Electoral college vs direct popular vote essay

The most recent example occurred in when Al Gore won the popular vote, but George W. Bush earned more electoral votes, giving him the presidency. The founding fathers set up the Electoral College originally to retain a representative form of government.

Electoral college vs direct popular vote essay

Arguments Against the Electoral College

But there are also staunch defenders of the Electoral College who, though perhaps less vocal than its critics, offer very powerful arguments in its favor. Arguments Against the Electoral College Those who object to the Electoral College system and favor a direct popular election of the president generally do so on four grounds: Opponents of the Electoral College are disturbed by the possibility of electing a minority president one without the absolute majority of popular votes.

Nor is this concern entirely unfounded since there are three ways in which that could happen.

Thus, the winner of the popular vote can lose a vote in the Electoral College. Three times the President in the US was elected a candidate who received less in the popular vote: R. Hayes in , B. Harrison in , and George W. Bush in November 21, Electoral college vs popular vote essays. Cheap dissertation writing service uk samsung word college essay uml aggregation komposition beispiel essay revidierter simplex algorithmus beispiel essay. This article explains the difference between the electoral vote and the popular vote, i.e., how the Electoral College system works. Representative republic: Direct democracy: Progression of Vote: Citizen votes for delegate or representative, generally in accordance with their allegiances/party affiliation. Electoral Vote vs Popular Vote.

One way in which a minority president could be elected is if the country were so deeply divided politically that three or more presidential candidates split the electoral votes among them such that no one obtained the necessary majority.

This occurred, as noted above, in and was unsuccessfully attempted in and again in Should that happen today, there are two possible resolutions: House of Representatives would select the president in accordance with the 12th Amendment.

Either way, though, the person taking office would not have obtained the absolute majority of the popular vote. Yet it is unclear how a direct election of the president could resolve such a deep national conflict without introducing a presidential run-off election -- a procedure which would add substantially to the time, cost, and effort already devoted to selecting a president and which might well deepen the political divisions while trying to resolve them.

A second way in which a minority president could take office is if, as inone candidate's popular support were heavily concentrated in a few States while the other candidate maintained a slim popular lead in enough States to win the needed majority of the Electoral College.

While the country has occasionally come close to this sort of outcome, the question here is whether the distribution of a candidate's popular support should be taken into account alongside the relative size of it. This issue was mentioned above and is discussed at greater length below.

Far from being unusual, this sort of thing has, in fact, happened 15 times including in this century Wilson in both andTruman inKennedy inand Nixon in The only remarkable thing about those outcomes is that few people noticed and even fewer cared.

Opponents of the Electoral College system also point to the risk of so-called "faithless" Electors. A "faithless Elector" is one who is pledged to vote for his party's candidate for president but nevertheless votes of another candidate. There have been 7 such Electors in this century and as recently as when a Democrat Elector in the State of West Virginia cast his votes for Lloyd Bensen for president and Michael Dukakis for vice president instead of the other way around.

Electoral college vs direct popular vote essay

Faithless Electors have never changed the outcome of an election, though, simply because most often their purpose is to make a statement rather than make a difference. That is to say, when the electoral vote outcome is so obviously going to be for one candidate or the other, an occasional Elector casts a vote for some personal favorite knowing full well that it will not make a difference in the result.

Still, if the prospect of a faithless Elector is so fearsome as to warrant a Constitutional amendment, then it is possible to solve the problem without abolishing the Electoral College merely by eliminating the individual Electors in favor of a purely mathematical process since the individual Electors are no longer essential to its operation.

Opponents of the Electoral College are further concerned about its possible role in depressing voter turnout. Their argument is that, since each State is entitled to the same number of electoral votes regardless of its voter turnout, there is no incentive in the States to encourage voter participation.

Electoral college vs direct popular vote essay

Indeed, there may even be an incentive to discourage participation and they often cite the South here so as to enable a minority of citizens to decide the electoral vote for the whole State. While this argument has a certain surface plausibility, it fails to account for the fact that presidential elections do not occur in a vacuum.

States also conduct other elections for U. Representatives, State Governors, State legislators, and a host of local officials in which these same incentives and disincentives are likely to operate, if at all, with an even greater force. It is hard to imagine what counter-incentive would be created by eliminating the Electoral College.

Finally, some opponents of the Electoral College point out, quite correctly, its failure to accurately reflect the national popular will in at least two respects.

First, the distribution of Electoral votes in the College tends to over-represent people in rural States. This is because the number of Electors for each State is determined by the number of members it has in the House which more or less reflects the State's population size plus the number of members it has in the Senate which is always two regardless of the State's population.

The result is that infor example, the combined voting age population 3, of the seven least populous jurisdiction of Alaska, Delaware, the District of Columbia, North Dakota, South Dakota, Vermont, and Wyoming carried the same voting strength in the Electoral College 21 Electoral votes as the 9, persons of voting age in the State of Florida.

Each Floridian's potential vote, then, carried about one third the weight of a potential vote in the other States listed. A second way in which the Electoral College fails to accurately reflect the national popular will stems primarily from the winner-take-all mechanism whereby the presidential candidate who wins the most popular votes in the State wins all the Electoral votes of that State.

One effect of this mechanism is to make it extremely difficult for third party or independent candidates ever to make much of a showing in the Electoral College. And even if he managed to win a few States, his support elsewhere would not be reflected.Electoral college vs popular vote essay.

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