Monday, October 29, 2012

Should the Electoral College System be Preserved?

Many forces shape the conduct of presidential elections, but none is more significant than the Electoral College. This complex, rather odd institution was another compromise at the Constitutional Convention, a means to moderate the "passions of the public" and to allow smaller states a greater say in the selection of the president.

Today, the Electoral College system shapes the politics of how and where presidential candidates campaign in the general election. And, occasionally, as in the 2000 presidential election, who wins the White House.

Walter Berns, Scholar at the American Enterprise Institute says KEEP IT: "I doubt we could come up with a better system than they (the Founders) did."

Senator Richard Durbin (D-IL) says DUMP IT: " The Electoral College is an antiquated institution that has outlived its purpose... it represents a serious and persistent flaw in our current system."

What do YOU think about the Electoral College??
(For full credit, offer evidence from your READER to bolster your argument!)

202 comments:

1 – 200 of 202   Newer›   Newest»
Madison V said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Madison V said...

I believe that the Electoral College should remain in the voting system of the United States. Walter Berns makes many valid points such as the fact that only twice in this century has the candidate with the Electoral majority failed to win the popular vote. (122) This speaks volumes about what the Electoral College does because it means that in a majority of the cases, they are able to fairly represent the people.

You may ask, well what about the other two times? Berns makes a good argument when he states that the founders of our country not only had in mind popular majority, but a recognition for the qualifications that are necessary to lead this country. (123) The representatives in the Electoral College make sure that not only the people are represented, but also the individual elected will make a good candidate. Berns also states "I may be blind or deaf, but I have yet to encounter an opponent of the Electoral College who argues that a President elected directly by the people will be a better President." (123) Here, he is saying that although there have been elections where the popular vote hasn't been represented in the nominee chosen to become President, there has never been a person to argue that if the people were to have voted directly, they would have chosen a better president.

I think Berns makes a few good points here when arguing that the Electoral College should remain in place. Overall, by having representatives to vote on the peoples behalf, there is a fair balance between qualification and popularity when choosing a President.

Travis S said...

Carolyn Jefferson – Jenkins said, “In the age of Internet, we still rely on a horse-and-buggy election system,” saying that we are still using the election system from the 18th century and our technology has left it behind. The Electoral College has become out dated and needs to be dumped and a new system needs to be put in place that matches the time period that we are now in. The Electoral College most of the time makes the president the candidate that wins the most popular vote but there have been four times (1824, 1876, 1888, and 2000) that have gone against the popular vote. Why should someone be president of the United States if the majority of the country didn’t want him or her to be? This is the reason the Electoral College needs to be dumped because if the candidate doesn’t win the majority votes then they should not be able to be the president and represent the people. If the candidate doesn’t represent the majority’s opinion then when he makes decisions it wont have the majority of the country at thought. “It’s time to ensure that the President of the United States is directly elected by the people he or she will represent.” (Carolyn Jefferson – Jenkins)

Luke H said...

The current Electoral College is defined as “The procedure for selecting the president of The United States, defined in the Article II of the constitution, whereby the voters in each state choose electors to attend a gathering where the electors make the final decision.” (Textbook p. 122) Letting the people voice their opinion in our government has been a valued aspect of since the constitution began. In my opinion the Electoral College limits the voices of the people and deprives Americans of their votes. Richard J. Durbin states, “The first problem with the Electoral College system is that it is inherently unfair and may disenfranchise voters,” (Reader p. 126). This statement proves right in three times out of the 42 presidential elections since 1824 where the winning candidate has received fewer popular votes then their opponent.(Reader p.127). To fix this issue, I believe we can look at what Maryland decided to implement into their laws. “…they passed a law that would award the state’s electoral votes to the winner of the national popular vote- so long as other states agree to do the same,”(Textbook p. 125). This does two things that benefit America. One of these being that the constitution would not have to be amended, and two, All Americans votes will be valued and not disenfranchised.

Emily L said...

In my opinion, I believe that Electoral College should stay as the process for electing the President and Vice President of the United States. It is a crucial part of our history, and to change it would require the Constitution to be amended. (Text Book pg. 125)

First off, through the eyes of our founding fathers, the Constitution enabled the Electoral College to set a balance between the larger and smaller states. The men that founded our country recognized the qualities required of an office and the entitlements of a popular majority, which is why they devised the Electoral College. (Reader pg. 123) Our founders wanted to protect our country from what could become “populism”. Secondly, as the Federal principle being one of the two fundamental structural principles of our Constitution, the proposal to abolish the Electoral College would also be a proposal to abolish the Federal principle in presidential elections. (Reader pg. 130) In the US, all of the national elective offices are based of the Federal principle, and if we get rid of the Federal principle in a presidential election, we could be abandoning a national consensus-building device by allowing candidates to promise everything to everyone. Changing the Electoral College could result in the way elections are held and the way things are handled.

It is evident that when Walter Berns, Scholar at the American Enterprise Institute said KEEP IT: "I doubt we could come up with a better system than they (the Founders) did", he was right. The Electoral College was designed to ensure the peaceful unity of the democracy and to prevent the majority from taking control and mistreating the minority. A true candidate is chosen to lead through the Electoral College because he best represents the diversity across the US.

Stephen Renard said...

Akhil Amar said, "I consider the Electoral College a brilliant eighteenth century device that cleverly solved a cluster of eighteenth century problems." Professor Amar stated his beliefs of dumping the electoral college similar to my beliefs. The electoral college is dated. The EC was made to protect the people from electing the wrong candidate because, frankly, only a few were educated enough to make such a strong decision. Although this system might have worked 200 years ago, it doesn't today. The internet has made citizens aware of their candidates. We are more educated than we ever have been before according to Amar. 200 years ago, blacks and women were not as educated as the average white man, but today everyone is on the same level. Honorable Richard Durbin makes valid points. He says it is dangerous for politicians who live hundreds of miles away from their area they represent have too much say in Washington. I agree with Mr. Durbin. The supporters of the EC seem to be holding on to one key point that makes their argument valid: smaller states will not have equal say in the election. Why should they? The president should represent the people and if a rural state has as much power as large states, then the small states have more power. In today's elections, it would seem strategically correct to spent more time in small and rural states in order to speak to fewer people, saving time and money in order to gain electoral votes. But shouldn't the candidates try to spend as much time as possible with the greatest amount of people? According to Durbin, Today's system doesn't work because a few thousand votes in a small state can outweigh the hundreds of thousands people in the larger states. I believe that the supporters of the ER are trying to keep power over the people in order to push their beliefs. The people should have the power to choose who becomes president, and I think anything otherwise is un-American and unfair.

Kamil H. said...

“The Electoral College is an antiquated institution that has outlived its purpose,” Durbin says (125). It has outlived its purpose because the electoral college came into play in 1804 in the 12th Amendment. In 1804 the candidates were worried about the average citizen making the decisions, because many of them probably were not educated or had any idea of any candidates running in the election. Which makes sense because then information did not spread as quickly as it does now. Durbin says, “the delegates questioned whether the voters in one State could have enough relevant knowledge regarding the character of public men living hundreds miles away” (125). That was in 1804, 200 years have passed since then and we still use the same system, saying the our average citizens are not able to make a educated decision. They feared that people from Florida were not able to make a decision on a candidate on candidate from New York, but now citizens in California can learn almost everything about a candidate that is from Maine. Now it is very accessible for average citizens to learn about candidates and what they believe in. The Electoral College should be changed to a direct popular vote because now citizens are able to make a educated choice on who gets their vote.

Colton U said...

I believe we should defiantly keep the Electoral College around in the US because of how well it portrays the US citizen’s votes. Walter Berns states that “only twice in this century has the candidate with the Electoral majority failed to win a majority of the states” or in other words the popular vote. (pg. 122 reader) This goes to show how it fairly shows the vote of the people and want they want. Barn’s goes on to say that “the founders surely recognized the entitlements of a popular majority, but with an eye to the qualifications or qualities of them.” (pg .123 reader) With that in mind the Electoral College makes sure that all of the citizens are heard and represented, and that the person elected is the best possible choice to represent them.

Upper School Government and Economics said...

Note on style: please offer your opinion (thesis statement) at the beginning of your comment - see Emily L and Madison V for GREAT examples!

Regarding content:

... Madison: if the electors are 'bound' to vote in a certain way, then is the system nothing more than a rubber stamp - rather than "a fair balance between qualification and popularity" as you say?

... I'm curious, Travis - what if no candidate wins a majority of the popular vote?

Katherine Trent said...

The Electoral College is the middleman between the votes of the average american citizens and who ultimately becomes the President of the United States. In 48 out of 50 states the party that wins the popular vote determines which party the electoral votes will go to. In doing so, this completely discounts the votes of the opposing party. The framers implemented this to shape the election process to ensure a well qualified candidate would win, but when such a process overrides the America people not giving equal representation of both parties, an elite group gets final say on who will be president, and in rare occasions they don’t reflect the votes from the majority of the American people. This, as Carolyn Jefferson-Jenkins says, is a “confusing patchwork system that undermines voters’ faith in their government” (140). We live in an era very different than the 1700s, where information is at our fingertips. I don’t think anyone’s opinion should be discredited in an effort to ensure a well qualified candidate. As Honorable Richard J. Durbin pointed out on page 125, the 17th Amendment to the Constitution ratified in 1913 changed the system by which senators are elected. The now direct vote makes for a clear representation of the voters, and limits the “back-room” deals between bureaucrats. This change did not causes a negative effect on the nation, but I would argue better reflects an honorable democracy. In the words of Abraham Lincoln, “Public opinion is everything. Without it, nothing can fail. Without it, nothing can succeed” (129). America is based upon the equal representation of all citizens and I think the presidential election process should reflect this.

shelley23 said...

Should the Current Electoral College System be preserved?"

Based on the information given in both, the reader and the textbook I agree with Richard J. Durbin pg.125 (reader). I feel that we should compromise, by amending the Constitution to replace the Electoral College with the direct election of the President because the election of the president should come from votes of the people. Problems with the Electoral College system are that it may lead to a wide difference between the popular vote and the electoral vote. Another problem with the Electoral College is that electors are not bound to cast their vote in accordance with the popular vote results from their state. (Pg 128) Although I feel like the Electoral College system shouldn’t be preserved because the process of selecting the president should be left up to a direct vote of the people. All in all the Electoral College system favors some citizens over others, depending on the sate in which they cast their votes for president.

chris cole said...

I believe that the electoral college should be kept because it requires the candidates to be more strategic in their campaigning and therefor work harder towards getting citizens votes. Although keeping the electoral college seems unecessary, it makes the candidates running for president think about where they will campaign. Also, as said by Berns, "Under the Electoral College, the independant or third party candidate must win at least a plurality in at least one State to have aany electoral effect...a vote for a candidate will be wasted...Instead of being wasted, their votes would almost surely prevent either of the two major-party candidates from winning 40 or 50 percent of the popular vote." If the electoral college were to be dismissed, many would begin voting for third party or independant candidates, which would increase the complexity of the voting even more because there would not be a clear winner.

Cooper said...

I believe that the electoral college should remain as the primary voting system for America. Berns makes many valid points throughout his argument, including the fact that, technically the electoral college has only made the "wrong" decision (according to rules such as the unit rule) twice (122). Some deam the electoral college as undemocratic, yet Berns makes another point against those who believe that. He states that if there is one man, one vote and the majority wins, how could that be undemocratic in any way shape or form (122. I do disagree with the fact that sometimes the electoral college drowns out the voice of the people. I do hate the fact that the electoral college can trump the people, I believe that when the electoral college does trump the people, that the true spirit of our country and the beliefs that it was founded on get left behind. At the same time this has only truely occured twice in the history of the electoral college. Therefore, I believe that to avoid mass chaos between people and to also avoid more complaints about how are government is run... that the electoral college (as long as the system remains fair and just) should remain within the election process.

Abby said...

I believe that the Electoral College System should remain in our election process. The unit rule, which states that the candidate who receives the most popular vote in a state receives all of that state's electoral votes, creates a fair system in which all voters have a say. Charles Fried summed up the Electoral College System very well: "The Electoral College is one of the political safeguards of federalism..."

However, the Electoral College System is not perfect, because the most popular candidate does not ALWAYS win the presidency, as seen in the elections of 1824 (John Adams vs. Andrew Jackson), 1876 (Rutherford B. Hayes vs. Samuel J. Tilden), 1888 (Benjamin Harrison vs. Grover Cleveland), and 2000 (Al Gore vs. George W. Bush). Although the Electoral College System is not perfect, there is no perfect system that would be completely fair and impartial and also please all Americans.
- Abby T.

Niko P said...

I believe that we should indeed keep the electoral college in effect because it gives presidential nominees great incentive to reach out to all voters from all 50 of these United States. Judith A. Best gives great opinion in his essay by writing that "the proposals to abolish the Electoral College are proposals to abolish the Federal Principle in presidential elections. All of our national elective officers are based on the Federal Principle - they are State-based elections for we are a Nation of States." Best is very right in saying that we are a "Nation of States", therefore we should satisfy the needs of the majority of the states, not just the people. Best expands on the idea of Federal principle by writing that "The Federal principle in presidentia elections forces presidential candidates to build broad cross-national political coalitions" and "produces Presidents who can govern because of their broad cross-national support." Without the electoral college, Presidential candidates could just focus on getting the votes from people in one area of the United States, which would not reflect the opinions of the entire country.

Sydney Dunbar said...

