Democracy in Question: Should The Electoral College be Abolished Essay
The Electoral College has been a contentious issue in American politics for decades. While some argue that it is an essential part of the democratic process, others believe that it is outdated and should be abolished. In this essay, written by custom essay paper writing service , we will argue why we need to get rid of the electoral college because it is undemocratic, encourages the neglect of certain states, and has the potential to undermine the legitimacy of the presidency.
Abolishing the Electoral College: A Necessary Step Towards True Democracy
The Electoral College is one of the most debated issues in American politics. While some argue that it is a necessary component of the democratic process, others believe that it is outdated and undemocratic. The Electoral College has the power to significantly impact the outcome of presidential elections. It has led to several instances where the candidate who won the popular vote did not win the presidency. This has resulted in protests, divisions, and questions regarding the legitimacy of the electoral system.
To my mind, the Electoral College is an outdated system that undermines the principles of democracy, encourages the neglect of certain states, and can lead to the election of a president who does not have the support of the majority of voters.
The Undemocratic Nature of the Electoral College
So, why we should abolish the electoral college. Firstly, the Electoral College is undemocratic. In a true democracy, every vote should count equally, regardless of where it is cast. However, because of the winner-takes-all system used in most states, some votes are effectively wasted. For example, in a state that traditionally votes for one party, the votes of those who support the other party will have no impact on the outcome. This is particularly true in states that are heavily dominated by one party or the other.
Furthermore, the Electoral College gives disproportionate power to small states, which have a greater influence per capita than larger states. This is because each state is given a minimum of three electors, regardless of its population. As a result, a vote cast in Wyoming has more than three times the influence of a vote cast in California.
Encouragement of Neglect for Certain States through the Electoral College
The Electoral College encourages the neglect of certain states. Because presidential campaigns focus on swing states, candidates often ignore states that are heavily leaning in one direction or the other. This means that voters in those states are effectively disenfranchised, as their votes are not seen as important. This is particularly problematic in states with large minority populations, which are often taken for granted by candidates.
In addition, the Electoral College can lead to the neglect of certain issues that are important to specific states. For example, a candidate who is not competitive in a heavily agricultural state may not prioritize agricultural issues.
The Potential for Undermining the Legitimacy of the Presidency by the Electoral College
Last but no the least, the Electoral College has the potential to undermine the legitimacy of the presidency. This is because a candidate can win the presidency without winning the popular vote. This has happened several times in American history, most recently in the 2016 election. When a candidate wins the Electoral College but loses the popular vote, it can lead to widespread protests and allegations of voter fraud. This undermines the legitimacy of the presidency and can lead to divisions within the country.
So, should the electoral college be changed? Absolutely! The Electoral College is undemocratic, encourages the neglect of certain states, and has the potential to undermine the legitimacy of the presidency. This is why we should abolish the Electoral College.
In its place, a system of the direct popular vote should be implemented, where every vote counts equally, regardless of where it is cast. This would ensure that every citizen’s voice is heard and that the presidency is elected in a fair and democratic manner.
Tips for Writing a Persuasive “Should the Electoral College Be Abolished?” Essay
The Electoral College has been a subject of debate for years, and writing an essay on whether it should be abolished is a common assignment for students. This type of essay requires careful research, analysis, and critical thinking to present a persuasive argument. If you need something to start with, look at good personal statement examples , which can prompt you to write your essay about why is Electoral College bad.
Here are some tips to help you write a successful “Should the Electoral College be abolished” essay:
Understand the Electoral College
Before you can argue for or against the Electoral College, it’s essential to understand how it works. Research the history of the Electoral College, its purpose, and its impact on elections. Knowing the pros and cons of the Electoral College will give you a solid foundation for your argument.
Take a Clear Position
After you’ve done your research, decide on your stance. Do you believe the Electoral College should be abolished or not? Your thesis statement should clearly state your position and the reason to abolish the electoral college or not.
Support your Argument with Evidence
A persuasive essay requires solid evidence to back up your claims. Research statistics, historical events, and expert opinions to support your position. Ensure you cite your sources properly and use credible sources to avoid bias.
A strong argument acknowledges the opposition’s views and addresses them effectively. Identify the most common counterarguments and provide evidence to counter them. This will strengthen your position and show that you have considered other perspectives.
Use a Logical Structure
A well-structured essay is easier to follow and makes your argument more persuasive. Use a clear introduction, body paragraphs that each present a different point and supporting evidence, and a strong conclusion that summarizes your position.
Edit and Proofread
Finally, after you have written your essay, edit and proofread it carefully. Look for spelling and grammar errors, as well as any areas where your argument may be unclear or weak. Have someone else read it over to provide feedback and ensure that your essay is clear and persuasive. With these tips, you can write a persuasive essay that effectively argues your position on this controversial topic.
