Voters do not actually vote for their president? This information is not hidden, yet most Americans are ignorant of it when they write a name on a ballot every four years. For those individuals who do know the truth of how our system functions, the Electoral College has become a highly debated issue. Our founding fathers created it to be the democratic process that elected the new president for the United States each four years, yet this is the exact problem many people have with it - its lack of democracy. Additionally, many people find it confusing and outdated. I entered this debate undecided on my support of the College, so I was eager to learn what each side of the argument’s rationale was. So the question is, how fair is the Electoral College?
In his article, “In Defense of the Electoral College”, Richard A. Posner, a judge at the U.S. Court of Appeals for the 7th Circuit, promotes the Electoral College despite its faults. He argued the College provided a clear winner, whereas a direct vote would result in very close elections repeatedly, which could lead to time consuming recounts. Posner also brought up the point that the Electoral College encourages “transregional” candidates. He claims that because no region has enough electors on its own to elect a president, candidates must appeal to areas across the nation. Posner argues that this is good because a regional president would likely alienate many voters who didn’t vote for them because they might feel like that president would not protect their interests. Furthermore, he argued that the creation of swing states by the Electoral College is a bonus. According to Posner, these states have more educated and thoughtful voters, because th...
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...rpoints, his argument was somewhat unclear. He only really had one point that he didn’t respond to with a counterpoint. This meant that most of his article actually argued for the maintenance of the Electoral College. Additionally, I didn’t feel like there is a big enough reason to abolish the College. Posner did have one solid support though. His argument about having a “transregional” candidate was probably what sold me to join his side. It became clear that while the College may not always accurately represent the nation’s will, the system’s ability to give a safe candidate that was popular across the nation is something to be remembered. I am still interested in this issue, and will likely continue to research it, but now I do have an even greater respect for our founding fathers who established such a consistent system that has held up for over two centuries.
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