Being on the con side of the conversation, I see the Electoral College as outdated and unessecary.Although the group has only shaped the outcome of the winner of the election in two instances, that is two times too many. Walter Berns argues that "only twice in this century has a candidate with the Electoral majority failed to win a majority of the states" (122). This fact makes me question the point of an individuals vote if it is not valid nationwide. It is an unessecary step in the process of electing the president. The rule originates from the beginning of our government and is outlined in the Constitution... and since it has been written much has changed with peoples rights, technology, and education. This group of people in the Electoral College are thought to be needed to make sure an educated discion is made for President, but this is no longer needed as the literacy rate in America has skyrocketed, all people can be educated now and it is no longer limited to those who are white or those who are male. Voters today can be educated through the news, papers, twitter, and various other places. Information can spread like wildfire and there are recources for everyone to be able to inform themselves of the candidates of today.I agree with Akil Amar on the subject of being outdated when he says, "Of the 15th amendments proposed and ratified after 1800, no fewer than 5 have directly adjusted the original Electoral College system" (135). So overall I believe that the Electoral College is not nessecary in the scheme of electing a president as its reason for being is no longer valid.

Josh T. said...

I think the Electoral College should not be the main voting system in the United States. Abraham Lincoln once said, “Public opinion is everything. With it, nothing can fail. Without it, nothing can succeed.” The Electoral College is an ineffective system that does not result in a popularly elected president. To change the process of the Electoral College a major amendment would have to be added to the Constitution.
The Electoral College is defined as, “ The procedure for selecting the president and vice president of the United States, defined in Article II of the Constitution, where by the voters in each state choose electors to attend a gathering where the electors make the decision. The current system of the Electoral College is a dangerous and outdated voting system for the United States. According to Richard J. Durbin, “ The Electoral College is an antiquated institution that has outlived its purpose.” (125) Originally discussed at the Constitutional Convention of 1787, the founders believed that the process of selecting a President should not be left up to a direct vote of the people. The discussions that took place during the Convention occurred 225 years ago. Times have changed, and the citizens of the United States are fully capable of participating in a successful presidential election through total and direct majority votes. Akhil Amar asserts, "I consider the Electoral College a brilliant eighteenth century device that cleverly solved a cluster of eighteenth century problems." The system needs to go because this is the 21st century and the people of the United States can directly and intelligently vote for a president.
The president represents and speaks for the people of this great country. Therefore, the citizens have an obligation to allow the people to have their voices directly heard. The Electoral College does not fairly count the votes and it does not fairly allow a president to be elected. The amendment to the Constitution is necessary to change the way votes are counted in this country.

JackM said...

I believe that the Electoral College should not stay as a part of the electing process. Judith A. Best said, “A successful candidate can’t simply promise everything to one section and neglect others.” (130) This means that a good candidate shouldn’t go to only big states to get those electoral votes and not care about the rest, but a good candidate would go to every state to win over the citizens.

I believe that getting rid of the Electoral College is the only way to get good candidates because good candidates care about the citizens not the votes. The Electoral College also brings problems to minorities of the country and goes against the ‘National Interest.” (131) Certain states contain a majority of people that are farmers but that state will have very few electoral votes so their voice will not be heard which is the same as a state with a lot of electoral votes and a small concentration of farmers. If we eliminate the Electoral College take all of those votes cast then their voices will be heard and their vote will count. Another reason why we should get rid of the Electoral College is because, as Honorable Richard J. Durbin said, “It has lost its purpose.” (125) This is because the Electoral College was made in the 1800’s to solve the problems of he 1800’s. These problems include that many women and blacks were not educated enough to vote, so they implemented people to vote for them. However, now that almost all women and men are educated as much as everybody else there is no need for people to vote for them.

It is clear that the votes of the citizens are not always reflected by the votes of the Electoral College. In conclusion, it is necessary that we get rid of the Electoral College so every citizen of the United States has a voice that is heard.

Lauren Edmond said...

The Electoral College is a system that served its purpose well when it was created but as the times have changed it has become an insitution that hinders rathers than helps what it orriginally set out to do. The electoral college was set in place to elect the president in a fair manner so that the larger states, who were questioned on "whether voters in one State could have enough relevent knowledge regarding the character of public men living hundreds of miles away" (125), could not over power the smaller states views. That issue of the favorite son is not valid today because the advances in technology allow for all the views of every candidate to be told to every citizen willing to listen. Therefore the arguement that the average citizen should not have a direct vote is null because they are now educated on the views. This system also allows citizens who are on the opposing party of their state to beleive that they have no say because their state is going to vote for its majority party anyway and based on the unit rule all electoral votes go to the majority. Without the electoral college the popular vote would change drastically which would allow for even more discrapancies in the presidental candidate who got all those popular votes not counted for with the electoral college. Therefore the electoral college should be nullified.

DillonS said...

The Electoral College system should not be preserved. It is an out of date system. In 1787, the delegates at the Constitutional Convention felt that the process of choosing the President should not be a direct vote by the people. Just because something worked out back then, does not mean it is the right choice now. Richard J. Durbin, a senior United States senator from Illinois, also thinks it is time for a change. He gives an interesting example involving the Senate. He states. "The Seventeenth Amendment to the Constitution was ratified in 1913 and provided for the direct popular election of U.S. senators. Before that, senators were chosen by State legislatures.But come 1913, we decided to trust the people to choose the senators. I dont beleive our nation has suffered by that decision. I think the Senate as an institution has been enhanced by that decision."(125) Durbin raises a great point. If this worked for one of the three major branches of government it has a great chance to work for the Executive one. Another reason why the Electoral college should be dismissed is that it can lead to electing a president with fewer popular votes than their main opponent. Should't the person with the most total votes win!? Senator Birch Bayh stated, "I see...only grave dangers that could divide this Nation at a critical hour if the President-elect lacked a popular mandate." This statement is very scary coming from a man heavily educated in politics.

Ian Marks said...

I believe that the electoral college system should be at least modified so that individuals have more power in voting for presidential candidates. Richard Durbin expresses the fact tat "the Electoral College...often leads to wide disparities between the popular vote and the electoral vote" (Reader pg 127). The electoral college has lead to individuals of minor parties not caring to engage in political elections because their opinion goes unheard due to the electoral college giving all the electoral votes to one candidate based on majority. The electoral college has lead to presidential candidates campaigning for each state's majority only and leaving the minority in the wake of the campaign. The electoral college system inhibits our freedom to choose our president directly. While states' majorities political party views stay fairly constant in an election no matter what, public opinion polls shows the shifting opinion of candidates during their campaign. The Florida conflict in the 2000 presidential election where Gore lead the popular vote and Bush dominated the electoral college. Charles Fried argues that "if we were guaranteed that the Electoral College...would never diverge from the popular vote, then only the popular vote [the vote of the citizens of the state] that count" (Reader 138). However, Fried is incorrect because the electoral college caused Bush to win the election by the narrowest margin possible in electoral votes while Gore carried the popular vote. If the electoral college was abolished and direct voting was allowed, the 2000 election would not have ended in a supreme court ruling.

Ian M.

Zeev F said...

I beleive that the electoral system doesnt reperesent the voters as well as it can. in Richard J. Durbin's essay he uses a quote from former Senator Birch Bayh he said "As a result,the popular vote totals of the losing candidate at the state level are completly discounted in the final eletoral tabulation..." Durbin says " ... the electoral college system can lead to presidents whi received fewer popular votes than their main opponent." That has happened 3 times since 1824 and i beleive that it is unfair to both the people and to the person who lost. Durbin also argues that the times have changed since 200 years ago. i agree because because of communication and technology advances.

Mercedez Spears said...

Opinion on Electoral Colleges: Should we keep it?

Electoral Colleges are based off winning the majority of the states votes. The losing votes are not counted, which creates an inaccurate outcome. We should choose our President according to the votes of the nation, not individual states. It would logical for the votes to be tallied for both sides of each state. So in the end we would truly have the nations majority vote.
“ The danger of Electoral Colleges is the possibility that a candidate might receive a majority of the electoral votes while receiving fewer popular votes then his or her opponent.” (Reader pg.122)
We should keep the Electoral College but amend it. In order for a more accurate vote of the United States, instead of throwing out the less popular votes in states they need to be kept and recorded as well. In the end we can tally the total votes for each side’s popularity and make a unified decision.

-Mercedez S

patrick said...

I believe that we should keep the Electoral College. The biggest advantage to it is that it forces each candidate to win over each state. They must directly address the problesms close to the hearts of those in each state. Each candidate must learn about the states issues and the states politicians. They are forced to be "personalized" to each state. If we were to, as a nation, take the same road Maryland is attempting to take presidential candidates would lose that loacal awareness. Charles Fried states in an essay "A constitutionial amendment to elect the President by the plurality of the popular vote would redirect the candidates' attention to national audiences. National issues would drive out any attention to local concerns or personalites." I feel as if candidates were to be elected by only popular vote the little voices of America (individual state's problems, issues, interests, etc.) would be pushed to the way side. As awesome as it would be to have a president who legitamately cared about and actually believed in everything he "stands for" while trying to win votes, there is no such thing. A presidential candidate guages what the problems and concerns of the majority of the people are and picks a side. Being forced to focus on the issues of individual states also forces them to at least hear what the peoples problems are and genuinely think of solutions

Travis S said...

If no candidate wins the popular majority then the top two candidates should be put to a re-vote to see who is the majority out of those two.

Brookie H said...

It is said that the Electoral College is one of the most innovative and controversial aspects of the American elections. Throughout American history, it has been seen that the popular vote of the American people as a whole doesn’t exactly mean that that popular candidate will end up winning the presidency. In other words, only state by state, do the popular votes determine the electoral votes. I don’t see this as fair. For example, it is assumed that in every presidential election, Texas will end up being a Republican state. However, there are Democrats in Texas and their voices should be heard too. Abraham Lincoln once said, “Public opinion is everything. With it, nothing can fail. Without it, nothing can succeed.” (129) I believe that public opinion does mean everything and the Electoral College is limiting the voice of people who aren’t of the same party of the state that they live in. Honorable Richard J Durbin believes that we need to “trust the people of this country” and that “the people of this country should choose the President as they choose Members of Congress as well as U.S. senators.” (130) I agree with him because I do feel that every person needs to have their own personal voice in the election process and that every American’s vote counts the same.

Anonymous said...

The Electoral College is a population based system assigning a number of votes to each state. Within each of these states it is their own decision to apply their votes in the unit rule (winner take all) or two congressional give out their votes. In the current U.S. states 48 out of the 50 use the unit rule. The reason for this to be corrupt is that to acquire the Presidency you must obtain 270 votes out of the 538, and to get this amount of votes you don’t even need to win the popular vote. “Watching George W. Bush take over the White House in 2001, even though he had received half a million fewer popular votes than Gore,” (Text 122) this quote shows how that even though you can win majority of the peoples votes it is still possible to not win the Presidential election. This explains how the voice of the American voters should be more primary than of the states with higher electoral votes. Maryland proposed a counter to this deemed flawed system “…the passed a law that would award the state’s electoral votes to the winner of the national popular vote” (Text 125). The idea proposed by Maryland might not be the best way to pursue the idea of every vote matters but we should considered a way to balance out the votes so the popular vote of the Americans should obtain Presidency.

-Quinton O.

Lauren S said...

I think that it is necessary to keep the Electoral College as a part of our election process. The Electoral College is a group of wise, credible electors who represent states and come together to vote on whom they believe is best suited for the presidency and vice presidency based on evidence and thoughtful opinion. The popular votes are truly important however the reasoning supporting them is unclear at times and is not fit to be the only deciding factor of arguably the most important positions held in our country’s political system. Therefore accompaniment of votes taken by the Electoral College is crucial to involving thoughtful reasoning during these decisions. In Walter Berns' article about the Electoral College, he brings attention to the fact that the founders of our country “surely recognized the entitlements of a popular majority, but…they devised institutions- the Electoral College is one of them- that modify or qualify the majority principle.” (p.123) This point exemplifies that the Electoral College plays a vital role in the process. As the founding fathers have recognized there must be another component along with popular vote, which the legitimacy and validity of the Electoral College provides.

Blair S. said...

I think the Electoral College system should be preserved because it gives legitimacy to the whole election process. If the United States were to switch to a direct election or popular vote election by the people it would enable the candidates from all parties to focus on their most populist states for support leaving smaller states alone. (pg.125 paragraph 5) Under the direct election candidates could simply promise everything to one region of the country and neglect others, which would get the popular vote of the people and might win the election for the candidate, but might hurt other citizens from different parts of the United States (pg. 130). With the Electoral College small states are still a part of the “national interest” because of the devices set in place by the framers of the constitution. (pg. 131) In the last 160 years (since 1836) there has not been a contingency election and some of our best Presidents with less than 50% of the popular vote have been elected. (pg. 132-133) In my opinion the Electoral College should stay in effect because of the issues stated above and the Electoral College voters are voted on by the citizens of the state so it is not a direct democracy but the people are represented by their elected officials. Also, the Electoral College gives all people, including the minorities, a voice in politics rather than with the direct election the minorities would be overlooked.

All cites are from the Reader “Choices”

Claire Criss said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
JonathanW said...

I believe that the Electoral College should be abolished. The Electoral College was a great and innovative way to have elections back in the 18th century, but, "Improvements in communications technology, and the rise of political parties, make possible direct election and a populist president-de facto, that is our scheme today." (Akhil Amar, 136). For example, in 2000, Al Gore ran against George Bush and he won the popular vote, but lost the Electoral College vote. There were recounts of the votes and the whole election process came under scrutiny. If everyone's votes were electronic and streamlined to national database, the process would be a lot simpler. Also, the Electoral College puts emphasis on larger states and candidates might ignore smaller states or make false promises to gain control of larger states. “A successful candidate can’t simply promise everything to one section and neglect others.” (Best, 130)
The Electoral College is outdated and should be changes to popular vote wins the election.

Claire Criss said...

