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The Flawed Electoral College Voting Process

1201 words - 5 pages

The Flawed Electoral College Voting Process

When Americans vote their choice for President, one would assume that these votes would be tabulated and the majority vote would win. But this is not the case at all. The Presidency is ultimately decided by the Electoral College, what William McClenaghan calls “one of the least understood parts of the American political process”(340). McClenaghan also defines the Electoral College as “the body that makes the formal selection of the nation’s President, from what the Framers intended into a `rubber stamp’ for the popular vote in presidential elections”(67). The original Electoral College did not succeed for very long, however; it only worked for as long as George Washington was President (328). In the election of 1796 a Federalist and a Democratic-Republican were paired as President and Vice-President. This happened because these two men received more electoral votes than their expected running mates. This is where the trouble started, but it has not nearly ended. There have been some cases where the popular vote of America was contradicted by the electoral vote winner. Every person in America is equal and should have the same authority in their voting. The Electoral College should be abolished not only due to its obvious flaws, but because all Americans should have the equal right to vote. No one governmental entity should have the right to decide the American people’s choice.

One serious flaw in the Electoral College system is that the popular vote winner does not always win Presidency. This is a result of two factors. “In each State the winning candidate customarily receives all that State’s electoral votes”(343). For example, in 1992 Bill Clinton received barely 50% to win New York’s popular vote and therefore won all of it’s electoral votes (343). What about the opposing 50% of the population? The other factor is how electoral votes are distributed. “...each State has two electors because of its Senate seats, regardless of its population. Because of them, the distribution of electoral votes does not match the facts of population and voter distribution”(343). “The current system unfairly favors states with smaller populations ...by allocating electoral votes according to a state’s representation in Congress”(Early History of the Electoral College, l). “The disproportionate electoral strength of the less-populous states enables a candidate, to win the presidency without winning the popular vote”(Critics Claim Democracy Tarnished, 1). The smaller states have more electoral votes per person than larger states; therefore more votes in larger states don’t count. Neil Pierce, author of The Electoral College Primer 2000 says, “Every other office in the United States is elected on the basis of the person who gets the most votes, ...But the electoral college, for reasons no one can ever explain to you logically, values some votes over other votes”. The popular vote winner has lost in election races in...

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