen due to popular vote, but rather due to the fact that the framers of the constitution created the Electoral College. Americans have questioned the system since its creation. (Uselton, 2008) The Electoral College was born due out of the the debate whether congress had the power to elect a president, or did the public’s national vote. One wonders if because we have such a democracy in place, does the American vote really count? Recently during the 2012 Presidential election, this researcher asked her husband if he had voted yet. He replied “yea, but who cares, it didn’t count anyway”. (W. K. Ellis, & M. J. Ellis, personal communication, November 13, 2012). It boggles the mind to think how many Americans think that and don’t even bother to get out and vote. I think as Americans we have lost our way in the political system. It is complex and difficult to understand. No longer do people gather at the barbershop to talk about politics and process. They spend their time watching sports on the big screen while waiting for their haircut. Poplar vote wins you nothing in the political arena; the big game takes place at the Electoral College. Let us start with the origins of our political system. The Electoral College was developed to assist in the debate of who should elect our President. Who would be given the ultimate power of deciding? The system was intended to be a sort of unbiased way of deciding this debate.
The Origin of the Electoral College
There is a contemporary idea in the political science world that the Electoral College is undemocratic. This is fostered by (1) understanding what “democratic” is what (or who) most voters want in extreme contrast to the Founding Fathers’ view that “democratic” combines as much as possible popular consent with “justice and the common good,” and (2) by the idea that “one person one vote” for president in each state is not democratic, because democracy requires “one vote, one value” nationally. (Glenn, 2003, p. 4) To understand the origin of the Electoral College, one must understand the roots of origin. The Electoral College was the name given to the United States Constitution’s plan to elect the President through fifty-one elections in the states simultaneously. This was their preference to one national election. (Glenn, 2003, p. 4) The constitution leaves how the elections are conducted up to the state’s discretion. The constitution allows the states to...
References: (2012, August 20). Why Do We Still Let the Electoral College Pick Our President? Targeted News Service. Retrieved from http://search.proquest.com.southuniversity.libproxy.edmc.edu/docview/1034516396?account id=87314
Althouse, A. (2001, Spring). Electoral college reform: Deja vu. Northwestern University Law Review, 95, 993-1014. Retrieved from http://login.southuniversity.libproxy.edmc.edu/login? url=http://search.proquest.com/docview/233359205?accountid=13931
Barnett, A. (2009, Winter). Selecting the Nation’s CEO: A Risk Assessment of the Electoral College*[dagger]: JMI JMI. Journal of Managerial Issues, 21, 447-460,443. Retrieved from http://login.southuniversity.libproxy.edmc.edu/login? url=http://search.proquest.com/docview/194167344?accountid=13931
Cain, C., Basciano, P. M., & Cain, E. (2007, March). The Electoral College: diversification and the election process. Constitutional Political Economy, 18, 21-34. http://dx.doi.org/10.1007/s10602-006-9010-0
Chapman, S. (2012, October 11). Shafted by the Electoral College: Most Americans are irrelevant in the campaign. Chicago Tribune, 1.23. Retrieved from http://research.proquest.com.southuniversity.libproxy.edmc.edu/docview/1095628181?accountid=87314
Cohen, J. E. (2005, Autumn). Why the Electoral College is Bad for America. Congress & the Presidency, 32, 173-175. Retrieved from http://login.southuniversity.libproxy.edmc.edu/login? url=http://search.proquest.com/docview/205933884?accountid=13931
Glenn, G. (2003, Winter). The electoral college and the development of American democracy. Perspectives on Political Science, 32, 4-8. Retrieved from http://login.southuniversity.libproxy.edmc.edu/login? url=http://search.proquest.com/docview/194699043?accountid=13931
Groffman, B., & Feld, S. L. (2005, April). Thinking About the Political Impacts of the Electoral College. Public Choice, 123(1-2), 1-18. http://dx.doi.org/10.1007/s11127-005-3210-4
Riggs, J. E., Hobbs, G. R., & Riggs, T. H. (2009, April). Electoral College Winner’s Advantage. PS, Political Science & Politics, 42, 353-357. Retrieved from http://login.southuniversity.libproxy.edmc.edu/login? url=http://search.proquest.com/docview/224973450?accountid=13931http://login.southuniversity.libproxy.edmc.edu/login? url=http://search.proquest.com/docview/224973450?accountid=13931
Uselton, S. W. (2008, November). Instant Runoff Voting in the Electoral College. Policy Studies Journal, 36, 687-688. Retrieved from http://login.southuniversity.libproxy.edmc.edu/login? url=http://search.proquest.com/docview/210547105?accountid=13931
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