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Writing help, paraphrasing tool, the electoral college should be abolished.
- College , Electoral College
How it works
Every 4 years our country makes one of the most if not the most important decisions for our future, which is our next president. But is the voting process really fair? Direct votes aren’t even used, especially to smaller states, or states with less population. In these circumstances the voting process should be abolished.
Continuing on to Document D which includes a informational chart. This chart includes the number of population for 12 states combined, which is 12,500,722, with 44 electoral votes. The other part of the chart includes only Illinois population of 12,830,632, with only 20 electoral votes. This definitely doesn’t seem fair at all. How can illinois have a higher population but still have less electoral votes? Ultimately there is more people in Illinois voted so shouldn’t they get more votes? This is another reason why the current voting process isn’t fair, and should be abolished.
Not only is the Electoral College unfair to smaller populations, but the Electoral College goes against basic democratic principles by making the vote of one citizen worth more than the vote of another, depending on the population of the state in which they reside and how close the race happens to be in that state. If the Electoral College is abolished, all voters will be equally important, as they should be.
Electoral College Conclusion
In conclusion, the Electoral College discriminates, violates democratic principles, and is ultimately unfair. The Electoral College should be abolished to become an equal election.
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Should We Abolish the Electoral College?
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Editor’s Note : In 2016, we asked two professors to debate whether the Electoral College should cease to be the mechanism used for selecting the U.S. president. Here are the yea and the nay.
By Jack Rakove, the William Robertson Coe Professor of History and American Studies and a professor of political science.
In this extraordinarily strange election year, debating the Electoral College might seem an odd pastime when so many other issues concern us. But its logic, its distortion of the democratic process and its underlying flaws will still strongly influence the conduct of the election. So, let me make the case for its abolition and its replacement by a simple national popular vote, to be held in an entity we will call (what the heck) the United States of America.
There are three basic arguments in favor of the system the framers of the Constitution gave us, with little sense of how it would actually work. The first is easily dismissed. Presidential electors are not more qualified than other citizens to determine who should head the government. They are simply party loyalists who do not deliberate about anything more than where to eat lunch.
A second argument holds less populous states deserve the further electoral weight they gain through the “senatorial bump” giving each state two electors, because their minority status entitles them to additional political protection. But the real interests of small-state voters are never determined by the relative size of the population of their states. If, say, environmental sustainability or abortion or the Second Amendment is your dominant concern, it does not matter whether you live in Wyoming or California, Pennsylvania or Delaware. The size of a state does not affect our real political preferences, even though the Electoral College system imagines that it does.
Third, defenders of the Electoral College also claim that it supports the underlying value of federalism. Having the states play an autonomous role in presidential elections, it is said, reinforces the division of governing authority between the nation and the states. But explaining exactly how it does this remains a mystery. Having a state-based system for electing both houses of Congress should be adequate to that task. Presidential elections have little if anything to do with the subject, even when some candidates claim to be “running against Washington.”
What are the positive arguments in favor of replacing the existing electoral system with a national popular vote? Here, again, there are three main points to make.
Having the states play an autonomous role in presidential elections, it is said, reinforces the division of governing authority between the nation and the states. But explaining exactly how it does this remains a mystery.
First, and most obviously, such a system would conform to the dominant democratic value that has prevailed in American politics ever since the one-person, one-vote reapportionment rulings of the early 1960s. Our votes would count the same wherever they were cast. No other mode of presidential elections would be fully consistent with our underlying commitment to the equality of all citizens.
Second, a national popular vote would eliminate the “battleground state” phenomenon that has now become the key feature of post-convention campaigning, leaving most Americans alienated from the decisive phase of presidential elections. “Swing” or “battleground” states are mere accidents of geography. They do not matter because they have any special civic characteristics. They simply happen to be states that become competitive because of their demography, and which are readily identifiable as such because of the increasing sophistication of political polling. In a truly national election, parties and candidates would have the incentive to turn out their votes wherever they were, fostering a deeper sense of engagement across the whole population.
Third, a national election might provide a cure for the delegitimation of presidential authority that has afflicted the last three presidencies. It is no secret that the administrations of Bill Clinton, George W. Bush and Barack Obama all suffered, from the outset, from efforts to imply that there was something improper and unworthy or even suspicious in their elections. That same view will doubtless color the 2016 election as well. This perception is reinforced by the red- and blue-state imagery that controls our view of the electoral process. Having an election in which victory went to a candidate carrying a single national constituency might not wholly cure this problem, but it might well work to mitigate it.
By Michael W. McConnell, the Richard and Frances Mallery Professor of Law, director of the Constitutional Law Center and a senior fellow at the Hoover Institution.
The Electoral College is not going to be changed, and there are far more urgent and promising topics for reform of our presidential selection system.
