Electoral College Reform

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Electoral College Reform Since the fiasco that was the Presidential Election in the year 2000, many Americans have been calling for a reform of the Electoral College. Most of these people were Gore supporters; disillusioned by the fact that Bush won the office of the President while, in fact, he lost the popular vote. The American people did not elect George W. Bush; the Electoral College did. Last year’s circumstance was the first of its kind in over a century. There have been many close elections, but none have resulted in the popular candidate losing to his opponent. The Electoral College cast the final vote in that election. The people who went out to the polls in November, many of whom believing that they were indeed voting for president, did not. The Electoral College was established in a compromise between a direct election system, supported by James Wilson, and a system whereby the President would be chosen by congress, supported by Edgridge Gerry, in Article II, Section I of the United States Constitution (Houser, 2). It is a group of ‘electors’ who are nominated or appointed by each party within each state however they choose, who have pledged their loyalty to one candidate. In fact, it is the electors for whom we vote on Election Day. The Electoral College is comprised of 538 members representing the number of the total number of members of the House of Representatives and Senate and three electors representing the District of Columbia. A presidential candidate must have a majority of electoral votes in order to become president. In December of a presidential election year, the electors meet in their state capitals to cast their vote for President. In theory, this vote is intended to increase the majority of the already popular candidate. Despite recent events, this is usually the case. Although, it is remotely possible in a very close election that there will not be one candidate receiving 270 electoral votes, in which case the House of Representatives chooses the President. In this scenario, each state has merely one vote each to decide the presidency out of the top three contenders for the office. The Senate chooses the vice-president out of the top two contenders. Many people feel that this system is outdated, unfair and/or biased; that it should be replaced with the popular voting system. Unfortunately it is not as simple as... ... middle of paper ... ...ates would be wary of passing any amendment that would be disadvantageous to their respective states. However, this is a hurdle that we must cross in order to maintain legitimacy in our political system. A platform of “A Vote For Every American” should pass the lips of every elected official until this problem is rectified. Americans must work together to solve this problem, allowing a new and better system to give way for a fair and just system of electing the next United States’ President. Bibliography Beck, Paul Allen and Hershey, Marjorie Randon. Party Politics in America. 9th Ed. Longman, New York, NY. 2001. Kienitz, Paul. Options for Electoral College Reform. http://www.gning.net/electoral.html 11/4/01. Houser, Brian. The Electoral College: Not a School, a Problem. May 24, 1984. How The Electoral College Works. Federal Election Commission. www.fec.gpv/pages/ecworks.htm 10/20/01. Romulo, Beth. Should the Electoral College be Reformed? December 5, 2001. Sung, Ellen. Time to Reform the Electoral College?. July 27, 2000. http://www.policy.com 11/6/01 Why the Electoral College Should be Abolished. ElectionMethods.org http://www.electionmethods.org 11/6/01
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