The electoral college has many, many flaws in today's society. While it is a tried and true system, there are many flaws with the way it's set up. First off, electral college was benefitial for a certain period of time until the electoral process grew bigger that the original system. In the current day world, all people should have their say because almost all people are involved in the voting process. "The electoral college...is inherently unfair and may disenfranchise voters" (Durbin, 150). It is unfair to give some people's votes more power than others which is esentially what you are doing when the minority group's votes aren't counted. ALso smaller states aren't given the same chance as the bigger states. "The winner-take-all aspect...motivates presidential candidates to focus n states with...large...electoral votes" (Durbin, 150).Furthermore, it is very easy to undermine the system. In 2000, Florida voters found a loophole in the electoral college's prcess by having a large group of people vote more than once under different names such as Mickey Mouse. Due to that, there is proof that the electoral college has flaws and the electoral college should be removed or at least put under consideration for adaptation.

Katherine P said...

The Electoral College system was originally brought about to help protect our country from being corrupted by populism. The founders of our country were undoubtedly doing what they thought was best, and it was best for our country at the time. However, as our country has grown, changed, and developed, the Electoral College has gotten to a point where it is no longer a necessity in the democratic process. Although I can not deny that the Electoral College is not beneficial to the United States, I do not believe that now is the time to abolish it due to the fact that there are still benefits coming off of it.
When it was established, the Electoral College was a fantastic new idea to help protect the integrity of our democracy. However, "the Electoral College is an antiquated institution that has outlived its purpose." (125). The Electoral College was developed for the needs of our country at the time, but has not been able to mature with our country. However, there are some redeeming qualities coming off of this. As George Mason University stated, "It were as unnatural to refer the choice of a proper character for Chief Magistrate to the people, as it would be to refer a trial of colors to a blind man."(125) In theory, some persuasive politician could win over the affections of the people and turn out to be a corrupt and unjust leader. The Electoral College prevents this from happening and protects the best interests of the people, like a government is supposed to do.
With the Electoral College, sometimes the person with the popular votes does not win, however in the end, the Electoral College is here to protect the people. Yes, the Electoral College has made mistakes, but has any significant damage really come off of this? At the end of the day, the United States has still ended up with a strong leader who has done our country good.
Lastly, changing the system or abolishing the Electoral College altogether would provide significantly more costs than benefits. The idea of the Electoral College is embedded in the Constitution, and changing this would be a very difficult task. Also, making any significant changes to government policy will inevitably cause uprisings and riots, something the United States does not have the time to deal with, seeing as to how our interests would be better focused on other, more pressing, matters. Abolishing the Electoral College would only do more harm than good.
At this point in time, the Electoral College is not the best system for America, however, it does provide benefits. While just making some minor changes would be ideal, that is not reasonable at this time, and abolishing this system would shake the foundation of our government and show more harms than benefits. On a simply cost-benefit analysis, the costs of abolishing the Electoral College simply do not outweigh. For these reasons, the Electoral college should hold its place in America's political system.

hunter said...
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Daniel K. said...

In my opinion, the Electoral College should remain in the voting system for the United States. Critics said that the Electoral College is “dangerous” and “undemocratic”, and the danger is the possibility that a candidate might receive a majority of the electoral votes while receiving fewer popular votes than his or her opponent. The reformers speak of this popular-vote/ electoral vote discrepancy as a “time bomb waiting to go off;” but the one time it did go off in 1888, nothing happened in the sense that there was no complaints from the losing candidate as well as the winning candidate was not seen as an illegitimate president. (Reader 122) As far as being “undemocratic”, what could be undemocratic about a system of one man, one vote, where the majority wins?
Because of things like the 12th Amendment, unit rule, and swing states, it makes the voting process by the Electoral College as fair as it can be. And I believe that the Electoral College and process that is set today, fairly represents the people.

Daniel K. said...
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Miranda M. said...

"Undemocratic? What is undemocratic about a system of one man, one vote, majority rules?" (p. 122) In my opinion, I believe Electoral College should be preserved because it ensures that everyone has a say in the election process. If it were to be changed to direct election, then they would focus on one specific part of the country and other sections would be left out(p. 130). Since 1836, there has never been a contingency election. That means for the past 160 years, the winner-take-all system is the reason it has gone smoothly. (p. 132). It has proved to be a legitimate and consitutional voting system that gives everyone a chance to voice their opinion and no one is left out due to the size of their state. So once again, I think Electoral College should be preserved and it is the best way to hear the voices of the people.

RidaBaharia said...

I, personally, feel that the Electoral College should be bumped out and it’s time for a new a policy to take place of it. The definition for an Electoral College is “the procedure for selecting the president and vice president of the United States, defined in Article II of the Constitution, whereby the voters in each state choose electors to attend a gathering where the electors make the final decision” (textbook p. 122). This seems unfair because of the idea that if the vote was off by one in a whole state the other candidate wins all the electoral votes. According to Senator Durbin, “The first problem with the Electoral College system is that it is inherently unfair and may disenfranchise voters,” (reader p. 126). Back to the point I made prior. Suppose if Obama and McCain were to run again, and in Texas vote comes dead even basically, then if McCain won in Texas by one single vote he’d get 34 electoral votes. Which is unfair in every which way. They came dead even, and Obama gets left with 0 electoral votes. In my opinion, electoral votes could still, potentially, exist, but not in the form they are in existence now. The electoral votes could be split up by percentage of popular vote, and that way each candidate gets at least a few potentially even 0 electoral votes per state. I feel like this would be a more fair process. Overall, the Electoral College system we have now has to be refined by a lot.

Ryan said...

I believe that the United States of America should get rid of the Electoral College. My reasoning behind this is that, as much as the presidential election is already a “winner-take-all” election, I believe the voting process behind it shouldn’t be the same way. For instance, say there is a 49%-51% Republican vote in Texas. The Republican candidate automatically gets all 38 delegates. No matter how close of a race in the popular vote, the electoral vote decides it. The point of the election is to convince the majority of the people of the country that you are the best candidate, not just four larger states that have the most electoral votes. This may have been a good and fit process before but now it’s more important to win each state based on public opinion, not their size and power within the country. The Electoral College creates a certain danger in fact. AEI resident scholar Walter Berns poses the question: “Have we reached the point where the Constitution, alone, is incapable of lending legitimacy to an office?” (122). This question is vital to this debate in that it unfortunately shows us that we have. The danger lies in the possibility that a candidate will win the popular vote but lose the electoral vote. In 1888 when this happened, there wasn’t much commotion made about it. However, Berns “fear[s] the public would react differently today, largely because of the moral authority of the Electoral College” (122). And he is right as can be seen by the continuously growing liberal population in our country who believes in more power to the people, and in this specific case, a majority rule.

Ryan said...

I believe that the United States of America should get rid of the Electoral College. My reasoning behind this is that, as much as the presidential election is already a “winner-take-all” election, I believe the voting process behind it shouldn’t be the same way. For instance, say there is a 49%-51% Republican vote in Texas. The Republican candidate automatically gets all 38 delegates. No matter how close of a race in the popular vote, the electoral vote decides it. The point of the election is to convince the majority of the people of the country that you are the best candidate, not just four larger states that have the most electoral votes. This may have been a good and fit process before but now it’s more important to win each state based on public opinion, not their size and power within the country. The Electoral College creates a certain danger in fact. AEI resident scholar Walter Berns poses the question: “Have we reached the point where the Constitution, alone, is incapable of lending legitimacy to an office?” (122). This question is vital to this debate in that it unfortunately shows us that we have. The danger lies in the possibility that a candidate will win the popular vote but lose the electoral vote. In 1888 when this happened, there wasn’t much commotion made about it. However, Berns “fear[s] the public would react differently today, largely because of the moral authority of the Electoral College” (122). And he is right as can be seen by the continuously growing liberal population in our country who believes in more power to the people, and in this specific case, a majority rule.

Megan Riney said...

I believe that the Electoral College is an efficient and functional way to decide the Presidency and should be kept for use in future elections. Some argue that the Electoral College is undemocratic due to not having the deciding factor be from the national popular vote. Walter Berns, a Resident Scholar of the American Enterprise Institute, however, presents an intelligent point, saying, “Undemocratic? What is undemocratic about a system of one man, one vote, and the majority rules?” (Berns, 122). The system is in fact democratic. In 48 out of 50 states, the majority vote in each state is the deciding factor of which candidate the electoral votes will be awarded to, steering that candidate toward election of the Presidency.
Professor Judith A. Best states, “The Federal principle in presidential elections forces presidential candidates to build broad cross-national political coalitions. Thereby, it produces Presidents who can govern because of their broad cross-national support.” (Best, 130). With the Electoral College system, candidates build cross-national platforms, and allow themselves to focus on states that could swing either way. In situations like these, voters get the opportunity to learn more about who they are voting for and what actions they will take once in office that will affect the country as a whole.

The democratic process allows for the candidates to focus on the whole country, and strategically campaign, simultaneously letting voters around the country understand the platform in which the candidate is running, and understand who they are putting in office.

Cole B said...

In my opinion, I think we should get rid of the Electoral College. I believe that there are better ways to represent the people’s votes. Akhil Amar, a Yale law professor, said “I consider the Electoral College a brilliant eighteenth century device that cleverly solved a cluster of eighteenth century problems.”(Akhil Amar, 135) He states that this device was effective in the eighteenth century, and implies it wouldn’t work today. With the modernization and growing population of the United States, the Electoral College has gone out of date. An example of this would be the election of 2000; Al Gore won the popular vote but lost the election because he didn’t have a greater number of electoral votes. It would be a more equal and fair election race if we were to get rid of the Electoral College. Candidates would have to grind it out on all states and not just the states with the highest electoral votes. Also with the removal of the Electoral College the popular vote has a much more important role in the election process. The people and citizens would have a more direct say in the decision of our president. After all that is what America has been built around, “we the people.” With the withdrawal of the Electoral College it would allow the people to have a better say in the election process.

hunter said...

I do not agree with the existence of the Electoral College. I think that it would be best for the United Stated to get rid of the Electoral College as a whole. Akhil Amar, a Yale law professor said in his essay in Choices “If a state let a women vote, it could double its weight in a direct national election.” (136) He then continues on to say that under the Electoral College system you don’t need to win by much you just have to win in order to get the states votes. In the quote he writes says that with women voting it could double a state’s power in the election process. Although now women can vote and so the states would have equal power in the voting process unlike with the Electoral College. Therefore this isn’t fair to the people who vote because you could win the overall national elections in votes but with the Electoral College you could loose and not become President. I think that this process needs to be changed because it is unfair to the voter. After all the voters are the ones who are supposed to be picking the President so why not let them choose by counting all the votes nationally and letting those votes decide who becomes our President. With the Electoral Colleges it just depends on winning states with the most Electoral votes and winning the swing states. Winning the swing states is key because they will decide the elections. The thing that is really bad about this though is that you just have to win in the state to get the Electoral votes but if you add the states votes together you may lose. This is the problem so does that really mean the people are getting what they say? No it doesn’t because of the fact that they voted for someone who won the overall votes from the nation but lost because his competitor beat him barley in states that have more Electoral votes than the ones he won in. I think that the Electoral College is bad and that we need to get rid of it. To get rid of the Electoral College and use a direct national election because this would level the playing field among states where with the Electoral College certain states play bigger roles than others.

Nicole K said...
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Nicole K said...
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Nicole K said...

In a phrase, The Electoral College has "outlived its purpose" (Durbin, 125). I think that we should either completely abolish it, or make a compromise such as the one that Maryland has brought forward. Maryland has suggested a way that the electoral votes will still count, but the popular votes will contribute as well. There are way too many flaws with The Electoral College. According to Senator Evan Bayh, "millions of voters today are disenfranchised if they happen to vote for the losing candidate in their State" (127). For example, in a state that votes primarily Democratic in the popular vote, after that, the votes of the Republicans in that state make no difference because it is a "winner-takes-all formula" (Durbin, 127). The system of The Electoral College "can lead to Presidents who received fewer popular votes than their main opponent". This has actually happened in three out of forty-two presidential elections since 1842, and this would mean that the person named President is not the person who won the most votes. On the other side of this debate, people say that the final decision of presidency "should not be left up to the average citizen" (Durbin, 125), but isn’t that what a democracy is about? They argue that not all voters have kept up to date with the information, or that they are just voting to say that they have voted, but I believe that every person should have their vote count for whatever reason they have casted it, not just state-wide, but nation-wide. For these reasons, I believe that The Electoral College should either be taken away completely, or we, as a nation, should come to some compromise.

Daniel K. said...

In my opinion, the Electoral College should remain in the voting system for the United States. Critics said that the Electoral College is “dangerous” and “undemocratic”, and the danger is the possibility that a candidate might receive a majority of the electoral votes while receiving fewer popular votes than his or her opponent. But this danger has only occurred three times in the 20th century, in 1960, 1976, and 2000, where a candidate with the majority of the Electoral College failed to win the majority of the states. And as far as being “undemocratic”, what could be undemocratic about a system of one man, one vote, where the majority wins? (Reader 122) It is because of things like the 12th Amendment, unit rule, and swing states that make the voting process by the Electoral College as fair as it can be. And I believe that the Electoral College and process that is set today, fairly represents the people.

Marcy Applebaum said...

I believe the Electoral College should be dumped because it does not count each citizen’s vote equally, and it discourages equality in campaigning. Each of these factors makes a difference in the vote count. As mentioned in the reader by Walter Berns, I agree the Electoral College is “dangerous” and “undemocratic,” (122) because each person’s vote is not accounted for, which does not represent our country’s opinion. While many states vote the same every year, people who oppose their state’s yearly political party feel discouraged to vote because they know it’s likely that their vote will be overpowered in the electoral vote. In addition, many times votes come down to the swing states; so campaigning is heavily centered there. If each individual’s vote were counted, campaigning would be more spread out, which would cause people to change their decision. By dumping the Electoral College, the voting results are likely to differ with a more democratic outcome than when there is an Electoral College.

Cameron said...