It is true that the Electoral College no longer serves its original purposes, and that it creates a grave risk that a candidate not favored by a majority of the people will, from time to time, be elected president. There have been three: John Quincy Adams, Benjamin Harrison and George W. Bush. We survived. Not one was a first-rank president, but their selection did not seriously injure the democratic character of our system.
The founders opted for the Electoral College because the two leading alternatives, election by Congress and by popular vote, were thought to have serious defects. Moreover, the electoral college method preserved the two compromises over representation—the three-fifths clause and the big state-small state compromise—and guarded against a fracturing of votes for many candidates, which they thought might occur once George Washington was no longer available as a nationally respected consensus candidate. The three-fifths clause became irrelevant with the end of slavery (thankfully!), and the big state-small state divide no longer animates our politics, if it ever did. The two-party system solves the fractured vote problem more effectively than the Electoral College ever did, and the electors never exercised genuine independence. The Electoral College thus presents democratic risks without serving any of its original purposes.
That is not to say the Electoral College is without its advantages. It gives a slight edge to candidates with broad-based support in many states over those who rack up huge majorities in just a few large states. That probably promotes a more national and less regional vision. It channels presidential politics into a two-party system, which is superior to multiparty systems where fringe factions can exercise too much leverage. It probably reduces the cost of presidential campaigns by confining television advertising to the battleground states (and spares the rest of us the tedium of endless repetitive ads). And it confines vote-counting disputes to just one, or maybe a few, states. Imagine a Florida-style recount in every precinct in America.
Still, the advantages are uncertain and relatively minor. Almost no one would adopt an Electoral College today if we were starting from scratch. But reforming the Electoral College does not rank high among our national problems. Given that a change would require a two-thirds vote of both houses of Congress and three-quarters of the state legislatures, it is not going to happen. We should be talking about other things.
The great problems with our presidential selection system today stem from the haphazard way we choose the two major party presidential candidates. This year is the poster child for the need for reform. The two parties have chosen the same year in which to nominate a person whom large numbers of Americans, probably a majority, regard as unfit (though not for the same reason). Generally, we count on the Republican and Democratic parties to nominate not the best people, but candidates who combine a degree of popular support with the experience and temperament to govern. Not this year.
Almost no one would adopt an Electoral College today if we were starting from scratch. But reforming the Electoral College does not rank high among our national problems.
We need to think hard, and quickly, about how to reform three aspects of the presidential nomination process: the debates, the primary elections and the conventions. The current system is weighted too heavily in favor of celebrity appeal, demagogic displays and appeals to narrow special interests. The party structures—which, for all their faults, have a vested interest in candidates from the moderate middle who are able to work with Congress and other officials to govern—have been sidelined.
For almost the first half century of the republic, presidential candidates were chosen by the caucuses of the two parties in the House and the Senate. That system worked well until the two-party system briefly died with the Federalist Party. It was replaced by party conventions, which eventually were replaced (almost) with strings of single or multiple state primaries and caucuses. It seems to me that the original system may have been superior to what we now have. The elected officials of both parties have incentives to choose candidates with an eye toward popular electability and governing skill. Interestingly, the congressional caucus system is very close to the system the British used to replace Prime Minister David Cameron. Most Americans would breathe a sigh of relief, I believe, if we had a system capable of choosing the U.S. equivalent of Theresa May instead of Donald Trump or Hillary Clinton. Now is the time for sober and spirited citizens from both parties to devise a new system for 2020.
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Outgrowing the Electoral College
61% of Americans are in favor of abolishing the Electoral College. 2020’s tension-filled election cycle may demonstrate why.
“The Electoral College creates distortions in political campaigns and voting outcomes most people would find objectionable,” says Dr. James McCann, political science professor at Purdue.
“Smaller states are overrepresented, and states that aren’t “swing states” (like Indiana) get little to no attention from presidential and vice-presidential candidates during campaigns.”
The disproportionate influence of swing states (and the resulting attention given to those states) is one of the main criticisms of the winner-take-all system. For example, 94% of 2016 campaign events occurred in just 12 states, while two-thirds of the events took place in just six states.
“Furthermore, the fact that a candidate who leads in the popular vote would not become the next president seems illegitimate on the face of it,” says Dr. McCann.
He pointed to cases like George W. Bush in 2000 and Donald Trump in 2016, both of whom lost the popular vote but still won the Electoral College. A total of five US Presidents have now come into office despite losing the popular vote.
Dr. Rosalee Clawson, professor of political science at Purdue, agrees the current system is deeply flawed.
“The Electoral College is a relic and is no longer functional in our modern democracy,” says Dr. Clawson. “That said, we need to think carefully about what might replace it. Every system has consequences, intended and unintended.”
The Electoral College was established by Article II of the Constitution. Electors were intended to have some level of discretion, giving states more control over electoral results. The number of electoral votes is equal to that state’s number of US representatives and senators in Congress. Candidates compete for a 270-vote majority out of 538 total votes.
