During the horse-and-buggy era of 1789, travel to neighboring states was nearly impossible. A distance of even forty miles could require hours. Therefore journeys to non-bordering states were an extremely rare occurrence. These obstacles and the lack of communication between voters in one state and candidates in another was the constitutional framers’ main impetus for instituting an electoral college for presidential elections. This system ideally elects the most qualified candidate as deemed by educated voters: persons designated to keep abreast of current social issues and activities of political office holders and seekers. These specially selected voters would be chosen according to the will of the people. From the eighteenth (18th) century to today, this is how we elect our president.
Known as the melting pot, the United States’ diverse constituents reflect the diversity of the states themselves and elucidate the complications of change on a national level to this system. Direct election would be one option but it’s major disadvantage is that candidates may ignore smaller states because their campaign stops’ value is proportional to the concentration of people there. The electoral college, then, can be seen as a compromise between large and small states very much like the “Great Compromise” which gave smaller states equal representation in the Senate and larger (i.e. more populous) states representation by population in the House.
Third parties were another concern of the framers because they could eliminate a potential candidate if numerous third party candidates attracted even minimal votes such as those from people’s hometowns. This invite to corruption was discerned by the f...
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Anderson, John B. “Flunk the Electoral College, Pass Instant Runoffs,” Progressive, Vol. 65 , Issue
1, p.17-19, January 2001.
Clyburn, James E. “Electoral College Needs Reform,” New York Amsterdam News, Vol. 91, Issue
48, p.12, 11/30/2000.
_____ “Giving Credit to the Electoral College,” New Orleans Magazine, Vol. 34, Issue 4, p.13,
Glassman, James. “Reform the Electoral College, Don’t Toss It,” American Enterprise, Vol. 12 Issue
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Limbaugh, David. “Should America Abolish Electoral College System?” Human Events, Vol. 56
Issue 44, P. 10, 12/01/2000.
Schwarz, Frederick D. “How It Got That Way and Why We’re Stuck With It,” American Heritage,
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