Although the election process, to the uneducated eye, may seem like it expresses the concerns of the people, it really does not and should be stricken from the American voting process. Rather, the major factor in the voting process today is the size of each state and not the opinions and concerns of each individual. With the system of the Electoral College the views of the people are not expressed to the fullest. If a candidate wins a by 1,000 or 100,000 votes, the margin does not matter and is not expressed in the Electoral College. Consequently the candidates who lose in larger states with more electoral votes, even if by a small margin get no recognition toward the Electoral College, which decides who wins the election. And on the other hand,” smaller States have a slight advantage in the current system, because States receive a minimum of three electoral votes regardless of their population. “(Senator Richard J. Durbin p.126) Therefore the Electoral College merely represents who won each state in a black and white fashion, there is no middle ground. Furthermore, the losing parties voters views’ are not heard with this black and white cut off due to the Electoral College.

Selina R said...

The Electoral College is outdated and unreasonable. It was suitable back when the election process was just being created by the framers, but now things have changed, except the Electoral College has failed to keep updated. The Electoral College disregards the opposing team’s votes. Although the Electoral College takes the popular vote, what happens to the other votes that were for the opposing team? By taking just the popular vote, it ignores the votes that were cast for the opposing team. George Edwards, author of Why the Electoral College is Bad for America, states, “At base, it violates political equality (125).” I suggest that is not fair to disregard votes in order to have a more “straight forward” result. I would also suggest that by disregarding the votes of the opposing team, it does not provide an accurate outcome. The Electoral College is also unjust because, “The danger is said to consist in the possibility that a candidate might receive a majority of the electoral votes while receiving fewer popular votes than his or her opponent (Walter Berns 122).” Due to the size of the country, the more or less electoral votes there would be. So the bigger the country, the more electoral votes there would be, meaning they have a disadvantage over the smaller countries.

Paxton S said...
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Paxton S said...

The Electoral College has been criticized, election year after election year, as being an undemocratic entity that has the potential to elect a candidate for the presidency who does not hold the popular vote. In a few instances, most recently the presidential election of 2000, the Electoral College has done just that. Infact, Vice President Al Gore had half a million more popular votes than President Bush, and yet Bush still became president. Still, the alternative to having the Electoral College would devastate the ways in which people experience the election, and the personal freedoms promised to every citizen by the U.S. Constitution.

A problem arises when large-scale elections are held purely on popular vote. Suddenly, the concerns of people in the minority virtually disappear from politicians’ platforms. The rural farmer, or the racial minority lose their political voice. Candidates running in a race based on majority vote alone would focus their campaigning efforts on the majority alone. Walter Berns champions the Electoral College system by saying, “Is there not something to be said for an electoral system that threatens to penalize a political party and its candidate for failing to respect the rights of respectable minorities?”(pg 122). Though the Electoral College occasionally does not comply with the popular will of the people, it ensures that the minority’s voices are heard. Judith A. Best says that the minority will consent to majority rule so long as “the minority can see that on some occasions and on some vital issues it can be part of the majority.”(pg 131). This is precisely what the Electoral College does. The system gives a voice to those who’s concerns would be disregarded in a purely democratic election.

Even if the views of the minority are overridden by pure populism, a popular president is not always an effective one. The reason the framers of the constitution established the Electoral College was to ensure that politicians that do not possess the qualities that a president needs do not take the majority vote by using “talents for low intrigue, and the little arts of popularity.”(Federalist 69, or Textbook pg 122). The Electoral College helps to keep the interests of all American citizens at heart and still elect an effective and able president.

Emily Kelsoe said...

Having been established in 1787, the Electoral College may be a little out of our current time and political needs. According to Senator Richard J. Durbin, “The Electoral College is an antiquated institution that has outlived its purpose,”(125), not to say that it was originally good for the country. Yet, today our needs are different. Americans all desire a say in the government, and, it is argued that with the presence of the Electoral College, all votes do not count. George Edwards, author of Why the Electoral College is Bad for America, stated that, “At base, it violates political equality… It favors some citizens over others depending solely on the state in which they cast their votes for president”(125). That is to say, Republican voters in declared democratic states would not matter. Their votes would not play a part in the designation of electoral votes because in those states, the majority of voters would be democratic and therefore the electoral designation would be purely democratic. This hindrance on people’s say in the government proves undemocratic, going against our nation’s values. The throwing out of the Electoral College would indeed protect all of the American voters and allow for a more fair democratic process.

-Emily Kelsoe

Emily Kelsoe said...
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Larson McQuary said...

In my opinion, the Electoral College should be dissolved seeing as it is an outdated, unfair process of determining the leader of our nation and is a "persistent flaw in our current system of electing a Chief Executive of the United States" (Durbin 124).

The Electoral College was a good idea 200 years ago when voters had very little information about the candidates that they were voting for. They didn't have the media coverage, the news or the heavy campaigning that we have today. Now voters have a very good idea as to the nature of the candidates. The Founding Fathers wanted educated people to vote and back then that was a minority of voters but today it is the majority which gives yet another reason for disbanding the Electoral College. The Electoral College gives states disadvantages depending on their color. Candidates can rely on certain states to be Democratic or Republican and will do very little campaigning through those states while choosing to focus on the swing states. Candidates "have written off certain states" (Durbin 126) but this is unfair to those voters because they don't get as much as attention as questionable states. If the Electoral College was dissipated, every state would receive attention and voters would have a wholesome idea of what they truly looked for in candidates. The Electoral College is already clearly unfair because certain states have less votes than others which gives advantages to bigger states. The popular vote and the Electoral College don't relate because often times they are completely different and can affect the outcome of the Presidency. There have been "Presidents who received fewer popular votes than their main opponent" (Durbin 127) and this makes the vote of the people seem completely pointless which makes little sense since the people are the ones choosing their President. 40 states have already modified the allocation of Electoral College votes (Textbook p. 126) which shows that the people do want a change in the system. America needs to dump the Electoral College system in order to give voters the fair and equal chance at having their opinion make a difference in elections.

Emily S. said...

I believe that the Electoral College should remain in the voting system of the United States because...
1) 48/50 states electoral votes go based on popular vote. (p. 124 textbook).
-This suggests that most of the time "we the people" decide the presidential winner but is later reaffirmed through the Electoral College. It is evident Walter Berns recognizes the Electoral College's accuracy when he states, "only twice in this century (1960 and 1976) has the candidate with the Electoral College majority failed to win the majority of the States (p. 122 Reader). This is proof that the Electoral College is accurate when speaking on behalf of the people who they represent.

2) “The men who founded this country surely recognized the entitlements required of an office, they devised institutions—the electoral College is one of them—that modify or qualify the majority principle.” (p. 123 Reader)
-The representatives in the Electoral College make sure that not only “we the people” are correctly represented, but also that the future president is fit for the job.

3) "I may be blind or deaf, but I have yet to encounter an opponent of the Electoral College who argues that a President elected directly by the people will be a better President." (123)
-Here Berns is saying that although there have been a couple times where the popular vote hasn’t been the deciding factor of the presidential candidate, no person could deny the fact that the Electoral College has ever put our country at enormous peril.
In conclusion, Berns concrete evidence has convinced me that the Electoral College should stay in place. It is a necessity if we want to have a proper balance between the quality of a president as well as the popularity of the president. Berns final argument is that if one were to amend the process “[he] doubt[s] that [anyone] could come up with a better system than they did.” Why make changes to a process that has almost always led to a successful outcome?

Tre.V said...

I believe the electoral college is unfair and full of tyranny. The electoral college goes against the main reason people vote, to be heard. with the electoral college some of the citizens votes are overpowered by others. just like Richard said in the reader " why should a vote in missouri or Florida be worth more to a presidential candidatethan one in wyoming or mississippi"(Durbin p.124) this method is unjust and clearly doenst idealize our country's opinion. if there were no electoral college, results would be significantly diffrent and represent the true thoughts of our people. i dont think we would have to tottaly abolish but instead just revise it and make certain changes. bas

Morgan C. said...

I believe the Electoral College should remain a part of the Presidential nominating process for the three following reasons: 1) The Electoral College gives shape and structure to the way elections are conducted; 2) The system is a result of a compromise among citizens and the framers of the process; and 3) The process benefits smaller and less popular states.

The Electoral College provides structure to many aspects of politics: party nominations, selection of running mates, overall strategy, fund-raising activities, candidate events, distributing resources, and media coverage.

The framers of the system worried about giving average citizens too much power through a direct voice in selecting the leader of the U.S. A more favorable system to the framers would be to have a select group of wise citizens deciding on the nominee. However, as a democratic nation and by support of the U.S. constitution, citizens must have some say in electing the president. The Electoral College was finalized as a compromise between the two sides, by having voters in each state choose electors to represent their state at a gathering to elect the president. Many complain the system is undemocratic. Along with the above reasoning, Resident Scholar of the American Enterprise Institute Walter Berns argues the system's innocence: "Undemocratic? What could be undemocratic about a system of one man, one vote, and the majority rules?" (Berns, 122).

With no political parties in the current time, citizens of smaller states were concerned that the larger states would dominate the elections through the "favorite son." The "favorite son" is most popular politician in each state. Each state would promote its favorite politician and with a system based on popular vote, the "favorite son" of the largest state would win every time. The Electoral College is a solution to this problem, because the Constitution states that in order to become president, a candidate must receive a majority of Electoral College votes. At least one-half of the total number of electoral votes cast are needed to nominate a candidate. If this percentage is not achieved by any running candidate, the House of Representatives takes the decision into their own hands. Under the House of Representatives, each state is given one vote, regardless of size.

It is important to the success of America as a democracy that the Electoral College remain a key process in electing the president. The system provides organization, satisfies two sides of an argument through a well thought-out compromise, and gives smaller and less popular states a more equal and fair chance to have their "favorite son" elected as president.

Andrew Boyd said...

The underlying issues conserning the Electoral College have been lingering for a little of two centuries. Established in 1787, the Electoral College is the procedure for selecting the president and vice president of The United States. I however, believe the Electoral College should not be preserved because of its undemocratic principles. When talking about the Electoral College, Fromer Senator Birch Bayh said, "As a result, the popular vote totals of the loosing candidate at the State level are completely discounted in the final electoral tabulation. In effect, millions of voters are disenfranchised if they happen to vote for the losing candidate in their State." (127). Bayh believs millions of American's votes carry no weight in the presidential election. Acoording to the most recent poll by NBC and Wall Street Journal, 60% of Americans believe the country is on the wrong track. These 60% percent of Americans are pleading for their voices to be heard. However, they can not be heard when their votes are pratically useless. Without the Electoral College, the winner of the elction would be solely based on the popular vote. In the 2008 election, only 61.6% of Americans voted. Perhaps, if their votes actually had a great amount of impact on the final decision, that percentage would rapidly increse. With the Electoral College, a candidate can win the election and lose the popular vote. Some Americans could ask, why vote for my candidate if my vote will just be unregarded in the end? This disregard to the popular vote IS unjust. Lastly, the Electoral College brings in elements of republicanism into to America's democratic government. Pro Electoral College supporters spend a lot of time trying to convince people how the electors fairly represent the people in their states. Why spend so much time trying to convince people of this? It would not be an issue if we let the PEOPLE represent the people. Not the electors represent the people.

Thank you, that is all.

Anthony Escobar said...

I believe that the Electoral College should not remain as the main voting system in the United States. Professor Walter Berns states, “The danger is said to consist in the possibility that a candidate might receive a majority of the electoral votes while receiving fewer popular votes than his or her opponent” (122). Seeing as the Electoral College fails to accurately reflect popular will by the voters, the Electoral College is an inaccurate measure of votes. Although the presidential election is very much of a “majority wins all” sort of deal, the election process shouldn’t be the same way. While being an effective tactic to solve elections in the 1700’s, the Electoral College is quite outdated for the 21st century, while we have advanced in every aspect of our lives with the exception to this particular system of voting. According to former President Abe Lincoln, “Public opinion is everything. Without it, nothing can fail. Without it, nothing can succeed” (129). Lincoln makes evident that without the voice of the people being heard and accounted for properly, failure is inevitable. Therefore, we should rid the Electoral College, and create a new way of voting accounting for all the votes.

Nick izzard said...

The Electoral College System should be not preserved as a key component in the selecting of the president and vice president of the United States due to its undemocratic nature and its flawed system of representing the country’s preferences. The system of allowing the selection of the president to be determined by a group of elected delegates rather than the people does not comply with the nations democratic ideals. Though the system allows citizens to have some say in the process by selecting the states electors, average citizens should be allowed to vote directly on the selection of the president. The proposal by the state of Maryland, allowing the state’s electoral votes to be awarded to the winner of the national popular vote, is an example of the attempt to transfer the electing power to the people. The removal of the Electoral College would also impact people’s equal influence toward the out come of the president, making the system even more democratic. Rather that candidates focusing solely on large states such as Texas and California candidates would have to appeal to the nation. This would increase the chance of the president fitting the values and ideals of the nation as a whole. George Edwards summarized the undemocratic nature of the system by stating that “violates political equality.” As was seen in the election of 1876, the popular vote’s outcome is not always the same as that decided by the Electoral College. The popular vote should always determine the selection president and vice president, not a group of selected delegates that do not always represent the nation.

Nick izzard said...

The Electoral College System should be not preserved as a key component in the selecting of the president and vice president of the United States due to its undemocratic nature and its flawed system of representing the country’s preferences. The system of allowing the selection of the president to be determined by a group of elected delegates rather than the people does not comply with the nations democratic ideals. Though the system allows citizens to have some say in the process by selecting the states electors, average citizens should be allowed to vote directly on the selection of the president. The proposal by the state of Maryland, allowing the state’s electoral votes to be awarded to the winner of the national popular vote, is an example of the attempt to transfer the electing power to the people. The removal of the Electoral College would also impact people’s equal influence toward the out come of the president, making the system even more democratic. Rather that candidates focusing solely on large states such as Texas and California candidates would have to appeal to the nation. This would increase the chance of the president fitting the values and ideals of the nation as a whole. George Edwards summarized the undemocratic nature of the system by stating that “violates political equality.” As was seen in the election of 1876, the popular vote’s outcome is not always the same as that decided by the Electoral College. The popular vote should always determine the selection president and vice president, not a group of selected delegates that do not always represent the nation.