The Electoral Count Act of 1887 was meant to offer guidelines for contested elections. However, the wording is vague. The gist: electors’ choices should reflect the will of the people. Thirty-three states legally prevent “faithless electors,” or electors who don’t vote for the state’s chosen candidate. In some states , faithless electors are removed, while others are fined.
And yet, electors are frequently lobbied to change their votes , with many considering the idea despite how many popular votes that candidate received. In the most recent example, in 2016 seven electors cast faithless votes for someone other than Trump or Clinton. And only 14 states have laws able to cancel rouge votes.
Concerning current Electoral College activity, Dr. McCann said, “State lawmakers in Wisconsin, Michigan, Georgia, and Pennsylvania are not now rushing to reverse the Electoral College vote in spite of significant pressures from the White House. Even though the Electoral College has some inherently “anti-democratic” tendencies, it is at least reassuring that the tradition of assigning electoral votes based on voter preferences within the state is being upheld.”
The only time the Electoral College was legally threatened was in 1969, when the House voted for an amendment to dismantle it. However, a group of Southern lawmakers in the Senate filibustered the bill to prevent the loss of their electoral power.
While amending the Constitution would be the most straightforward approach to changing the Electoral College, it’s also the most difficult . However, as the Constitution allows states exclusive control over awarding electoral votes, there is another option: The National Popular Vote Interstate Compact .
The National Popular Vote bill would guarantee the presidency to the candidate who receives the most popular votes in all 50 states and the District of Columbia. The aim of the National Popular Vote is to ensure the popular vote dictates the Electoral College results, making “every vote in every state” count.
Fifteen states and DC have already enacted it into law, for a total of 196 electoral votes. That means the bill needs 74 votes to reach a 270 majority, putting it into effect across the country.
But not everyone is convinced.
“The National Popular Vote has been under consideration for quite some time,” says Dr. McCann. “In principle, this would be an effective way to undo the Electoral College system without a constitutional amendment. But it doesn’t appear to be a feasible reform proposal, at least for now. Many more states would still have to sign on, which doesn’t look likely.
If the National Popular Vote bill is passed, it will have a ripple effect in America’s politics. Dr. Clawson explains that, as the system stands now, presidential campaigns focus solely on winning the Electoral College.
“If the system were changed to a National Popular Vote, campaigns would shift their mobilization strategies accordingly,” says Dr. Clawson.
One potential upside is increased voter turnout as more citizens believe their votes matter.
On the other hand, both the Democrat and Republican parties will be affected.
“There will be implication for vote shares for the two major parties,” says Dr. Clawson. “It’s an open question whether Democrats would continue to dominate the popular vote under a National Popular Vote system. But given the Electoral College clearly disadvantages them, many Democrats are willing to take that gamble.”
However, the National Popular Vote isn’t the only alternative to the Electoral College. Dr. McCann and Dr. Clawson weigh the pros and cons of other options.
“There’s nothing to stop a state from awarding electoral votes at the level of congressional districts, as Maine and Nebraska do,” says Dr. McCann. “If all the states did this, the distortions in the Electoral College system would be partly smoothed out.”
But district-based voting has its own potential issues.
“Allocating electoral votes by congressional district has the unintended consequence of making state legislatures even more motivated to gerrymander their districts,” says Dr. Clawson.
Gerrymandering is when states change the boundaries of a district to favor one political party. Because of this, district-based voting might perpetuate existing instances of unfair representation.
Awarding electoral votes based on proportional representation is another option.
“For example,” says Dr. McCann, “if one candidate received 30% of the vote in a state with ten electoral votes, she would get three electoral votes from that state.”
Unfortunately, this approach isn’t perfect either. For example , rapidly growing states would be at a disadvantage because electoral votes are only redistributed every ten years after the federal census. Furthermore, the proportional system doesn’t necessarily remove the winner-take-all problem, as candidates would often be fighting over one or two electoral votes, once again focusing on swing states.
However, the US could choose to adopt one of the systems used in other countries.
“Most democracies where a president is elected hold nationwide votes in stages,” says Dr. McCann. “In the first round, if no candidate gets a majority, then several weeks later a runoff election between the two top finishers is held. That would be a sensible model for the US to adopt if we were to drop the Electoral College.”
Compared to the rest of the world, the US voting system is unique. In addition to the US , there are 40 democracies around the world that have a presidential role with real and symbolic power. In 33 of those countries, voters directly elect their president. Twenty-two require a popular vote majority. Of the world’s 125 electoral democracies, the US is the only one in which voters choose electors who then choose the president.
Removing the Electoral College might level the political playing field, but what would replace it is up for debate.
District-based voting and proportional representation both have their problems, and the National Popular Vote still needs 74 electoral votes to be implemented nationwide. Besides DC and the 15 states that have enacted it, the bill has passed at least one chamber in nine additional states. That represents 88 electoral votes, making it at least possible the bill could go into effect in the coming years.
