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The Flawed Electoral College System Essay

1041 words - 4 pages

There are quite a few criticisms that surround the Electoral College system. In the next few paragraphs we are going to explore some of these criticisms and some of the advantages and disadvantages of various reform proposals.
One major criticism that we faced and still face today is why not vote by popular vote instead of rely on the Electoral votes. Well one of the reasons being is that states like Wyoming or Idaho benefit from it and would not like to change it. Every state gets 3 eletors, and due to this the states with low population would have a stronger political power than if they used a vote by popularity vote. This is due to the number of voters per elector is 4 times smaller in those less poplulated than the states with a huge population. It does not help that most of the low populated states are also Republican which adds to the difficulty of them not wanting to implement change. Voting by popularity would eliminate the current bias that is in favor of the Republicans.
Another criticism of the Electoral College is it’s winner take all character. Florida gets 25 electoral votes and had they split 13 to George Bush and 12 to Al Gore, then Al Gore would have become president instead of George Bush. The constitution has nothing in it that mandates winner take all. State law regulates the choosing of electors. In fact in Nebraska and Maine they do not use winner takes all, what they do is the winner of each congressional district gets one elector and the winner of the state as a whole gets two additional electors. Any state that wants to adopt this way only has to pass a state law to do so. No constitutional amendment is required to do this.
There is another criticism which is the faithless elector problem. This is when they meet in December in their respective state capitols they do not always vote for the candidate they officially pledged to. An example of this was in 1948 when Truman was running for president, elector Preston Parks of Tennessee voted for Strom Thurmond who was running on the pro-segregation Dixiecrat ticket. In 1960 Nixon’s elector Henry D. Irwin of Oklahoma voted for Virginia Senator Harry F. Byrd he was an ardent segregationalist. In 2000 one of Al Gore’s electors Barbara Lett-Simmons had cast a blank ballot to protest the districts lack of congressional representation. None of the faithless electors had an effect on the outcome of the elections.
Congress could keep the electoral voting system but make it fairer however unlikely this would be, they could increase the size of the House of Representatives. Since there is nothing mandatating the size of the House of Representatives they are only required to have member represent 30,000 people. This puts an upper limit on the house of approximately 10,000 members. As our nation has grown the House has expanded several times but not since 1911. At this time and age...

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