Democratic Election: America, You’re Doing It Wrong

2029 words - 8 pages

A class votes for which game they want to play to review for a big math test. Each student writes on a piece of paper the name of the game they want to play and gives it to the teacher. The majority of the class wants to play “Mathsketball”, but the teacher decides the class will play Jeopardy instead. Is that fair? Most of the class does not think so. Since the ratification of the Constitution of the United States, there has been a similar component of the government that has defied the requests of the public. It has, in times past, skewed the results of the popular vote and caused the would-be loser to actually win—four times. This lurking variable in the presidential election is the Electoral College. The Electoral College had its purpose in the late 1700s; it was to delegate the citizens’ votes to determine the next president. Problems with it include: “faithless electors”, skewed results from the structure of the Electoral College, the lack of voter equality, and the unequal attention from candidates that each state receives. Many of the arguments defending the Electoral system are invalid; most do not help the situation. The system’s failures are a matter of great importance and should be abolished because it can lead to a great deal of issues in the future—including war and political disestablishmentarianism.
Back when the Electoral College was in its infancy, a small number of delegates, called electors, were chosen by each state’s chapter of the national party. As time went on and more states were added, these numbers quickly grew to the number that stands today, 538. This number is derived from the 100 Senators, 435 House representatives, as well as 3 that represent the District of Columbia (Soni). This group of delegates is selected to elect the new president based on the wishes of the citizens who voted. Each elector has the opportunity to cast one Electoral vote; however, due to Article II, Section 1 of the United States Constitution, there is no requirement for electors to choose the candidate who had won the state for which they are from, or even to cast a vote at all. This is a pivotal issue because of so-called, “faithless electors”. Faithless electors are delegates who do not vote for who their party’s wishes (“Faithless Electors”). This seems like it wouldn’t be much of an issue, correct? Wrong: it has happened a total of one hundred fifty-seven times in the past. While this hasn’t swayed an election to the point that the winner has lost yet, the situation has occurred before for a different, but related, reason.
Four times in the past—between Jackson and Adams; Harrison and Cleveland; Tilden and Hayes; and the (in)famous Gore and Bush—the Electoral College has caused the winner of the popular vote to lose because of the way in which the Electoral votes are allocated (Hively). In most states, except Maine and Nebraska, who award votes based on percentage of popular votes for each candidate, the winner of the popular vote...

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