Maddi M said...
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Maddi M said...

I believe that the Electoral College should not remain a part of the voting system of the United States. Stated by Honorable Richard J. Durbin, "The Electoral College is an antiquated institution that has outlived its purpose. It was the product of contentious debate and a great deal of controversy (125)." The Electoral College favors some citizens over others depending solely on the state in which thy cast their voters for president. So, it's an institution that aggregates the popular vote in an inherently unjust manner and allows the candidate who is not preferred by the American public to win the election.

Any serious study of presidential campaigns would demonstrate that the states with the higher populations have the true advantage. The winner-take-all aspect in each state motivates presidential candidates to focus on states with a moderate to large number of electoral votes. Less-populous states with only a few electoral votes are largely ignored. "States that are heavily leaning toward one of the presidential candidates are similarly ignored (126)."

Another problem with the Electoral College system is that it often leads to wide spread disparities between the popular vote and the electoral vote. "Since 1824. when the popular vote first began to be recorded along with the electoral vote, winners of presidential elections have averaged 51 percent of the popular vote as compared to an average of 71 percent of the electoral vote. In comparison, the losing main opponents have averages 42 percent of the popular vote but just 27 percent of the electoral vote (127)."

Lastly a more serious problem is the the Electoral College system can lead to Presidents who received fewer popular votes than their main opponent. In fact, this has happened "three times out of the 42 presidential elections since 1824 (127)." All in all the Electoral College produces many more negative effects than positive, among these are less popular presidents in office and state favoritism solely based on size.

Daniel Acosta said...

The Electoral College is needed in order to choose the candidate who is best fit for the presidency. Popularity does not necessarily mean the candidate is good and there for people who are educated in the field of politics would be able to determine better than most, who do not know too much about politics, whether or not a candidate is fit to be president. The founding fathers took in to account that popularity might play a large role in who could become president, but, “with an eye to the qualifications or qualities required of an office, they devised institutions – the Electoral College… that modify or qualify the majority principle (Berns 123). Focusing only on popularity of a candidate does not take into account whether they have the qualities to lead the country and popularity vote, “pays no attention whatever to the qualifications of officeholders (Berns 123). The main concern with popular vote is the knowledge people lack of how government really functions. “We have an obligation to allow the people to have their voices heard” (Durbin 129), but the problem with this is that people tend to only focus on the near future and not the consequences in the long run. If a candidate is voted into presidency due to popular vote, he may speak for the people and take into consideration what they want but any changes he would make would probably displease many and could have large negative effects in the long run. The social classes in the country have different opinions and if the majority, being the middle and working class, would have the greatest say in government, but would then disregard the opinions of the wealthier and poorer classes. If the voices of all Americans should be heard then why should the minority be ignored and follow the majority. The Electoral College is a requirement that could potentially filter out those who are not able to lead the country properly and well. Popularity is not what should determine our leaders, but with the help of the Electoral College the qualities of candidates can be observed and the results can be decided upon who has the qualities to help the country better itself in the long run and takes into account everyone’s opinions and not just the majority.

Molly Aaron said...

I don't believe the Electoral College is the best system for the US when choosing our next president. As George Edwards writes in Why the Electoral College Is Bad for America , "At base, it violates political equality... it favors some citizens over others depending solely on the state in which they cast their votes for president..." (125). In addition, votes of one party in the opposite party's state (ie a Democrat in a Republican state), would prove irrelevant to the process. This is because the overwhelming amount of Republican votes, for example, would override the votes of those who are Democratic or even an Independent. Why not create a system that voices the vote of all citizens? Why should the popular vote not win if that is what the people want and what the people think is best for our nation? It happened once and will very likely happen again. It is unnecessary to send the candidate with the most popular votes to the Electoral College; it should be made that the most popular candidate will be made president. Some say, according to page 122 of the Reader, that the process is "dangerous" and "undemocratic". It is undemocratic because of what I stated previously about the unfair voting of Democrats in Republican states, and vice versa.
I think that a direct election process would best benefit the nation as a whole. A few things should be added to this rule, however. For example, it should mandatory to visit many of the smaller states rather than just concentrating on the bigger states. A candidate should want attract citizens all across the board.
What was good in 1787 may not be what is good still today.

Tre.V(grade this one mr O) said...

I believe the Electoral College is unfair and full of tyranny. The Electoral College goes against the main reason people vote, to be heard. With the Electoral College some of the citizen’s votes are overpowered by others. Just like senator Richard Durbin said “why should a vote in Missouri or Florida be worth more to a presidential candidate than one in Wyoming or Mississippi"(Ostroff p.124) this method is unjust and clearly doesn’t idealize our country's opinion. In my opinion, without the Electoral College, results would be significantly different and represent the true thoughts of our people. I don’t think we would have to totally abolish but instead just revise it and make certain changes. The main change would be stopping the ignorance of the smaller states and making the candidates go and work for each vote in every state with them all being worth the same. This would truly make an efficient process of electing a president.

Brooke Bode said...

The Electoral College was rightfully instituted by the creators of the Constitution in the sense that it provides a tradition that enforces the validity of the candidate. If the popular votes between two candidates are very close, with only one edging out the other, the electoral college greatly impacts the outcome of the election. If one candidate wins by a “landslide” but they practically tied with the popular vote, then one can defer that the candidate with the most electoral votes is probably best for the country currently.

Walte Berns from the American Enterprise Institute stated that “the American idea of democraxy cannot be expressed in the simple but insidious formula, the greatest good for the greatest number” (p 124) This states that what is popular, may not be what is best for the country and the electoral college affirms that statement. Also, the electoral college allows smaller states to have an edge in the outcome of the presidency as well, since they are allotted influential votes. This causes the candidate to campaign across United States instead of just the populous states, giving all citizens of American an equal wealth of information. This way the electoral voters can decide the legitimacy of the candidate. Berns also stated that: “Indeed if populism is our only principle, why vote at all? Why not select all public officials by lot? That is truly democratic, because that, and only that, is a system that pays no attention whatever to the qualifications of the officeholders.” If we only relied on a popular vote, then the candidate which appealed only to the majority of ideals of the population would win and what the people currently think is best may only satisfy them in the short run. If the candidate is qualified and wants to better the country rather than the people, a prime example of Machiavelli’s The Prince, then the country will benefit from the candidate that won by electoral college votes.
-Brooke Bode

Brooke Bode said...

The Electoral College was rightfully instituted by the creators of the Constitution in the sense that it provides a tradition that enforces the validity of the candidate. If the popular votes between two candidates are very close, with only one edging out the other, the electoral college greatly impacts the outcome of the election. If one candidate wins by a “landslide” but they practically tied with the popular vote, then one can defer that the candidate with the most electoral votes is probably best for the country currently.

Walte Berns from the American Enterprise Institute stated that “the American idea of democraxy cannot be expressed in the simple but insidious formula, the greatest good for the greatest number” (p 124) This states that what is popular, may not be what is best for the country and the electoral college affirms that statement. Also, the electoral college allows smaller states to have an edge in the outcome of the presidency as well, since they are allotted influential votes. This causes the candidate to campaign across United States instead of just the populous states, giving all citizens of American an equal wealth of information. This way the electoral voters can decide the legitimacy of the candidate. Berns also stated that: “Indeed if populism is our only principle, why vote at all? Why not select all public officials by lot? That is truly democratic, because that, and only that, is a system that pays no attention whatever to the qualifications of the officeholders.” If we only relied on a popular vote, then the candidate which appealed only to the majority of ideals of the population would win and what the people currently think is best may only satisfy them in the short run. If the candidate is qualified and wants to better the country rather than the people, a prime example of Machiavelli’s The Prince, then the country will benefit from the candidate that won by electoral college votes.
-Brooke Bode

Daniela Ramirez said...
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Daniela Ramirez said...

The Electoral College should stay as it is because it has been used for all U.S. history plus it will take time to ratify a new amendment improving or nullifying the Electoral College system. Not all systems are perfect but keeping the one made by the founding fathers has been helpful because it helps elect the “men of the highest caliber and intellect” (textbook pg. 122).

To actually abolish the Electoral College would be to go against the Federal principle, hence the national motto of a nation of states: E Pluribus Unum. An example told by Judith A. Best gives the audience an idea proving that nullifying the Electoral College process would be wrong: “Analogy: Why are professional football teams required to win games in order to get into the playoffs and win the Super Bowl? Why not simply select the teams that scored the most points during the regular season...Such a process wouldn’t produce the right winner.”(Reader pg. 130-131) This is a great analogy showing how the process of election can work, no matter how many majority popular votes one candidate gets does not mean they are the “right winner” stated by Best. It’s not easy to just change the rules form one day to another, it DEFINITELY takes time and not only that but when “we change the rules, we change the game and the game strategy and the skills needed to win.” The whole point of an election is to get the candidate with the best qualities, prevent fraud, and support the two-party system (Reader pg. 132), “From this perspective, the current system has been very successful.”

Dainelle W said...

I believe that the Electoral College should no longer remain the main voting system in the United States. This is a “serious and persistent flaw in our current system of electing a Chief Executive of the United States” as stated by Senator Richard J. Durbin (Reader 125). The American people have a voice, and they want to be heard. With the current voting system of the Electoral College, that voice might not be heard.

Focusing on the issue of swing states, candidates tend to do the most campaigning in these states because they count on these votes. This is an unfair process because first of all, the more populous states have more votes and the candidates won’t pay as much attention to the smaller states: “The fact that presidential candidates cater to the larger and swing States often gives undue influence to a limited number of contested States. So-called safe States are given scant or not attention by candidates - who have limited time, energy, and resources” said Durbin (Reader 128).This defeats the purpose of an election because we want our president to obviously be qualified and be the right person for the job, but also to represent our country’s opinion as well as addressing the wishes and concerns of every individual. If the Electoral College were to be diminished, candidates could spread out their campaign through all the states instead of solely focusing on the swing states, and individuals votes would count. Discouraged voters would no longer feel as if their votes are uselessly going to be subdued in the electoral vote.

Sterling said...

The Electoral college should be preserved, because it works on the principle of one man one vote. Each man has a vote in how his state will choose to vote in the elections, and at that point the elections become based on federal principles, as Judith A. Best supports. “The central Federal principle: ‘They are State-based elections for we are a Nation of States.’ Thus our national motto: E Pluribus Unum.” Popular vote alone would, for one, be complicated and difficult to arrange. The Electoral college lets each citizen voice their thoughts with their vote, then they take the majority from the states to pick the electorate votes. While the system may not always be perfect, as in the case of Al Gore, who won the majority vote in a landslide, but failed to receive enough electoral votes by a slim margin, it usually represents the voice of the people.
Sterling H

ellis cupit said...

In my opinion, the Electoral College should be amended out of the Constitution. Democracy is defined as “a system of government by the whole population or all the eligible members of a state, typically through elected representatives” (dictionary.com) this definition seems exactly compatible with the United States current system of Electoral Votes, yet what happens when we lose the voice of each person to just an amalgamation of numbers? Our founding fathers were afraid to give everyday citizens the ability to vote directly for a president, but today’s society gives everyday citizens exponentially more opportunities to “get to know” the candidate they wish to vote for. Recent uproars over this topic have been called “a time bomb waiting to go off” (reader page 122) so why has congress not done anything to fix this problem after the 2000 Presidential Election fiasco? The Electoral College is an outdated system that was created to fix “eighteenth century problems” (reader page 135). California, for example has the most voters, literally, and in the Electoral system; so if one candidate wins California by one vote, he or she wins all fifty-five hypothetical votes just because of a one vote swing. In conclusion, The Electoral college should be taken out of our presidential election process; its creation was based on three non-existent facts of early American society, citizens cannot know their candidates well, there was fear of a dictator being instilled into office, and third and lastly States rights came into play because the south did not let blacks vote, who made up most of their population (page 136 reader). These facts combined with the sources background of a Yale Law professor, show enough evidence to amend this outdated system out of our lives for good.

Anonymous said...

I believe that the United States of America should keep the Electoral College. The Electoral College gives each candidate a reason to visit lesser populated states; most of the time those states are considered swing states. Each swing state can help a candidate on their presidency campaign. The Electoral College should be preserved because it makes sure that everyone has a say. Many believe that the Electoral College is not democratic. “Undemocratic? What is undemocratic about a system of one man, one vote, and the majority rules?” asks Berns (pg. 122). Under the Electoral College, a president is chosen “because of their cross-national support” (pg. 130). Under a direct vote, the candidates only have to be favored by the states with the highest population.

The alternate to an Electoral College is a direct vote. Under a direct vote, the candidates would focus their attention on the most populated states, while ignoring the states that don’t have many people. The Electoral College’s advantage over other systems is the fact that each candidate has to focus on winning each state. This ensures that each state is taken seriously by the candidates running for president, and the small swing states are attended to. The Electoral College is not perfect, but is a better solution then what could be in place.
-Kianna S

Anonymous said...

In my opinion they should get rid of the electoral college mainly because of democracy. America was built upon democracy and by the electoral college eventually choosing who becomes president regardless of what the majority vote thinks seems a little unconstitutional to me. According to Honorable Richard J. Durbin who is a senator has said he wants to get rid of the electoral college and he also goes on to say “ The electoral college is an antiquated institution that has outlived it’s purpose.” Meaning that it doesn’t do much good anymore when the delegates in 1787 created this thinking that the common man shouldn’t be able to decide things like that. That was a long time ago and now people like having s say in the government and who they want to be the president of their country. So we should ultimately leave it up to the popular vote.
Jeff D

michael ma. said...

