Electoral College Vs. Popular Vote Essay

1909 words - 8 pages

Electoral College vs. Popular Vote
When given this assignment I had no clue what topic I might choose. I waited and waited until the recent elections blew up in my face. This past election was a learning experience for me because I just turned 18. This was the first year I could ever vote and a weird election like this occurred. I noticed how many people were actually very disturbed with how Gore won the popular vote but will most likely lose the election only because he couldn't win enough electoral votes in one state.
The Electoral College was designed in 1787 at the Constitutional Convention. A variety of ideas were originally brought to attention. Two significant and highly regarded options were a) Congress selects the President and b) the popular vote. Both ideas were disregarded. Having Congress elect the President would give the legislature complete control over him (6: 159-162). The idea of the people and only the people voting for the President was eliminated because the founding fathers of the U.S. Government felt that normal people would not be able to vote for the best President in an intelligent manner. Despite the fact that many of the original convention members thought that the popular vote would be the best option, there were still too many that opposed the idea (Glennon 7). George Mason, a former political officer in the 1800's, states that a it would be "as unnatural to refer the choice of a proper character for chief Magistrate to the people, as it would, to refer a trial of colours to a blind man" (qtd. In Glennon 7).
I became very interested about the whole system of the college and thought that I could present an argument about how it's really outdated and could use a big change. And so the Electoral College is created. It is made up of electors from all of the states in the nation. The electors from each state are what we the people actually vote for in the November elections ("Electoral College"). Each state can have no less than 3 electors. This is because they get an elector for every chair they fill in both the Senate and the House of Representatives. Because all states have two Senate members and at least one House member, we see why. All together, including all of our nation's states we have an Electoral College consisting of 538 members. In order for a candidate to actually become the President he must obtain at least 270 electoral votes, giving him the majority plus one (Glennon 19). Because we use the Electoral College, it has come to occur on numerous occasions that a candidate with a higher percentage of the popular vote is defeated by his political opponent by the electoral tally (Glennon 19), thus defeating the purpose of a Democracy. A Democracy exists if we the people have "the right to self- governance." "American 'democracy' has existed for over 200 years, and citizens are ready, as they have been for decades, if not centuries, to finally control their own country" ("Electoral College...

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