An Argument Against the Idea of the Electoral College

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Starting in the year 1787, James Wilson, a delegate from Pennsylvania proposed to the United States Congress a direct system of voting. However, James Madison argued the opposite. Madison believed that a direct system of voting would hurt the Southern state’s chances of winning an election due to the skewed population numbers between the North and South. The Congress took sides with Mr. Madison and thus created the Electoral College that we have come to know today. Yet, the Electoral College has since then become outdated, and a new system of voting should be in place that will benefit all candidates who vote for them and citizens running for office. A direct system of voting in the United States would be the most logical choice because each citizen’s vote would count. The number of legislators in each state wouldn’t matter, the popular vote would be the deciding factor in choosing the President.

When looking back into the Constitution‘s history, it is clear that the first 32 years of the document since its creation have shown a pro-southern alliance. During the election of 1800, slaves counted for Z/Sths of a vote which significantly skewed the Electoral College margins, Whether it was race, or any other deciding factor, the Electoral College has become an unfair system of voting in this country. A direct system of voting has many reasonable aspects to it, As The New York Times states: “Direct election could give state governments some incentives to increase voter turnout, because the more voters a state turned out, the bigger its role in national elections and the bigger its overall share in the national tally. Presidential candidates would begin to pay more attention to the needs of individual states that had higher turnouts” (Amar). It is said every single year that an election is taking place.

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People constantly talk about how their vote means nothing. Are they right? Well, if you look at the voter turnout for the past few elections, there was only a “528% voter turnout for the re-election of President Obama“ (McDonald) according to The Huffington Post. Maybe if people knew their votes were going to matter they would actually take the time to go out to the polls on Election Day. It has become clear that people fear they are losing their power to have an impact on the election. No matter who the popular candidate is among the people, the Electoral College is the deciding factor in choosing the President. Even in the most recent of elections, we can see how elections have been swayed to benefit the delegates of the College In 2000, Al Gore possessed the popular vote among the entire country with 48.38% compared to 47.87% for George W. Bush.

The race was so close in fact that the state of Florida had to recount their ballots which led to a Supreme Court case being disputed on whether or not that was unconstitutional. Nevertheless, Gore possessed the popular vote and had 49.4% of the Electoral votesr With numbers like that Gore should have received the presidential nomination, however, Bush won that year due to his majority of electoral votes. Throughout the past few decades it has become obvious that legislature has shown an appeal to the states interests, This may be the direct cause of why voter turnout is on the decline during election years. The founding fathers of this country had different objectives when it came to voting. During that time period, a substantial southern bias was placed in the Constitution which led to the Southern states receiving a majority of the nomination. Akhil Amar, a law professor at Yale University comments on the founding fathers idea: “The nation’s founders sought to harness governmental competition and rivalry in healthy ways, using checks and balances within the federal government and preserving roles for state governments”.

Amar further continues to voice his opinion on how a direct system of voting would more successfully fulfill our needs: “Direct presidential elections would be true to their best concepts — democracy and healthy competition — rather than to their worst compromises.”A direct system of voting would give everyone the opportunity to voice their opinions in the polling places. It would increase voter turnout and it would give the states a fighting chance at choosing a candidate that would fulfill their interests. Candidates for the Presidency need to take a more Federalist approach by taking into consideration the individual state interests of voters. The Electoral College cuts out any voter’s chalice at making a difference in an election.

While it may have been successful in the early stages of the Constitution, The Electoral College is an outdated system that needs to be abolished in this country. The United States pledges to give “liberty and justice for all”, however continues to go against the opinions and desires of countries people. Voting has become a chore. Many people choose not to vote anymore because of the sole fact that their vote means nothing in the large scheme of things. The Electoral College in this country has made voters seem meaningless in the election of a President. A direct system of voting allows everyone to participate in the election and to give one vote per person. No biases can be attached to the population, and no corrupt politicians can get more than one vote. A direct system of voting is a fair system of voting.

The needs and desires of the United States are much different now than they were during the drafting stages of the Constitution. This country has seen numerous accounts of how the Electoral College has swayed an election. The elections in 1800 and 2000 are only two of the accounts where this concept has been shown. Even though it is clear that the Electoral College is a problem, it will be a challenge to abolish it due to the fact that this country will never stray from tradition. In short, the Electoral College should be abolished, but more than likely this country will remain under that system of voting instead of a direct system.

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An Argument Against the Idea of the Electoral College. (2023, Apr 18). Retrieved from

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