Regardless of which system is chosen, the Electoral College appears to have reached the end of its usefulness. Coupled with gerrymandering, it hinders democracy instead of supporting it.
Of course, the Electoral College isn’t the only example where America’s distribution of political power is skewed . Consider the Senate, where Wyoming’s 600,000 residents have the same representative power as California’s 39.5 million. More than the Electoral College may have to change to ensure equal representation across the country.
Moving forward, more and more US citizens are demanding the same thing: let the majority rule, or, in other words, make every vote in every state count.
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Why We Should Abolish the Electoral College
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By Josh Chafetz
- Published March 17, 2020 Updated Oct. 4, 2020
LET THE PEOPLE PICK THE PRESIDENT The Case for Abolishing the Electoral College By Jesse Wegman
It’s hard to imagine a political institution less suited to a 21st-century liberal democracy than the Electoral College. It arose from a convoluted compromise hammered out late in the Constitutional Convention, and the rise of political parties in the late 18th century and the spread of democratic ideals in the early 19th quickly undermined its rationales. If it didn’t exist, no one today would consider creating it.
But the Electoral College is worse than merely useless. Its primary function is to malapportion political power, and it does so — indeed, has always done so — with strikingly awful consequences. A state is entitled to a number of electors equal to its number of senators and representatives. Before the Civil War, the combination of the Electoral College and the Three-Fifths Clause , counting a slave as three-fifths of a person, gave the Slave Power outsize control in electing the president, with the consequence that antebellum presidents were almost always either slaveholders or at least friendly to their interests (the major exceptions were both named Adams). After the war, every person counted as a full person for apportionment purposes — but with the collapse of Reconstruction and the violent disfranchisement of African-Americans throughout the South, that increase in representation once again redounded only to the benefit of white male power-holders, a situation that was not largely rectified until the Voting Rights Act of 1965 .
Because a state’s number of electors is based on total population, not actual voters, it gives the states no incentive to enfranchise new groups of people, or to make voting easier for those eligible. And because states want to maximize their influence in selecting the president, they also have a strong incentive to use a winner-take-all approach to awarding electors, which all but two states currently do. The result — as we’ve now seen twice in the last two decades — is that a popular vote loser can be an Electoral College winner.
In a liberal democracy, not everything need be decided by majority vote. But once something is put to a vote, it is hard to understand why the side getting fewer votes should win. And Americans have long understood themselves to be voting for their president, not for presidential electors. It is long past time to get rid of the Electoral College.
This is not a new claim: People have been arguing against the Electoral College from the beginning. But no one, at least in recent years, has laid out the case as comprehensively and as readably as Jesse Wegman does in “Let the People Pick the President.” Wegman, a member of the New York Times editorial board, surveys the Electoral College’s history from its drafting through the state ratification debates — and, importantly, well beyond. He discusses the crucial elections of 1796 and 1800, which made pellucid that political parties were here to stay and that their interaction with the Electoral College could produce some problematic results (like President John Adams teamed with Vice President Thomas Jefferson, his bitter rival). These elections provided the impetus for the only constitutional amendment to the Electoral College scheme to date: the 12th Amendment , ratified in 1804 to ensure that the president and vice president would be from the same party. Wegman also covers Reconstruction and its collapse; the one-person-one-vote revolution of the 1960s; and the drive for a constitutional amendment providing for a national popular vote for the presidency in 1969 and 1970. All of these treatments are detailed, but eminently readable.
The last few chapters debunk popular myths about the Electoral College and show how a national popular vote might work. They also outline Wegman’s preferred alternative: the National Popular Vote Compact.
This is where the rubber hits the road, and it’s also the only portion of Wegman’s book that’s not fully convincing. The compact, in brief, provides that the states that join it will award all their electoral votes to the national popular vote winner. Crucially, it does not go into effect until enough states have joined to constitute an Electoral College majority. It’s an elegant way of awarding the presidency to the popular vote winner without a constitutional amendment. States worth 196 electoral votes have already signed on; another 74 electoral votes are required before it can go into effect.
But Wegman leaves largely unaddressed how the compact interacts with the patchwork of state laws governing elections. How do we count the popular votes in Maine, given that state’s adoption of ranked choice voting? What would happen if one state lowered the voting age to 16? What if there is a dispute as to who actually won the nationwide popular vote? These problems might well be solvable within the compact framework — but they require more thinking through now, before a presidential election turns on them.
One thing is clear, though: The Electoral College as we have it now should go.
Josh Chafetz is a law professor at Cornell, a visiting law professor at the University of Texas and the author, most recently, of “Congress’s Constitution: Legislative Authority and the Separation of Powers.”