I do not believe that the Electoral College system should be preserved as the current presidential election voting system. “The danger is said to consist in the possibility that a candidate elected with a constitutional but not popular majority is an illegitimate President.”(122) It is not but dangerous but it is also unjust our president is elected by an electoral voting system because everybody’s vote is not completely equal; it also depends on the votes of people who live near you. According to Richard J. Durbin, “The Electoral College is an antiquated institution that has outlived its purpose.” I agree with Durbin because I believe that the cons of our current voting system far outweigh the benefits of the system.

Dakota said...

I do not agree with the existence of the Electoral College. I think that it would be best for the United Stated to get rid of the Electoral College as a whole. As mentioned in the reader by Walter Berns, I agree the Electoral College is “dangerous” and “undemocratic,” (122) because each person’s vote is not accounted for, which does not represent our country’s opinion. The Electoral College was a great and innovative way to have elections back in the 18th century, but, "Improvements in communications technology, and the rise of political parties, make possible direct election and a populist president-de facto, that is our scheme today." I believe that getting rid of the Electoral College is the only way to get good candidates because good candidates care about the citizens not the votes. The Electoral College also brings problems to minorities of the country and goes against the ‘National Interest.”

-Donovan Owens

JulianneJacobs said...

The Electoral College is a very controversial election system that many say has major flaws that need to be amended. While the Electoral College is an imperfect system, I believe that we should keep it, especially during a time of turmoil such as now. America needs unity during these difficult times and the Electoral College can give us just that. It involves politicians visiting states that would not be visited in a direct vote election. As Charles Fried has said, "To connect with local politicians and local crowds, politicians must be briefed on local personalities and local issues." (138) This process ensures all issues and personalities are in mind when a politician is eventually elected and is in office. This helps everyone during presidency and this means most issues can be helped. Without this unity, our country may take a turn for the worse in more than one way. Maybe this system can be reformed eventually, but to do so now would just add to the chaos in our country and do more harm than good.

skimichik said...

I believe that the United States should keep the Electoral College as a part of its unique election process. I think it is crucial to notice that there has been only two times within the last century that the Electoral College hasn’t produced a clear-cut winner. And as Walter Berns intelligently puts it, “ The reformers speak of this popular-vote/electoral-vote discrepancy as a “time bomb waiting to go off,” but the one time it did go off, in 1888, nothing happened: there was hardly a ripple of popular discontent…” (Reader pg. 122). Also, some people say that the Electoral College is undemocratic, but “What is undemocratic about a system of one man, one vote, and the majority rules?” (Reader pg. 122)
The same founding fathers that created our Constitution created the Electoral College for a reason. “The men who founded this country surely recognized the entitlements of a popular majority, but, with an eye to the qualifications or qualities required of an office, they devised institutions -the Electoral College is one of them- that modify or qualify the major principle. Nothing could be clearer than that the Founders sought free institutions that would protect the country from what has come to be called populism” (Reader pg. 123) If we were to take away the Electoral College, then the national popular vote would decide the president. We would then loose our unique election process because Candidates would focus more on larger states with the most people.

Lauren C said...

The Electoral College function is to select the president and vice president. According to Article II in the Constitution, “the voters in each state choose electors to attend a gathering where the electors make the final decision” (Textbook 122). The framers of our Constitution greatly feared having a bad president. This led to the idea of giving each state the opportunity to choose its electors by the method of their choice. “The men who founded this country surely recognized the entitlements of a popular majority. . . Nothing could be clearer than that the Founders sought free institutions that would protect the country from what has come to be called populism” (Reader 122). This quote by Walter Berns states that the Founders wanted to create this intermediate step to serve the public good. This has been a very vital system we’ve maintained since the Constitution was written. The only negative side to this concept is if the candidate with an Electoral College majority failed to win a majority of States. However, this has only happened twice in our century. I believe that the Electoral College should be preserved in the United States’ voting process as a results of its beneficial effects.

Blake Ransom said...

I believe that the Electoral college should be repealed from the constitution. I agree with Richard J. Durbin said " The electoral college is an antiquated institution that has outlived its purpose." (125) Even though it is a tradition in our country it is true that this system is outdated from the time it used to be used. This system was made in the "18 century" (134 Amar) it also says its been only revoked 5 times and 4 of them were voting rights. This old outdated system of the electoral college need to be ratified or be repealed. This country needs to be looking more for the majority than the state. If someone wins a state by nearly one person it can change the whole game. It shouldn't be a winner take all because that isn't fair to the people running needs to be all about the people.This system need to be changed fast.

Cate Crowe said...

I believe that the Electoral College should continue to be part of the United States election process. People should not be worried about the candidate with the majority not winning the Electoral College because that has only happened twice in American history. Walter Berns says, “The reformers speak of this popular vote as a “time bomb waiting to go off” but the one time that it did go off nothing happened”(122). Because this mix up has only happened twice this century, it shows that in most elections the Electoral College is able to represent the citizen’s views. Many critics of the Electoral College say that it is an undemocratic system, however it can be seen as democratic because it is still a system where every man has the opportunity to vote and the majority rules. Berns mentions the point that elections are not a popularity contest, so if citizens are worried about the candidate who wins the popular vote not winning the election, they should not vote at all. The Electoral College has been present since the beginning of our country, changing the system would be changing an unbroken part of our Nations history.
-Cate C

Tucker D. said...

I believe that the Electoral College system of voting is one that is outdated and has gotten away from the ideals which the Framers founded America on, which should be replaced by a new system where the candidate with the largest popular vote wins the election. It seems that when a candidate is forced to partake in the Electoral College system, they often campaign in swing states where a minority of the population resides, and yet they hold the power to change the outcome of the entire election. Judith A. Best, a Professor at SUNY-Cortland, brings up a key point that, “the electoral vote system did not work out in precisely the fashion that the Framers anticipated…” (134) thus causing the country to drift further away from the ideals of the Framers. This is also seen when Akhil Amar, a Professor at Yale Law School, states that, “The Framers emphatically did not want a President dependent on the legislature,” (136). The Framers set up a system of government where all citizens have an equal say, and in the current system of voting the average citizens are often overlooked as their votes do not directly help their candidate. A prime example of this happening was during the 2000 election when Bush defeated Gore, yet Gore had received the majority of the popular vote. If popular vote decided the President, then the country would experience several benefits. First, by erasing state boundaries, the election would seem to be by the nation as a whole and not by individual states. Next it would allow all people, regardless of ideals, appearance, or occupation to have the same voice in the matter. Both of these key points added into the fact that the Framers did not intend for this system of election lead to the simple idea of abolishing the Electoral College.

Upper School Government and Economics said...

Thanks for your comments, everyone!! ... just a couple of questions / comments / thoughts:

1. Zach S: are electors "bound" to cast their votes in accordance with the popular vote results in their states? I think the answer is YES - which means that popular votes DO matter within each state... it's the TOTAL popular vote in the country that doesn't matter so much in presidential elections.

2. Niko P: does the electoral college system encourage candidates to reach out to voters in all 50 states? For me, the answer is NO - 'winner-take-all' + limited resources means that candidates have to choose a few battleground states to really compete hard... and virtually ignore states where they are not competitive.

3. Jack M: are there enough electoral votes in big states to allow candidates to neglect smaller states? I think the answer is NO - candidates strategically select combinations of states that include big and small; all regions of the country to find paths the equal 270 electoral votes.

Great job, everyone!!

Anonymous said...

I believe that the Electoral College is still very effective today and should be kept. The Electoral College is the fundamental election process for a reason and needs to remain. Over the years the Unites States has come to a working process that helps the people voice their opinion. The peoples voices are shown though popular vote and only twice in this century has the candidate with the Electoral majority failed to win a majority of the states (pg. 122 reader). The Electoral College also gives the smaller states the same opportunity to participate as the larger states and not become over powered. With the Electoral College small states are still a part of the “national interest” because of the devices set in place by the framers of the constitution (pg. 131). Although people feel that the process for the campaigning cost lots of money it gives the candidates an opportunity to share their ideas and help people become more involved to make the correct choice. I think these are all valid points to why the Electoral College has been kept and is valuable and helpful in determining the president and vice president.

-lauren bookout

Cassidy Hansen said...
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Christina B said...

I believe that the Electoral College should be preserved in the American voting system. Many people believe the system is undemocratic, however that is by no means the case. Citizens have a say in whom to elect as president. Walter Berns states, “Undemocratic? What is undemocratic about a system of one man, one vote, and the majority rules?” (Berns, 122). 48 out of 50 states use the Electoral College system in which the popular vote of the people determines which candidate wins the electoral votes for that state. The Electoral College also has qualified officials present to preserve and ensure the reliability and legitimacy of the president. Walter Berns states, “what system is more likely to produce a President possessing the qualities required of the person who holds this office. I have yet to encounter an opponent of the Electoral College who argues that a President elected directly by the people will be a better President.” (Berns, 123). With a decision as significant as who will be the next president, it is crucial to have trustworthy electors to ensure the reliability of the candidate. In this system both the people and qualified officials are represented in the outcome of the election.
- Christina B.

Cassidy Hansen said...
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Cassidy Hansen said...

Created in 1787, the Electoral College seems to be an outdated system in the U.S. today. In the late 1700’s, the Electoral College was a clear representation of the expectations that the voters upheld in their future candidates. However, the voters didn’t necessarily know who they were voting for or the candidate’s motives. Today, we have something that the people of that time were lacking: media, social networking and extreme campaigning amongst candidates.
In his essay, Pro & Con: Should the Current Electoral College System Be preserved, Burns claims that, “the electoral college is ‘dangerous’ and not only dangerous but ‘undemocratic’” (122). In my opinion, Burns is 100% correct. I believe that the Electoral College could eventually be dangerous and also harmful to the election process in the future. Unfortunately, the Electoral College must make the final decision in all elections. This idea is undemocratic because a candidate may receive the majority of Electoral College votes, while receiving fewer popular votes amongst the states. I think that this idea is completely unjust. The Electoral College doesn’t represent the voters and states preference of candidates as well as it should.
Cassidy H

Kellye McGuire said...

I believe the Electoral College is a necessary element in the country’s political system. It keeps structure, helps the minorities, qualifies the officials, and helps lead to a strong government. Author and resident scholar Walter Berns supports the Electoral College with many important points in his writing, “American Enterprise Institute (AEI).”
First, Berns articulates the point that the presidency should not just be a popularity contest (page 123). The candidates need to be qualified and have the right qualities for the vital job. Without the Electoral College, media could control the views and opinions of much of the country and corrupt the election. Voters need to be qualified to see what is truly best for the country. As Berns says, “what the greatest number regards as the greatest good might very well prove to be a curse” (123). If the election turns into a popularity contest, people will assume they know what is best and could drive the country into a tailspin.
Second, (according to the textbook page 122 and 123 and Berns page 122) the Electoral College helps minorities and small states get more of a say. Without the Electoral College members to represent them, they would have little say in the sea of larger state voters. Some would say this is undemocratic, but the Electoral College is still supporting the idea of a democracy by allowing the Electoral College voters to be elected by the popular vote of the states.
The Electoral College is not used to go against the people, but rather to modify and qualify the wants of the people into what is good for the country as a whole.

nataliejohnston said...
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nataliejohnston said...

By examining the history of the United States' elections as well as debatable aspects of the system, I believe the Electoral College is the most efficient way to conduct the Presidential election. Walter Berns, arguing that the Electoral College is the ideal election system, explores the concept of; if it isn’t broken, why fix it? He points out that “only twice in this century (1960 and 1976) has the candidate with an Electoral College majority failed to win a majority of the States” (122). If the Electoral College has produced presidents that are all “constitutionally legitimate” as Berns puts it, then why would America employ a new system (122)? In addition, abolishing the Electoral College would require an amendment to the Constitution, which is a “complex, difficult process" (125)*. The Electoral College has not proven incompetent and, in fact, has produced several effective Presidents throughout American history, and abolishing it would be a menace. Why would another system even be considered?

Those who oppose the Electoral College often deem it 'undemocratic', arguing that the election should be based solely on popular votes. Berns questions, "Undemocratic? What is undemocratic about a system of one man, one vote, and the majority rules?" (122) If 48 out of 50 states use the unit rule, implying that the candidate who receives the majority of popular votes in a specific state also gets that state's electoral votes, then the Electoral College is certainly democratic (124)*.

In conclusion, the Electoral College produces well-qualified leaders while maintaining the essential democratic quality that defines American government. Abolishing the system that has played a key role since 1796 would not only be a very inconvenient process, it would also question the original values and ideas of early prominent leaders that helped establish the government many years ago.

Anonymous said...

I believe that the Electoral College should be preserved in the United States' voting process because clearly it is still very effective today and we have maintained this process since the Constitution was written. All people still have a say in whom to elect as president as well as the peoples voices are shown though popular vote. “What is undemocratic about a system of one man, one vote, and the majority rules?” (Reader pg. 122) Only twice in this century has the candidate with the Electoral majority failed to win a majority of the states (pg. 122 reader). Seeing as it has only gone wrong twice shows that it is an effective way to represent the people's views and who they want to lead their country. The system has its flaws but there is no better system that, as of right now at least.
- Megan Reynolds

jack attack said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
jack attack said...

