United States Electoral College

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The Electoral College. the mechanism for electing the president and the vice-president of the United States which was foremost put to utilize in the 1789 presidential election has already outgrown its intent and should hence be abolished ( National Archives and Records Administration ) . Formulated by the country’s laminitiss more than two hundred old ages ago. the system has doubtless grown stale and uneffective and no longer “conform to our modern reading of democracy. which is one individual. one vote” ( Hough ) .

Harmonizing to the National Archives and Records Administration ( NARA ) . although the term could non be found anyplace in the United States Constitution. it is believed to hold been really conceived by the “founding male parents as a via media between the election of a president by Congress and election by popular ballot. ” The term was coined from the words “elector” and “college.

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” The term “elector” was used to mention to the German princes who were granted the right to take portion in the procedure of electing the German male monarch who subsequently became the emperor of the Roman Empire while “college” was taken from the Latin word collegium which means “a organic structure of individuals that act as a unit. ” Therefore the term “electoral college” means a group of people chosen to elect the President and the Vice President of the United States of America ( NARA ) . A sum of 538 voters handpicked by political parties comprise the present Electoral College.

Every province has two voters stand foring their two senators and another voter for each of their congressional representation. This means that a little province with merely one congressional representation owing to the littleness of its population is allocated the minimal figure of three voters. In 2004. the four provinces with the highest figure of voters were: California ( 55 ) . Texas ( 34 ) . New York ( 31 ) . and Florida ( 27 ) while seven little provinces ( Alaska. Delaware. Montana. North Dakota. South Dakota. Vermont. and Wyoming ) . and the District of Columbia. had merely three voters each ( NARA ) .

As congressional representation is determined by the nose count of population which is taken every ten old ages. a state’s figure of voters could hence be reduced or increased. without prejudicing the entire voters of 538 for the full state. For case. based on the 1990 nose count of population. the province of Arizona was allowed 8 voters for the presidential elections of 1992. 1996. and 2000. After it registered a population addition in 2000. its figure of congressional representation and hence. the figure of its voters. was raised to 10 for the presidential elections of 2004. 2008. and 2012 ( NARA ) .

In 48 provinces and the District of Columbia. a presidential campaigner who gets the bulk of ballots in one province is awarded all the electoral ballots allocated for that province in a “winner-take-all” mode. In the provinces of Maine and Nebraska. interim. relative vote is practiced. Under this vote system. Maine. which has four electoral ballots. gives one ballot to the victor in each of its two congressional territories and gives the staying two ballots to whoever gets the bulk votes in the full province ( NARA ) . A simple bulk or a lower limit of 270 electoral ballots is needed to win the U.

S. presidential term. In instance of a tie ( 269-269 consequence ) in the presidential competition. the Congress of the United States decides the issue while the U. S. Senate conducts the overflow election in instance of a dead end in the frailty presidential race. In the history of the presidential election in the state. the congressional overflow was merely done twice – in 1800 and in 1824. In the frailty presidential race. the United States Senate was called on to make up one’s mind the issue in 1836 ( NARA ) . This is the first unwanted characteristic of the Electoral College that many American electors find unacceptable.

A tie in the presidential election under this system takes the electoral procedure off from the custodies of the American electors and confers the power to elect the president to a extremely partizan Congress. In such a scenario. the presidential campaigner of the party which controls the House of Representatives would win the presidential term regardless of the will of the bulk of the American electors. A instance in point was the 1824 presidential election. When Congress decided on the issue after a dead end was declared. Andrew Jackson lost the presidential term to John Quincy Adams despite earning a decisive 57.

2 % of the popular ballot ( NARA ) . Indicate two against the Electoral College is the fact that the president and the frailty president of the United States are non really chosen by the people but through the electoral ballots assigned to the 50 provinces and the District of Columbia. It is therefore possible for a campaigner to win the ballots and derive the trust and assurance of the bulk of American electors and still lose the presidential term – a systemic defect which is tantamount to a disenfranchisement of American electors. This has already happened four times in the political history of the state.

The instance of Andrew Jackson in 1824 was already discussed earlier in this paper. Another instance occurred in 1876 when Rutherford Hayes ( R ) won the presidential term with a individual electoral ballot bulk ( 185 against Samuel Tilden’s 184 ) in malice of the fact that merely 48. 5 % of those who voted went for him while the bulk 51. 5 % voted for Tilden. Once once more. in 1888. Benjamin Harrison ( R ) won with 233 electoral ballots against Grover Cleveland’s ( D ) 168. However. 90. 596 more American electors had chosen Cleveland over Harrison in that election.

The most recent instance was the 2000 presidential election. President George W. Bush ( R ) defeated Albert Gore. Jr. . 271 – 266 electoral ballots. despite acquiring merely 50. 456. 062 popular ballots ( 49. 7 % ) against Al Gore’s 50. 996. 582 ( 50. 3 % ) . The official consequence of that election. in consequence. nullified the ballots of 540. 520 American electors who gave Gore the advantage in popular ballots. thereby showing their penchant for Al Gore to be the president of the state ( NARA ) . The Electoral College does non number the ballots cast by American electors every bit.

