Is Your Voice Heard?
With the recent election, the question of the Electoral College system is on everyone’s mind. Some feel as though the system works great as it is, while others feel that their voice is not being heard at all, and that maybe they should not bother voting at all. The process causes some confusion because the popular vote does not decide the winner of the election. However, the popular vote does decide who the Electors are and who the Electoral votes go to, known as the unit rule. This is true in all but two states; Nebraska and Maine divide their votes along congressional districts (Deatrick). Each state is guaranteed two Electoral votes for the number of senators and an additional amount of votes for the number of representatives for that state. Each political party with a candidate on the ballot selects a set of Electors for each state, equaling the number of Electoral votes allotted. (Deatrick) So when a ballot is cast, voting by the public is actually for an Elector that will vote for a presidential candidate on their behalf.
In 1878, when the constitution was drafted, the founding fathers wanted to come up with a method of choosing a president that would work best for the newly established country. They did not want the states to be biased or unfair with their votes because they were not used to functioning as a whole. The founding fathers were also afraid that the state with the largest population would sway the entire election. Ultimately, the Electoral College system was chosen, which they based on the Ancient Roman Republic. This process that they came up with is the same system that is still used today. (Deatrick)
Some believe that the Electoral College system has never worked as intended. U.S. Senator Henry Cabot Lodge, Jr. says that there are many shortcomings in the system today. In the article, The Question of Abolishing the Electoral College, he discusses these shortcomings. The most important issue being the unit...
Cited: Deatrick, Elizabeth. "What Is The Electoral College?." Odyssey 21.8 (2012): 10. 24 Nov. 2012.
Lodge, Henry Cabot Jr. "The Question of Abolishing the Electoral College. PRO." Congressional Digest 23.6/7 (1944): 188. 26 Nov. 2012.
Samples, John. In Defense of the Electoral College. 10 November 2000. 26 November 2012. .
Vandenburg, Arthur L. "The Question of Abolishing the Electoral College. CON." Congressional Digest 23.6/7 (1944): 188. 26 Nov. 2012.
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