In my opinion, the Electoral College system is a key part the American voting system and should definitely remain as a part of America’s voting system. The Electoral College been successful all but twice in that the candidate with the highest Electoral vote also wins the popular vote. (Pg 122) in other words all but twice the candidate with the most electoral votes has also been successful in winning the popular vote in America. This proves how effective the Electoral College is in helping pick the best president for America. You might be asking what the Electoral College is and what does it do. Well the Electoral College is the procedure we use to select the president of the United States. Voters in each state select electors to attend a meeting where the electors make the final decision and a candidate is sent forth receiving all the electoral votes. (pg 122) the electoral vote was set up to help regulate American voting. America needs capable and educated Americans to vote for the next president not just the average American who votes for the popular candidate they know nothing about. This is where berns argument comes into place, he says “I may be blind or deaf, but I have yet to encounter an opponent of the Electoral College who argues that a President elected directly by the people will be a better President." (123) berns is saying that having representatives who truly represent the people is the best way to choose America’s president because it helps balance the system between popularity and qualification. The Electoral College is also an American tradition and to change it would mean amending the constitution, which would be a huge hassle. The Electoral College also forces candidates to work much harder to become elected because now they have to not only be the “popular candidate” but also the qualified candidate that Americans are educated about. The Electoral College also helps keep votes from being wasted because it discourages people from voting for independent party candidates.

Morgan K said...

The Electoral College continues to be necessary because it preserves the views of all states, peoples, and regions while safeguarding against populism. Because of the Electoral College, presidential candidates must travel and campaign in a wide range of states rather than campaigning and gaining the support of only one geographic region. This is because a few votes in even a small state can change the fate of the entire election (128). Similarly, when a president is elected, they have a wide range of support throughout the entire nation because of their vast campaigning (130). If there were no Electoral College, the frequency of runoffs would greatly increase, making the United States and its government seem weak to outsiders (133). Elections would run nowhere near as smoothly and the winner might not be known for some time. Additionally, if the president was elected by popular vote, he might not listen to the concerns of the state, because it may not help him get reelected or help his party win in the following election. Seeking the approval of each state makes the president think of local issues in addition to national concerns (138). Because the Electoral College acts in the best interest of states and the national government, it should continue to be the decider for presidential elections.

eugene l said...

I personally feel that the United States should get rid of the Electoral College because I feel that it takes away the voice of certain people. If you are in a certain state like Texas where the majority of people are republican, a person voting democrat in Texas is pointless. A professor at Yale law school said “ Hed we rejected all reforks of the original system, political parties would have had trouble evolving the current ticket system, residents of this city [Washington D.C] would remain constitutionally expelled from the electoral college; and blacks, women, and young adults would have no federal constutional right to vote for President on equal terms with everybody else.” (pg 135).

Photography said...

I believe that the Electoral College system should remain as the procedure for selecting the president and vice president of the United States. In my opinion, I do believe that the current Electoral College System should be preserved because it has done a good job of representing the majority vote and it is in fact a part of the Constitution. As Resident Scholar Walter Berns stated, “Only twice in this century has the candidate with an Electoral College majority failed to win a majority of the states. “ (122) This shows that the Electoral College has done a good job of selecting the popular vote candidate as well as the one who wins the Electoral College vote. Also as Judith A. Best states, “In politics as well as in physics there is such a thing as a critical mass. In presidential elections, numbers of voters are necessary but not sufficient. To create the critical mass necessary for a President to govern, his votes must be properly distributed. This means he must win states, and win states in more than one region of the county.” This is a very important point that Judith A. Best has made because it is showing how the candidates must make themselves appeal to more than just one crowd and balance both local and national interests. Preston k

Michael Murph said...

I believe that the Electoral College should not be preserved. The reason I believe this is because I do not think that the voting process that determines the President of our nation should be a “winner-take-all” process of votes. For example, say there is a 53% to 47% vote in favor of the Republican in the state of Texas. The republican candidate gets all of the delegates. Even if the race in the popular vote is neck and neck, the electoral vote decides who wins Texas. To me this process is unfair. Senator Richard J. Durbin feels the same way. He says, “The Electoral College is an antiquated institution that has outlived its purpose” (125). The purpose of elections are to persuade the public that one is the best candidate and this should be determined by a popular vote not by state that have the largest amounts of Electoral votes. In the past the Electoral College may have been the best process in electing candidates, however our decision needs to be based on popular vote and not the state that has the largest population and is most powerful. Is it fair if a candidate wins the popular vote, but loses the electoral vote and therefore loses the election? “Only twice in this century has the candidate with an Electoral College majority failed to win a majority of the States” (122), said resident scholar Walter Berns. We can only imagine how different the century might have been if in these two cases different candidates had been elected. Getting rid of the Electoral College would benefit all American voters and allow a more fair democratic process.
-Michael Murph

Eric M said...

A seemingly strange institution, the Electoral College is an essential piece of the United States’ historically successful political heritage. It was devised as a compromise in order to represent the entirety of a nation, avoiding the tyranny of the majority over the significant minority during the presidential electoral process.

It is important, as expressed by the American Enterprise Institute Scholar, Walter Berns, that the Electoral College System be preserved because it has been greatly successful throughout our nation’s history. To support his argument, Berns informs the reader that the one time when the “time bomb went off” in the 1888 election, when Benjamin Harrison beat Grover Cleveland despite losing the popular vote, only an insignificant, benign dispute took place. The world did not end. (122) Individuals advocating the elimination of the Electoral College have had an irrational fear of significant turmoil, revolt, or political unrest in this circumstance, but fortunately this fear has never been realized.

Secondly, Berns believes that the rule of the majority can be dangerous. The “greatest good” may very well be detrimental to the whole because it occurs at the expense of the minority. (123) Minority individuals need to have a significant input into the electoral process to avoid domination of a group by the majority. The Framers made the Electoral College System because they understood the insidious, destructive by-product of populism. As stated by James Madison in Federalist No. 10, in the American form of government it is not necessary to fear a radical minority because it is very difficult for a small group to unify enough to cause real trouble. (30) Rather, it more important to keep the minority engaged and involved in the political process. A disgruntled, disenfranchised minority is what can be truly dangerous.

In our nation’s democratic system, it is the government’s duty to protect the will of the American people. The role of the Electoral College makes this possible, in part, during the presidential election process. The voice of the majority could easily drown out the voice of the minority, but it does not. Representation of the minority point of view is important to promote harmony and cooperation in a successful representative democracy.

In conclusion, requiring an Electoral College is another brilliant mechanism, a check and balance, imposed on the system by the Framers, to ensure that presidential candidates are qualified for the job and that the voice of the minority perspective is considered. In a solely populous election, a dangerous, disenfranchised, perhaps even revolutionary minority would likely emerge.

Sara MacDowell said...

Coming into an election year, it becomes widely apparent how large a role our country’s Electoral College plays in the determination of the best candidate for President. Each candidate, as a result of the Electoral College system, must campaign nationwide and not just focus on the states with the largest populations. The Electoral College was carefully fashioned by our founding fathers in order to assuage the concerns of citizens in both small and large states. Under our current system, a presidential candidate “can’t simply promise everything to one section of the country and neglect the others” (Judith A. Best 130). Our current system provides a stronger voice for smaller states that might be overshadowed by larger states. The Electoral College allows the minorities to voice their opinions and cast meaningful votes. The Electoral College should remain the principle election process in America because in order to keep the peace among citizens and government, we must employ “majority rule with minority consent” (Best 131).
Our country’s founding fathers had a true purpose in implementing the Electoral College system. They recognized “what the greatest number regards as its greatest good might very well prove to be a curse to those who are not a part of that number” (Walter Berns 123). These men saw the need to “protect the country from what has come to be called populism” (Berns 123). This system has been in place since our Constitution was enacted and it has proven to be effective over time. In order to eliminate the Electoral College, amendments would have to be made to our father’s Constitution and this is not a simple task (Textbook 125). Without knowledge of specific breakdowns in this system, why would we seek to make changes to our nation’s Constitution?

Taylor Epperson said...

The Electoral College, although a seemingly odd institution, has been proven to be a historically successful and important part of the American political process. This system was created as a compromise at the Constitutional Convention in order to help assuage the tyrannical potential of the majority (larger states) trumping the minority (smaller states) in the Presidential elections.

It is to be noted that the Electoral College is outlined in the Constitution, Article II, Section 1, Clauses 2,3, and 4 along with the Twelfth Amendment pertain to the Electoral College process. American Enterprise Institute scholar Walter Berns insists that efforts to replace the Electoral College with direct popular votes undermine confidence in the Constitution. He argues that the Electoral College gives us a “constitutionally legitimate President” (122). The sponsors of amending the Constitution to get rid of the Electoral College compare the discrepancy of the popular-vote vs. the electoral-vote to “a time bomb waiting to go off,” however Berns rebuttals with the 1888 election. When Benjamin Harrison beat Grover Cleveland despite losing the popular vote, only an insignificant, harmless dispute took place; there was no bomb of uprising against the College (122).

Walter Berns informs readers about the danger of the majority if direct popular elections are implemented in the Presidential electoral process. The Electoral College was first instigated to protect the minority from a tyrannical process. Berns says “so long as a minority is not distributed evenly throughout the country, but is concentrated within particular states, it is in its interest to oppose direct popular elections” (122). There is a need for an electoral system to threaten to penalize a political party and its candidates for failing to respect the rights of minorities. The “greatest good” for the greatest number might actually plague those who are not a part of that number (123). Minority individuals need to have a significant input into the electoral process to avoid domination of a group by the majority. The Framers made the Electoral College System because they understood the treacherous, tyrannical aspects of populism (123). Columnist George Will expressed this idea by saying “the system (of electoral voting) aims not just for the majority rule but rule by certain kinds of majorities. It encourages candidates to form coalition of states with various political interests an cultures” (126 txt). The Electoral College protects the minority while adding diversity to the voting process at the same time.

In the 2008 Presidential election, $1,601,104,696 was spent for the primary and general campaigns by all of the candidates. There is a lot of money poured into the campaigning and election processes, which means that the states indirectly receive a lot of media attention and financial support from the elections. With a direct popular election system, smaller, rural states will lose the financial sustenance that is provided by the elections because of the pursuit of the largest national vote, which means the most populous states, which are also the wealthiest, will receive the most amount of money being poured into their economies.

In the United States’ democratic system, the government has a duty to protect the will of the American people. The role of the Electoral College makes this possible with the Presidential election process. The Framers of the Constitution were spot on when they established the Electoral College and it should stay in place.

Anonymous said...

The Electoral College today, I feel, is unjust and has outlived its purpose. Originally, it was instituted by our founding fathers so that “they decided that a group of wise citizens should be assembled for the sole purpose of picking the president.”(Textbook, page 122). If they decided that a group of wise citizens should be the Electoral College, how did they decide who was wise. This could have made our country a dictator ship because the government could have chosen a certain type of person to be in the Electoral College to vote for the same president. Also, this isn’t how the Electoral College even functions nowadays. Today, the Electoral College must vote according to their states majority vote, and the side that wins the state receives all votes and the loser wins none. Honorable Richard J. Durbin states that “The Electoral College is an antiquated institution that has outlived its purpose”, because it was originally instituted to avoid having fads in elections and people weren’t all that informed of who they were voting for, so it was used to make sure the right man was chosen. But now that we have better means of communications, the voters have tons of information at the touch of a finger by just using the technology we have to research the candidates. Today in the presidential election process, if you win just under half of a state you should, in theory, win just under half of the electoral votes, but that isn’t the case and the winner of a state wins all the votes no matter the percentage of votes he actually received. I feel altering the use of the Electoral College would be best to accurately distribute Electoral votes based off of percentage and not off of who won the majority.
-Chris M.

woodyleonard said...

The electoral college was set up in the very begging of America to act as a safety net to insure that a good educated person was elected for president. This was a good idea when there was a small number of citizens and an election could be won by a popularity contest. Also, it was hard for citizens to get up to date information on presidential candidates back in the 1800s. Akhil Amar explains why the electoral college was started, “Very few candidates would have truly continental reputations among ordinary citizens, ordinary folk across the vast continent would not have enough good information to vote intelligently among national figures. ..a populist president could be dangerous-inviting demagoguery and possible dictatorship…Since the south didn’t let blacks vote, southern voices would count less in a direct national election. A state could increase its count recklessly extending its franchise for example, if a state let women vote, it could double its weight in a direct national election.”(p. 136)
None of these arguments work in today’s society. Now with the internet, newspapers, television and other mass media every citizen can be completely up to date and be well informed. Also now that every man and women have equal voting rights every vote would count equally. One of the major problems with the electoral college is that it creates swing states and non-swing states. By doing this it makes it strategically necessary for candidates to focus all of their attention on these hand full of swing states. For example, it is almost a complete waste of time for a republican candidate to campaign in California or even for a republican voter to cast a vote in California because it is known that California is consistently a democratic state. Same goes for Texas and that it is pointless for a democrat voter to vote because Texas will almost certainly vote republican at the electoral college.

By removing the electoral college it will give everyone a voice no matter where your vote was cast and it will force candidates to visit every state to inform people of their views and hopefully sway just one person and not an entire state.
-Jack Leonard

Julie Wheeler said...

In my opinion, I think that the Electoral College should change. I feel that it is very outdated and because it has been so many generations. The new generations are obviously very different from when the election process was being created. Since the Electoral College takes the popular vote, I do not think that is fair now. Our generation is very different in the way that we are a lot busier and more distracted by out lives. We'd rather not go out of our way for something that it a choice if we don't have much time to do it. I do not think that it is fair to not count peoples votes but I think that it has come to that point. George Edwards, the author of Why the Electoral College is Bad for America says, "At base, it violates political equality." (pg. 125) I think that by taking the popular vote, it is not reasonable in our society anymore.

Beys said...

I believe the Electoral College System should be preserved for many reasons. One, if only popular votes were counted, many elections of the past may have been up for a recount, causing many questions and lots of tension. Also, the electoral college steers us clear of issues with legitimacy because when someone wins all of one state’s electoral votes, it is usually a reflection of what the popular vote was. On the other hand, without the electoral college’s would cause the already weakening two party system, and third parties would have a good chance of flourishing. The electoral college magnifies federalism, it also is the fairest way to conduct the system. It makes sure that candidates reach out to everyone as opposed to say just large states if a popular vote were to be the deciding factor. The only two states without a simple winner takes all system is Maine and Nebraska. In those states, whichever candidate wins the most electoral votes wins.

