Electoral College (audience: people of the U.S.)
You walk into the voting booth on the first Tuesday of November to cast your vote for who you think should be President. You take your ballot into the box believing, as most people do, that your vote will be counted along with the rest of the population. You do this because you believe it could be the deciding vote for the presidential race. Well, you are horribly mistaken. What you may not realize is that the Electoral College actually elects the President, not the individual voters. The Electoral College is an outdated, flawed institution that does not reflect the majority of the country’s opinion, and, therefore, it should be abolished and replaced by a direct election, or at the very least it should be reformed, using a method called “Allocating the Electoral Vote.”
This system of presidential selection is the product of a 200 year old debate over who should select the President and why. In 1787, the framers of the Constitution respected the principles of Federalists and Republicans so they developed a compromise between those who felt that Congress should select the President and those who felt that the states should. In 1788, the Electoral College was indoctrinated and placed into operation. The College was to allow people say in who led them, but it was also to protect against the general public's ignorance of politics (The Electoral College 1). The Electoral College has remained relatively unchanged in form and function since 1787, the year of its formulation, and this, in itself, poses a problem because in 200 years the stakes have changed, yet the College has not.
Today the Electoral College system works like this. Every ten years the census figures determine the number of representatives for each state. This number plus two, representing the two senators, equals how many electors each state has. Washington, DC has three electors. Each state has the right to decide how to select these electors, with 48 using the general ticket system, while two, Maine and Nebraska, use the district system. In the general ticket system there is a direct vote election held in each state and the winner of the vote gets all of the states electoral votes. In Maine and Nebraska, there is an election held in each congressional district. The winner of every district gets one electoral vote, and the candidate with the most electoral votes gets the remaining two electoral votes. In 24 states the electors are required to vote as pledged, while in the rest of the country electors are not legally bound to voting for the candidate who won their state. When all the electoral votes are counted, if a candidate gets more than half the votes (270), he becomes the new President. If there is no majority, then the election goes into the House of Representatives where each state is given one vote and they vote on the top three candidates. If a candidate gets a...