LET THE PEOPLE PICK THE PRESIDENT The Case for Abolishing the Electoral College By Jesse Wegman 296 pp. St. Martin’s Press. $27.99.
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14 Pros and Cons of Abolishing the Electoral College
As the U.S. Government Archives likes to say, the Electoral College “is a process, not a place.” This structure was placed in the Constitution by the Founding Fathers of the United States as a compromise between having a vote in Congress to elect the President and the election of a candidate by qualified citizens. This process stopped the process that was used in England to select a Prime Minister.
The Electoral College consists of an elector selection, a group of people who will meet and vote for President and Vice President based on the results of their state’s election. There are currently 538 electors up for grabs in an election, which means a majority of 270 is necessary to elect the President. It’s also the only place where the District of Columbia functions as a state since the 23rd Amendment allocates 3 electors to it.
Although there are some advantages to this system, the disadvantages have been highlighted in recent elections. A presidential candidate who doesn’t receive a majority of the votes can still win the Electoral College to get into the White House. There are also circumstances where a majority of electors might not be available, which would throw the results of the election into the House of Representatives.
As Americans look at their election processes, a complete review of the pros and cons of abolishing the Electoral College is useful when taking this unique structure into account.
List of the Pros of Abolishing the Electoral College
1. It causes some votes to have greater weight than others. Because the Electoral College is based on the structure of state populations and representation in the House, some people have a vote that carries more weight per delegate than others. Despite California having millions of more people living in the state compared to Wyoming, the weight of a vote is 30% less. That means if you live in a rural area, your vote may count more toward who gets to be the eventual president. If this system were to be abolished, then every vote counted would have the exact same weight in the final tally.
2. This action would allow the popular vote winner to take the White House. Over 2.8 million more people voted for Hillary Clinton instead of Donald Trump, but it was Trump who won the White House because of the results of the electoral map. In the history of the United States, there have been five elections where the eventual winner didn’t receive a clear majority of the vote. Two of those elections have occurred since 2000. Only one election was so close that it had to go to the House of Representatives, which is how John Quincy Adams won over Andrew Jackson.
Instead of dealing with these complications, a simple majority vote would always speak of the will of the people. We already see gridlock and partisanship in Congress that limits the opportunities for collaboration. Switching to this standard system would not likely create an adverse result.
3. It would stop the requirement to redistribute the electoral votes. The U.S. Census creates the allocations of electoral votes that each state receives. That means the information receives an update every 10 years. The 2010 census is therefore valid for the 2012, 2016, and 2020 Presidential elections. Then the 2020 census will be valid for the 2024 and 2028 elections.
Abolishing the Electoral College would get rid of this confusing process. There can be distinctive advantages to one party in a decade where three election cycles are possible. It also stops the distribution process where California gets 55 votes, but a state like Delaware only gets 3. Every vote would count equally instead.
4. The reasons for the Electoral College may not be relevant any more. When the Founding Fathers built the idea of the Electoral College into the structure of the American government, their idea of information management was very different than what we have today. It took time for people to learn what was happening in the nation’s capital. Candidates had to go to each state to talk about what they wanted to do for the country because there was no other way to let people know what was happening.
Thanks to the Internet, telephones, email, social media, and every other form of communication that we have today, people can choose for themselves whether a new story has an underlying sinister bias. We’re already letting women, former slaves, and 18-year-olds vote, changing the structure of the election since the country’s founding. Abolishing the Electoral College seems to be the next logical step in that process.
5. It no longer serves the intended job. Alexander Hamilton was a significant supporter of the Electoral College. Although he said that the system was far from perfect, it was at least excellent. Hamilton believed that it would prevent the Office of the President from falling into the lot of a person who was not endowed with the requisite qualifications to serve the American people. Critics of the system would argue that the elections of Ronald Reagan and Donald Trump are evidence that this impact is no longer present in U.S. politics.
There will always be a concern about the tyranny of the majority in the United States. This issue exists in the Electoral College when the rural states face off with the urban ones. The only difference is that in this unique structure, the voice of the minority can actually shout down the desires of the majority.
6. Abolishing the Electoral College stops swing states from having sway in the election. During the 2016 presidential election, Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump had 90% of their campaign stops in only 11 states. Out of those visits, almost 70% of them happened in only four states: North Carolina, Ohio, Pennsylvania, and Florida. Even though proponents of the Electoral College want it to stay so that every state can have a specific say in the outcome of the election, the candidates are already starting to behave in the same ways that people fear they would when targeting a majority population groups.
It also prevents candidates from going into states where the electorate typically votes for the other party. When you know that one state will vote the same way in every election, there is no need to visit that place. There have been some unusual elections, such as the 1972 affair when Richard Nixon took 520 electoral votes to George McGovern’s 16. Reagan also dominated in 1980, taking 489 votes to Jimmy Carter’s 49. Reagan would almost make a clean sweep in 1984 as well, taking 525 of 538 electoral votes and only losing Minnesota and DC.
