Electoral College

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As the Constitution of the United States was drafted, three options were presented as a means to elect the Executive branch of the government. The first idea was to have Congress chose the President, but it was ultimately rejected because it would “upset the balance of power between the legislative and executive branches of government” (Kimberling, 1992). The second was to have state legislatures choose the President. This idea was also rejected due to fear that the President would feel obligated to the states that put him in office, which would “undermine the whole idea of a federation” (Kimberling, 1992). The third idea was to elect the president by popular vote; however, the framers of the constitution had limited trust in the capability of the public to make intelligent and informed decisions. At an impasse, the “Committee of Eleven” was formed and proposed a system of choosing the president through a College of Electors. This College of Electors was intended to be comprised of the most knowledgeable, informed, and capable individuals who could choose a president based solely on merit (Kimberling, 1992). This system was adopted by the founding fathers and is found within Article II of the Constitution. From its inception, the Electoral College has been embroiled in vehement contention between those who find the value in the system and those who see it as an antiquated means to repress democracy. There are several reasons why the Electoral College is an integral cog of a functioning representative democracy, and these reasons will be discussed herein. In order to determine what benefits the Electoral College has to American democracy, one must first examine its nature. Instead of choosing a president, people vote for... ... middle of paper ... ...l government. In the entire executive and judicial branches, only two officials are elected—the president and vice president. All the rest are appointed—federal Article III judges for life” (Posner, 2012). While the Electoral College has some disadvantages, there are many advantages to using this system. The ways in which the Electoral College saves time, money, and resources keep American government functional. The electoral system is important in establishing a “check on the tyranny of the majority” (Bond and Smith, 2013), as well as eliminating the need for run-off elections and copious amounts of election result recounts. As Schoolhouse Rock! so eloquently points out, the electoral college may have “no classes, no professors, no tuition, yet [it’s] the goal of every politician, because everyone who graduates becomes the president” (Newall and Dorough, 2002).

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