The Electoral College Essays Examples
The Electoral College was established by the Constitution of the United States in Article II Section 1. The term electoral college is not used in the context of the Constitution, however the term electors is. The Electoral College refers to the people who are chosen to elect the president of the United States. The concept of this Electoral College was one of the many compromises made in the writing of the Constitution (What is the Electoral College 2014). However, in today’s society and the technology available to collect and count the popular vote, the Constitution should be amended to eliminate the Electoral College.
The Electoral College is comprised of electors who cast their votes for President and Vic-President. Each state is assigned the number of electors based on the number of representatives and number of senators. The District of Columbia has three. The electors vote and sign their names. The votes are then sent to the President of the Senate. The votes are counted in Congress at the beginning of January. A majority of 270 votes is required to become President. The electors are selected by the political party of each candidate (What is the Electoral College 2014).
According to The Electoral Primer 2000 (Longley & Pierce 2000), the Electoral Congress was a compromise that was reached at the Constitutional Convention in Philadelphia in 1887. There was a power struggle between small states with low populations and large states with large populations for power and equality. Ideas about choosing the President included election by the popular vote or a vote of Congress. After much argument and bickering, the idea of the Electoral College was developed. The concept of electing the President in this manner was not strongly supported but in light of the arguments over the entire drafting of the Constitution is was decided to accept this concept and move forward with the ratification process of the Constitution.
Over the years, hundreds have proposed the elimination of the Electoral Congress. There have been several Presidential elections that were upset by the Electoral College. In the Case of Nixon and Kennedy in 1960, Nixon had the majority of the popular vote but Kennedy won the electoral vote by an overwhelming majority. In 1860, Lincoln had defeated Douglas in the popular vote, but the electoral voted did not reflect the same percentage. In the electoral vote, Lincoln had a much higher percentage of these votes (What is the Electoral College 2014).
The Electoral College is antiquated and does not reflect the will of the people. The president should be elected by a popular vote like other elected officials. Voting for a preferred candidate to represent the people is the backbone of the democratic process. Popular vote is by far more fair and accurate. The Electoral College adds a layer of bureaucracy in the voting process that historically and repeatedly not reflected the will of the people. Electors are not elected by the citizens of a state, they are chosen. Each state has different rules that govern the voting practices of the electors. That is why on Election Day, news coverage looks at states that will go all in for one candidate. The popular vote is not reflected in the electors, all of the electors will vote for one candidate.
There have been several attempts to change the practice of using the Electoral College over the years. It has been viewed by most scholars as a mockery of the election process. The only way to change the practice is through an amendment to the Constitution. In order to achieve this, an amendment must be proposed by the House of Representatives and the Senate and passed by a two-thirds majority. It would then be sent for ratification by the states and the people. The other method is for two-thirds of states to call upon Congress to hold a constitutional convention. The reason a change has not occurred is because most Americans are uninformed and do not truly understand how the President is elected. The dissemination of this information and a strong grassroots campaign would be the most effective way to eliminate the Electoral College.
Longley, L., & Pierce, N. (2000). The Electoral College Primer 2000. New Haven, CT.: Yale
What is the electoral college? (2015). The U.S. National Archives and Records Administration.
Retrieved from: http://www.archives.gov/federal-register/electoral-college/print_friendly.html