7. The electoral college ignores the will of the people. There are over 300 million people currently residing in the United States, but only 538 people actually get to choose who gets to be the president. Even when it is against the law for these folks to vote for someone other than what the electoral results in their state indicate, there is always an option to become a faithless elector under the American structure.
The presidential election in 2016 saw a modern-era record for faithless electors, but five of them came from the Clinton camp. Only two Republicans voted for someone other than Trump and Pence. Four of the electors came from the state of Washington. Colin Powell was the primary beneficiary, receiving three votes. Bernie Sanders, John Kasich, Ron Paul, and Faith Spotted Eagle received one each. There were two additional votes for Sanders that were invalidated in Minnesota and one for Kasich in Colorado.
List of the Cons of Abolishing the Electoral College
1. The interests of the minority would no longer receive protection. The primary benefit of the electoral college is that it works to protect the best interests of the minority in every election. Electors manage the needs of the state and community instead of following the will of the general public throughout the country. That means there must be a majority of states that agree with a specific candidate instead of allowing the people to decide who they want to have as president. The electors can vote their conscience as well, refusing to follow what their state elections guide them to do.
This process means that each candidate must speak with the entire country instead of visiting the largest cities as a way to solicit for votes.
2. This design promotes the two-party system. Even though some Americans don’t like the gridlock that a two-party system creates, the electoral college keeps this design healthy with each 4-year cycle. It is a process that allows the people to choose who serves in the White House instead of throwing it into Congress. That means centrist ideas tend to be the ones that receive the most traction instead of the individual priorities of platforms on the extreme left or right. That means more people can feel like their government accurately represents their needs.
Having this structure go away would encourage more third-party development. That means the major party that can maintain its base could win elections without a clear majority.
3. It would create problems when multiple candidates run. The Electoral College has given one candidate a majority win in this political structure since 1992, but there have been four times when the winner of the election didn’t receive a clear majority of the votes across the entire country. Bill Clinton won the White House in 1992 with only 43% of the vote, and then in 1996 with 49.2%. George W. Bush won the Electoral College in 2000 even though he received 0.5% less of the popular vote against Al Gore.
Then in 2016, Donald Trump won the Electoral College despite receiving 2.1% less of the popular vote. Adding even more candidates into this discussion without the protections of this structure could create circumstances where someone with less than 35% of the vote could potentially win a four-year term.
4. The chances of a recount would increase dramatically with election. The general threshold that an election result must reach to trigger an automatic recount is a difference of 0.5% of the vote or less. In the history of the United States, there have been six presidential elections that would have qualified for this issue – and three of them have occurred since 1968. There have also been five elections where the eventual president didn’t win a majority of the vote, including Trump in 2016. Only Rutherford Hayes, with a 3% difference, won the electoral college despite being in the minority. The cost of conducting a nationwide recount could be hundreds of millions of dollars, which is money that may not always be in the budget. Sticking to the electoral college format allows us to use electors as intended instead of relying on all of the votes counting.
5. It creates 50 individual contests. Under the current structure of the United States, there are 50 unique presidential contests instead of one nationwide affair to elect a President. If the U.S. were to abolish the electoral college, then the restrictions that territories experience against voting in this election would disappear. Residents of places like Puerto Rico and Guam would have their votes be counted in the final total, and these locations consistently vote for one party. This shift would likely benefit that party for more than a generation. Keeping the electoral college restricts the voting to acknowledged states only.
6. All parts of the country would not be involved in the selection of the president. Without the Electoral College in place, presidential candidates would build platforms that would speak to their base. Instead of having a regional focus that incorporates specific campaigning elements, there would be a national campaign instead. Iowa farmers might lose out to California union workers since their population numbers are larger. The small towns in the United States, along with all of the rural areas, would become marginalized if this system were to be entirely abolished.
7. Getting rid of the Electoral College would radicalize politics. The political game in the United States would change dramatically without the Electoral College present. Instead of a politician trying to appeal to someone with specific needs, the adoption of a general platform that maximizes votes in urban centers would become the emphasis of each party. The places where there are more people become the top priority, especially if there is a chance to swing some votes. The current structure limits Americans from pushing in this direction even though candidates tend to visit swing states more often. Eliminating this barrier could mean that some parts of the country never become part of the overall campaign.
Should the U.S. Abolish the Electoral College?
When Americans are polled about the Electoral College, most of them say that they want it to disappear. They want the option to select a president based on who gets the most votes nationally. During the 2020 election cycle, there are several candidates who are promising to work on doing just that.
“Every vote matters,” commented Senator Elizabet Warren (D-Mass) in an early campaign stop in Mississippi in 2019, “and the way we can make that happen is that we can have national voting and that means get rid of the Electoral College.”
