The Election Process in American Politics

Best Essays
The election process is a long, drawn out one that incorporates numerous stages from the initial steps taken in trying to find a viable candidate for office to the end result that comes out of the Electoral College. The American system is one that is complex and very controversial as the readings have shown. Some have even suggested getting rid of the old institutions which have uniquely defined the American political process. Others have tried to argue that it is our duty to revert back to old systems of selection in order to achieve the best candidates. This paper will discuss some of the background behind the American political process and delve into the controversial topics surrounding the selection process and the Electoral College.

The Selection Process

The first main point the first two chapters try to express is the ever-evolving selection process for finding viable candidates. In the beginning, each member of the Electoral College cast two votes, one had to be for a person outside of the Elector’s state. In the early days of the process, elections were swift. With no campaigning, the process took about three months to complete (Pike & Maltese, p. 96).

The process was altered early on and a new stage added after the development of factions that became the first political parties. Parties added to the process because they had to select their own candidates to put forth for nomination. They began a new process for selection, by caucusing the members of congress from their selective parties. This process became the dominant mode of selection for the next three decades until the Jacksonian Era (Pika & Maltese, p. 97). The idea of congressional caucuses were attractive because Congressional leaders were the obvious choi...

... middle of paper ...

...oes not take all, votes are just added to the much larger national total (Edwards, pp. 190-191).


Election politics in the United States are far more complex than it is perceived by the mass media. This paper provided a few of the key points and long standing arguments over the way the system works and how it can be changed for the better.


Edwards, George C. (2009). The Faulty Premises of the Electoral College. In Abraham Goldberg, The American Presidency (pp. 177-195). Congressional Quarterly Press.

Pika, Joseph A. & Maltese, John Anthony (2009). The Election Process. In Abraham Goldberg, The American Presidency (pp. 95-151). Congressional Quarterly Press.

Pious, Richard M. (2009). The Presidency and the Nominating Process: Politics and Power. In Abraham Goldberg, The American Presidency (pp. 152-177). Congressional Quarterly Press.
Get Access