The Electoral College: Pros And Cons

1334 words - 5 pages

The year is 1986, in the Texan resort town of Lajitas, a municipality with a population of approximately 10,000; there is a heated election for mayor. The candidates are Tommy Steele, the incumbent, and Clay Henry III, a newcomer to politics. The election committee tallied the votes and it decided that Clay Henry has won the vote. Does Henry give an acceptance speech or give an oath to help the city? Neither. The problem is that Clay Henry III is a mountain goat; his owner put him on the ballot because he did not like Tommy Steele, the current mayor. Though this happened in a relatively small town in Texas, it happened because people do not care about their welfare. They just wanted to have some fun. Could you imagine electing a goat as President of the United States of America, the most powerful position on earth! Maybe there is a way to stop such foolishness. Possibly, by proposing to establish a sort of restraint on the people who do not care about the elections. Let alone with the 1 in 30 illiterate citizens, moreover, with the much lower literacy rates in our country 228 years ago as well as many other factors which I will write about later, the framers of the constitution deemed it necessary to create the Electoral College.If you run a Google search on the term "Against the Electoral College," you will turn up about 277,000 different websites, some, if not most of them dedicated to removing the limits on free elections imposed by the Electoral College. I will now give a list of both problems and advantages of the Electoral College.In order to discuss why there should or should not be an Electoral College, you should know how the process works:The idea comes from the Constitution's Article 1: Section 2, and the 12th Amendment. Every election year each state picks electors (the members of the electorate). These people are the ones actually responsible for voting for president. Each state gets a number of electors based on the number of congressional districts (which we pick based on population) plus the number of senators, always two. In New York's case, this amounts to thirty-one electors. The minimum for each state, no matter what the population, is three electors. In November, they hold the popular vote, and the results are now telling the electors "You should vote for X as president." The electors meet in December and place their votes; there are 538 electors in total and in order to become president you must obtain more than half of the votes, which is 270.There are many problems involved with the process. Firstly, there is the issue of representation. The State of California holds 54 votes, 10% of the electorate and the most in the nation; it has one elector for every 648,148 citizens. Meanwhile, Wyoming holds three votes, a mere 0.5% of all the votes, but has one elector for every 160,000 citizens. This means that one popular Wyomingite vote equals about four Californian votes.Another problem involved with the Electoral College is that...

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