One of the ways that states are considering a way to go around the Electoral College is called the National Popular Vote Interstate Compact. This agreement includes several states and DC, giving the electoral vote count assigned to them to the candidate who receives the most votes in the national election. It would only come into effect when it could guarantee that outcome. The group of 16 (as of August 2019) currently control 196 electoral votes together.
The pros and cons of abolishing the Electoral College must go beyond the 65% of people who want it gone. There would need to be a Constitutional amendment if the compact idea doesn’t work. With the divide between Democrats and Republicans currently in place, the likelihood that this idea will receive any movement any time soon is quite minimal.
Home — Essay Samples — Government & Politics — Electoral College — Favor of Abolishing the Electoral College
Favor of Abolishing The Electoral College
- Categories: Electoral College
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Words: 811 |
Published: Jan 15, 2019
Words: 811 | Pages: 2 | 5 min read
Table of contents
Ensuring fairness in presidential elections, enhancing representation and voter engagement, impact on election campaigns and policy priorities.
- Hasen, R. L. (2018). The flawed electoral college should be abolished. Scientific American. https://www.scientificamerican.com/article/the-flawed-electoral-college-should-be-abolished/
- FairVote. (2021). The Case for Abolishing the Electoral College. FairVote. https://www.fairvote.org/the_case_for_abolishing_the_electoral_college
- The National Popular Vote Interstate Compact. (2021). About the Compact. National Popular Vote. https://www.nationalpopularvote.com/about
- National Conference of State Legislatures. (2021). The National Popular Vote Interstate Compact. National Conference of State Legislatures. https://www.ncsl.org/research/elections-and-campaigns/national-popular-vote.aspx
- Keyssar, A. (2001). The Electoral College and the American idea of democracy. The Yale Law Journal, 110(8), 1403-1432.
- Edwards, G. C. III. (2004). Why the Electoral College is bad for America. Yale University Press.
- Amar, A. R. (2016). The Troubling Reason the Electoral College Exists. Time. https://time.com/4558510/electoral-college-history-slavery/
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The Electoral College Should Be Abolished
The Electoral College is made up of delegates from every state who turn out to vote for the ultimate winner of the presidential election. This system was established to prevent presidential elections from being decided solely by popular vote. The Founders believed that the average voter might not possess the most remarkable insight to choose a competent leader. There are many debates around this component of the political system because the Electoral College system runs contrary to a set of rules for picking a presidential candidate.
Electoral College needs to be abolished because it is not democratic and does not reflect citizens’ desires. Instead of upholding the principle of one individual, one vote, it displays the preferences of state representatives elected by their constituents. Originally, the purpose of the arrangement was to prevent any one state from having undue influence over the outcome of a presidential election (Greenberg & Page, 2018). However, things turned out differently than expected. Compared to larger states, smaller states with fewer populations have more delegates. For example, Wyoming and Delaware both have three electors even though they do not have the same populations. Wyoming has a lower population (576,851 people) than Delaware (989,948 people) (U.S. Census Bureau 2022). Such situations give states with smaller populations greater authority to impose their will on a big populace with varying viewpoints.
Additionally, the Electoral College encourages contenders to pay attention to particular states’ needs rather than national concerns. Candidates have been allowed to take advantage of this system, which could have adverse effects in the future. Candidates could not be capable of addressing significant issues that impact all Americans equitably since they will only be allowed to campaign in places where they might win as a result (McCombie et al., 2020). Nevertheless, today’s electoral college system makes it more probable that contenders would be chosen for office based on their capacity to appeal to specific strategic interests rather than on how effectively they represent the interests of all Americans.
In conclusion, the Electoral College does not fix the Constitution’s problems or shortcomings. Its establishment has generated more issues than it has resolved. It has cause great division among American citizens since some areas appear more overrepresented in contrast to others. The system also reduces populace representatives; until December, no one will know who might be president. America must abolish the Electoral College and transition to a popular vote approach.
Greenberg, E. S & Page, B. I. (2018). The Struggle for Democracy, 2018 Elections, and Updates Edition. (12th ed.). Pearson.
McCombie, S., Uhlmann, A. J., & Morrison, S. (2020). The U.S. 2016 presidential election & Russia’s troll farms. Intelligence and National Security , 35 (1), 95-114. Web.
U.S. Census Bureau. (2022). QuickFacts Wyoming . Web.
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Home / Essay Samples / Government / Electoral College / Why We Should Abolish the Electoral College in America
Why We Should Abolish the Electoral College in America
- Category: Government
- Topic: Electoral College , Voting
Pages: 2 (781 words)
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1. The Principle of "One Person, One Vote"
2. swing states and neglected states, 3. the possibility of electoral misfire, 4. encouragement of third-party candidates, 5. voter suppression concerns, 6. simplification of the electoral process, 7. reflecting the will of the people.
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