The Electoral College Should Be Abolished

Topics: Election, Elections, Voting Pages: 8 (2603 words) Published: October 22, 2006
Every 4 years, our country makes an incredibly important decision. We vote for the person who will represent the US in all domestic and international affairs; The President. Currently, we have many troops in Iraq fighting to help them establish a democracy. We are giving the citizens a right to vote, a privilege that many people claim we are lucky to have. In actuality, how democratic is our system overall? What many people don't realize or care to face, is we don't directly vote for our president. In 2000, the majority of us voted for a President who in the end was not determined the winner. There are many other corruptions in our current electoral system, including the underlying racist and sexist roots, voter inequality and other flaws that go against every true democratic principle. The only solution and the only way this country could be truly democratic is to abolish the Electoral College.

The way a winner is found in most every level of professionalism (high school government elections, mayoral elections, even governor elections) is by counting the votes and the candidate with the most, wins. However, the Electoral College, the method in which we choose the most important position, President, is an indirect way of voting. This means that when Americans go to the poll every 4 years to vote for our President, their direct votes is not what determines the outcome.

The very make up of our election system is flawed. Every state has electoral votes that are equal to their representation in Congress, which is based on population. Every state is promised at least 3 votes this way. After each census, the numbers are adjusted accordingly. However, censuses do not occur as frequently as elections. They occur during the first year of each decade, versus every four years we hold an election. Elections that take place during census years use the census for the decade prior. So in 2000, we used the census from 1990. Using this method, there is guaranteed to be over or under representation of many states. For example, according to the 1980 census, California is allotted 47 electors. However, according to estimations made by the Census Bureau California's actual population in 1988 would give them 54 electors. Quickly growing states are penalized, while slowly growing states benefit. More importantly, candidates who win support from high-growth states are greatly penalized, while those winning low-growth states are helped (Edwards, 2).

Because the Electoral College gives greater say in electing the President to some than to others, it is in blatant conflict with the principles of equality among citizens found in the Declaration of Independence (Abolish the Electoral College).

Most states use a "winner-take-all" system to distribute the votes amongst the results within the state, in which the entire sum of the electoral votes for a state go to the majority vote, thus granting the candidate with what is known as a "plurality" (Abolish the Electoral College). This is flawed for many reasons. Primarily, this causes any support a minority candidate had in the state to be thrown out. For example, if you lived in Georgia during the 2004 election and you voted for Kerry, because Bush won the majority of the state, your vote is given to Bush. Secondly, the "winner-take-all" system disenfranchises voters, specifically minority voters. Even though voter turn out is notoriously low among minorities, the number of electoral votes does not reflect that. Regardless of voter turnout, the electoral votes remain the same. If a citizen does not vote, in a roundabout way, they are handing their vote to the majority (Edwards, 36). The "winner-take-all" system is simply unfair. George Edwards put it best in his book against the Electoral College, "The operation of the winner-take all system effectively disenfranchises voters who support losing candidates in each state" (Edwards, 35).

There is also concern for the fact that it is possible for...

Cited: Abolish the Electoral College: Let 's Graduate to a Real Democracy. 08 Dec. 2005. The Rest of .
Amar, Akhil and Vikram Amar. "The Electoral College Votes Against Equality." Yale Law School. 09 Sep. 2004. Yale Law School. 08 Nov. 2005.
Cobb, Kim. "ELECTION 2000: Black Leaders Want Action on Florida Vote Complains." The Houston Chronicle. 30 Nov. 2000; 24
Cornwell, Ruert. "US Election: The Rulebook – The Constitution Is King Even When It 's Wrong." The Independent. 10 Nov. 2005; 5
"Do 's and Don 't 's In Proposed Federal Election Reforms." Editorial. The Tampa Tribune. 28 Sep. 2005; 12
Edwards III, George C. Why The Electoral College Is Bad For America. New Haven and London: Yale University Press, 2004.
"Exploitation 2000; Florida Election Was Anything but Fair and Consistant." Editorial. Sarsota Herald Tribune. 20 Jun. 2001; A14
Kimberling, William C. The Electoral College.
Peirce, Neal R., and Lawrence D. Longley. The Electoral College Primer. New Haven and London: Yale University Press, 1996.
Unprecedented: The 2000 Presidential Election. Prod and dir. Richard Ray Perez, Joan Sekler. Narr. Peter Coyote. Joan Sekler and Richard Ray Perez, 2004.
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