For case. in the 2004 election. Wyoming. one of the little provinces. was allocated three electoral ballots. California. on the other manus. whose population was about 50 times larger than Wyoming. merely had 54 electoral ballots. A simple calculation would demo us that although California was 50 times every bit big as Wyoming. its figure of electoral ballots was merely 18 times larger ( 54/3 = 18 ) . In other words. a ballot dramatis personae by a elector from Wyoming was given a higher value than the ballot dramatis personae by a California elector ( Bates ) . Or. expressed another manner. one Wyoming elector is equal to 18 California electors.

This is apparent inequality! Electoral College discourages some electors from take parting in the election. thereby ensuing to low elector turnout which reduces the credibleness of an election. This is true in the instance of provinces which have already been identified as one-party provinces. For case in 2004. since California was already expected to vote for the Democratic campaigner. opportunities were that some electors who planned to vote for the Republican criterion carrier could hold chosen to remain home alternatively. Indeed. what’s the point of voting when your province is already in the custodies of the other party?

It would look as if the ballots have already been counted before they were cast ( Bates ) . On the other manus. guardians of the Electoral College claim that under the popular vote. the little provinces would merely be overwhelmed by the big provinces and that presidential campaigners would be given to overlook them in favour of big provinces where more ballots could be obtained. The opposite had. in fact. been observed during the candidacy which occurred for the 2004 election. Let us return to the illustration of California. the largest vote province in the state. Because it was already expected to travel for the Democratic Party. George W.

Bush ignored it in malice of its size and its 54 electoral ballots and concentrated alternatively in the “swing province of Pennsylvania” which he visited “more than forty” times. In fact candidacy for the presidential term of the United States had ever shown campaigners passing more clip in swing provinces than in larger provinces which had already committed to the other side ( Bates ) . Because of its proved awkwardness and widespread unacceptableness. the Electoral College has been labelled otherwise by different people. It was likened to “the vermiform appendix: a useless organ that can do problem on occasion” ( Abolish the Electoral College?

) . It was described by the American Bar Association as “archaic and ambiguous” when a study it conducted in 1987 found that 69 % of American attorneies wanted the system abolished. The American populace have spoken against the system through polls held in 1967 ( 58 % ) . 1968 ( 81 % ) . and so once more in1981 when 75 % of Americans were found to prefer its replacing by a popular vote system ( NARA ) . Regardless of the labels. nevertheless. the subjection of the people’s will and the arrant neglect for the value of the ballots of Americans has rendered the Electoral College unacceptable to the American populace.

Their disgust and disdain for the system was already shown by the more than 700 proposals for its abolishment or alteration. They about succeeded in the U. S. Senate in 1956 when amendments introduced by Republican Senator Karl Mundt ( South Dakota ) and Texas Democratic Senator Price Daniel won a senate vote with a 48-37 bulk. Merely their failure to rally the needed three-fourths ballot of the senate prevented the steps from forcing through ( Duchschere ) . The American people tried once more in 1969.

Supported by so President Richard Nixon. an amendment was nem con approved in the House of Representatives merely to be stalled in the Senate for about one twelvemonth until protagonists lost their involvement on the step and it died a natural decease. Republican Senator Eastland and Democratic Senator Thurmond. described as “notorious segregationists” because they had been observed to hold “voted against every civil-rights and voting-rights measure” in the Senate. were responsible for its decease ( Electoral Justice ) .

Americans now want their ballots to be decently counted and their determinations punctually respected. As Professor Keyssar competently put it. Americans today believe that the Electoral College has ceased to mirror America’s “sense of societal equality” ( Hough ) . Hence. it is now clip to state adieu to the antiquated. disused Electoral College. The clip has arrived to demo the civilised universe that in the United States of America. every adult male. every registered elector. has a right to vote and a right to demand that such ballot be counted. Plants Cited

“Abolish the Electoral College? ” Wilson Quarterly. Winter 2001. Vol 25. Issue 1. p. 97. 13 June 2007. & lt ; hypertext transfer protocol: //search. ebscohost. com/login. aspx? direct=true & A ; db=aph & A ; AN=4028232 & A ; site=ehost-live & gt ; Bates. Nathaniel. “What Are the Arguments Made in Favor – And Against – the Electoral College? ” 26 October 2004. 15 June 2007. & lt ; hypertext transfer protocol: //hnn. us/articles/8163. hypertext markup language & gt ; Duchschere. Kevin. “JFK Led Opposition in 1956 Effort to Reform the Electoral College. ” Minneapolis Star Tribune. 26 November 2000. 13 June 2007. & lt ; hypertext transfer protocol: //www. freerepublic.

com/forum/a3a20ce2a366a. htm & gt ; Electoral Justice. “The Electoral College: An Embarassing Vestige of Slavery and Segregation. ” 15 June 2007. & lt ; hypertext transfer protocol: //www. iwantmyvote. com/justice/electoral_college/ & gt ; Hough. Lory. “Why Do We Still Have The Electoral College? ” News Stories. 13 June 2007. & lt ; hypertext transfer protocol: //www. ksg. Harvard University. edu/news/news/2004/Keyssar_why-electoral_college_102904. htm & gt ; National Archives and Records Administration ( NARA ) . “U. S. Electoral College. ” 13 June 2007. & lt ; hypertext transfer protocol: //www. archives. gov/federal-register/electoral-college/index. hypertext markup language & gt ;

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