Anonymous said...

Alex W.


I think the Electoral College has both flaws and advantages, so I don’t think we should completely do away with it we should just make changes or compromises that allows us to still utilize the Electoral College but at the same time removes the flaws. Richard J. Durbin pg.125 (reader) has the same belief in which there is a compromise which allows the votes to come directly from the people. This might eliminate the flaws of margin between the electoral vote and the popular vote.

Jacob B. said...

I agree with Richard J. Durbin that, “the Electoral College is an antiquated institution that has outlives its purpose” (Durbin 125). The delegates to the Constitutional convention created the Electoral College system in 1787 and they believed that the election of the president was too important to be left up to the average people directly. George Mason of Virginia said, “It were as unnatural to refer the choice of a proper character for Chief Magistrate to the people, as it would be to refer a trial of colors to a blind man” (Durbin 125). The main reason the delegates thought the average citizen could not make the decision is because, “delegates questioned whether voters in one State could have enough relevant knowledge regarding the character of public men living hundreds of miles away” (Dublin 125). With such great advances in technologies and communications, information about anything is now easily accessible to the public. This refutes the notion that the average citizen is not knowledgeable enough to vote. The Electoral College system is very outdated and is in need of reform.

Chris P said...

Part 1

The Electoral College is one of strangest, innovative, yet controversial institutions outlined in the Constitution. An extremely influential aspect of United States political and electoral history, the concept of the Electoral College was born out of a compromise among the framers of the Constitution concerned about two sides of the electoral process: (1) the ability for a politician with “talents for low intrigue, and the little arts of popularity” (Text 122) to sweep in and persuade a large amount of average uninformed citizens versus the importance for every citizen to have some say in the electoral process if the government was to be considered a democracy; and (2) the possibility that a tyrannical majority would override substantial minorities in the electoral process. Ever since its inception, however, the Electoral College has received countless attempts for reform and criticisms claiming that it has outlived its purpose in the electoral process, that it does not represent the will of the population fairly, and that it is outright unconstitutional as it permits the possibility of a candidate becoming President even if he does not win the popular vote. While there is no creation of man that is without flaws, the Electoral College is an institution that should be left to do its job as it forces candidates to focus on all aspects of the great nation to develop beneficial national platforms, stabilizes the two-party system while hindering corruption in the election process, and produces a President that is best fit to serve the country on both a national and local level.

Critics of the Electoral College have often stated that it is an election system that does not accurately and justly represent all citizens. Their argument essentially comes down to the provision of the “unit vote” in state elections: “the practice of awarding all of a State’s electoral votes to the candidate with a popular vote plurality in the State, regardless of whether the plurality is one vote or one million votes” (Reader 126). Yet what is to be said of a system in which “the vote of any particular minority looms larger, or carries more weight, than it is likely to do in the country as a whole” (122)? As a result of the State-by-State unit vote, a significant minority in a state may be able to influence a substantial portion of the vote, a feat that would be in no way possible for the now trifling minority in the national field. This aspect of the Electoral College protects not just racial, religious, occupational, and ethnic minorities, but it also draws into account geographic minorities on the national scale. In order to win the Presidency, candidates must work to win states in more than just one region of the country; he must have support from more than one regional population. Through this Federal aspect of the system, candidates are forced “to build broad cross-national political coalitions. . . . [I]t produces Presidents who can govern because of their broad cross-national support” (130).

Chris P said...

Part 2

While the Electoral College ensures even representation for all populations throughout the country, it also preserves a credibility of the electoral process and supports the two-party system that is a vital aspect American government and society. If the Electoral College was to be scrapped for some other form of direct popular election, there would be no stipulation of the unit vote protocol that makes it difficult for third party candidates to become serious opponents in the election and cause many citizens not to vote for obscure candidates due to the “wasted vote syndrome.” It would “almost surely prevent either of the two major-party candidates from winning 40 or 50 percent of the popular vote, and might even ensure their [third party] candidate a place in the runoff” (124). The resulting fallout before the runoff would be disastrous as the two finalists do all that they can do to win over the support of the third place finisher. Bribery, pay-offs, and corruption would almost certainly enter into the electoral process, a thorn in the side of the presidency that would truly damage the ability for any elected official to lead. With the ability of third party candidates to enter significantly into the government, the two party system, the result of a Constitutional system of checks and balances that hinders the progress of change in the government, would not be present to smooth out the complex system; it would not be able to pull the two parties to center to create temperate policies that are good compromises for the entire nation.

The most important aspect of the Electoral College stands in its ability to produce the best possible man to lead the country and prepares him for those duties. The Framers, when creating the Constitution, “thought it at least as important to consider the output of any given electoral system. What kind of men does it bring to office? How will it affect the working of the political system? What is its bearing on the political character of the whole country?” (124). The most masterful trait of this election system is that it prepares a candidate for the presidency while he attempts to be elected. As he is forced to campaign state-by-state, he learns the local intricacies of every region he visits. “To connect with local politicians and local crowds, the candidates must be briefed on local personalities and local issues. Skillful politicians will remember these acquaintances, and this knowledge of local concerns will stick with them when they get to the White House” (138). In this way, the Electoral College presents a candidate that is not only supported by all regions of the country but has gained personal connections to the entire nation, a quality that is vital for the President to have the influence necessary in his office.

The Electoral College combines the strengths of many possible election systems. It is an “alloy. It not only makes us strong as a Nation, it also allows us to be divers and flexible, to experiment. It thereby increases our freedom without destroying our national unity” (135).

Samantha N said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
Will A said...

The Electoral College needs to be abolished so that each citizens can have an even voice in electing the president. Senator Richard Durbin is absolutely correct in saying that the Electoral College is an outdated system and it needs to be replaced. Akhil Amar states that the Electoral College is "a brilliant eighteenth century device that cleverly solved a cluster of eighteenth century problems" (135). In our modern and largely populated United States, the Electoral College does not have any real purpose in protecting against fractions. Abolishing the Electoral College and voting directly for President will not just allow for a candidate to just travel to big cities and win the election. Winning every single vote in the 100 most populous cities would only earn the candidate about twenty percent of the popular vote. In the Electoral College, it is possible to win the election while only having about twenty-five percent of the popular vote by winning over the states with the most Electoral votes per capita. While this situation is unlikely, the Electoral College has been incorrect five percent of the time. In a democracy, every citizens vote should count equally. With the Electoral College, citizens of smaller states, such as Vermont or Wyoming, have their votes worth more than citizens of larger states, such as Texas and California. If we abolish the Elector College and allow citizens to vote for the president directly, all of these issues would disappear and everyone's vote would be equal.
If you want more info, watch these videos:

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Thomas Norman said...

I do not believe the Electoral College should be preserved. I believe it was a good idea when it was invented in 1787 when communication was not as established as it is today. Since the American public is more informed about current affairs in the elections then i believe they are educated enough to choose the right candidate to win the election. I agree with Richard Durbin when he says, "The incredible advances in communication technologies since the eighteenth century render moot the concerns that citizens do not have enough information to make and informed decision about a president. Clearly, potential voters today have more information about presidential candidates than their counterparts had 200 years ago regarding their directly elected representatives to Congress." (pg 126). I think the Electoral College does help when it goes along with the popular vote but when it goes against it, like it has done before, then i think it does more harm then good.

Jake Fletcher said...

I would have to agree with thomas that I don't think the Electoral College should be preserved. Yes, it was a genius idea back then in 1787 because they really didn't have any communication period besides handwritten letters basically, but now it's unbelievable how advanced it is. And yes, it also gives the smaller states a bigger say in who they think the president should be (p. 125-126). But that isn't the point in electing the president. It isn't what the states want, it's what the people of the states want. If the state votes one way, then the less popular party would lose all of its votes. So the system is basically boosting the winners and burying the losers. One million people could vote for Romney in New York, but if 1.5 million people vote for Obama, then the electoral vote goes to obama and the one million romney votes completely vanish (p. 127). The system is screwed up. It drastically affects the outcome of the presidential election and gives the "underdogs" zero chance to fight for coming back to win against their opponents. The direct popular vote is more important than what the states think overall because afterall, it is a government of the people, for the people and by the people, not of the states, for the states, and by the states.

SahilV said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
SahilV said...

No, the electoral college system is responsible for a myriad of negative effects. Most prominent is the impact it has on campaign exposure. Because of the unit rule, which establishes a winner take all system for 48 of the 50 states, candidates are encouraged not to spend time in a state they know they can win or state they know they cannot. The electoral system is wholly responsible for the fact that "most campaigns have written off certain states" (pg. 126).

In addition, the bloc voting system that the electoral college encourages is responsible for drowning out the votes of disparate groups. An individual who falls outside the predominant makeup of his region will be unable to overcome the will of the majority, making it unlike that he will be able to impact the election (pg. 127). An african american voter in the south, for example, has much less voting power simply because he falls outside the caucasian majority. Because African Americans and Whites are one large mass with the Electoral College in each state, a bias arises in favor of those who comprise more of the population, in this case, the Caucasians. A direct vote system would likely solve this problem. By removing state line divisions to determine Electoral College votes, there would be less racial influence. Now, even if minorities aren’t concentrated enough in a geographic sense to sway an entire state’s electoral votes under a winner take all system, their votes still count towards a national aggregate.

Jodie R. said...

The Electoral College is a system that helps the smaller states have an equal say in the election of a President. Walter Berns sates that a major idea in America "is that government is instituted to secure the rights of all" which is exactly what the Electoral College does. (Berns 123) This system "protects the interests of the States as States." which is what the founding fathers intended.(Berns 122) Without the electoral College then candidates will only focus the larger, more populated states rather than the small ones. In order to maintain a functional democracy everyone must be heard, even the minority. To keep harmony in politics it is important to have "majority rule with minority consent" (Best 131) The Electoral college was made with a purpose in mind; to make sure that everyone is represented equally on the national and local scale. It is quite clear that the Founding Fathers were focusing on developing a system that protects the minority from "what the greatest number regards as its greatest good might very well prove to be a curse to those who are not a part of that number."( Berns 123) The Electoral College has proven it self as a success in protecting and representing the minority.

Meredith T. said...

When the Electoral College system was adopted in 1787 it was a widely controversial and debated topic. For so long the Electoral College system made it possible to express the needs of the American people, but it has become outdated and now only expresses the wants of the majority, and ignores the ideas of the minorities. They decided that "Each state is required to appoint, in a manner determined by the State Legislature, in a number of electors equal in number to its congressional representation." (pg. 125) Therefore, the Electoral College system makes it necessary to compete on a state by state basis. The state-by-state approach makes the election process personal to each small group, but the radical parties never really get a say. It ensures that the president has support in a broad range of the country, not just in heavily populated states. But the Electoral College system "can lead to Presidents who received fewer popular votes then their main opponent." The system is obviously flawed because that has happened three out of the last forty-two elections (pg. 127). The Electoral College system makes it almost impossible for radical parties to make a large difference, and the wide consensus of the American people is always fulfilled by one of the two main parties. The American democratic system is suppose to provide "harmony- majority rule with minority consent" (pg. 131). However, all American people must be forced into one of the two parties and that forces them to alter their values and ideas. The election process needs to be brought into the twenty-first century so that the President can represent the voting American people, not the ideas of his/her party. It is important that every citizens vote counts equally and have an equal say on the future of The United States of America.

Meagan Ellis said...

I think the Electoral College is an important part of our voting process and should not be taken away. The system keeps voting fair among all of the states. I agree with Walter Berns when he says: "The men who founded this country surely recognized the entitlements of a popular majority but, with an eye to the qualifications or qualities required of an office, they devised institutions-the Electoral College is one of them-that modify or qualify the majority principle." The Founders tried to make elections fair, taking this away would only give larger states a bigger advantage in future elections.

Cole said...

I believe that the Electoral College system should not be preserved. In 1787, the idea worked well and smoothly, but things have changed. Technology has developed tremendously. I know when it is debate knight because of the numerous trends on the topics of debate night. Even a hashtag against Obama made the trends on the last debate. Communication and knowledge of what is happening in the election is ubiquitous in the United States today. Durbin sums this up as he states, "The incredible advances in communication technologies since the eighteenth century render moot the concerns that citizens do not have enough information to make and informed decision about a president" (pg 126). Also, Durbin points out that states that are essentially impossible to win for a candidate are then ignored. Durbin claims, "most campaigns have written off certain states" (pg 126). The unit rules causes lack of knowledge of a candidate in certain states. The Electoral College is a futile system that has failed the United States in the past.

Nicole :) said...

I think the electoral college should be kept. It allows for those in smaller states to have a larger say in the election than they would with a popular vote. Albeit confusing, the electoral college is an essential part of our system, creating an easier campaign for the candidates and allows each state to be either Democrat or Republican. Judith Best also believes the electoral college should be kept. She makes the point that "all of our national elective officers are based on the Federal principle-they are State-based elections" so why should the presidential election be any different? She also says how the national motto is "E Pluribus Unum" meaning we are a Nation of States. I agree with her arguments also that because of the Electoral College, the President who is elected can govern better due to larger national support than one who may have just had the popularity due to the South/North/East/West. The electoral college provides a security in our country that the President will always be the one who more of the country as grouped into states supports. I believe the Electoral College should not be abolished because it is an important part of American elections.

- Nicole H

Blair Moore said...

I think the electoral college system is something good to have in place and should continue to be used in America. Without it, the states would lose much of their say in the outcome of the election. All though the electoral college has gone against the peoples votes twice in a century, it still had a valid reason to do so (Bern 123). The ELectoral College also makes the election focused on the two candidates that the country really wants. Meaning that the third-party candidate is not in the election, resulting in more of America voting on the candidates that the majority wants (Bern 123-124). With more of America focused on two candidates, we will be able to make sure that our President is legitimately elected by majority.

Kylie said...

I believe that the Electoral College should stay in our election process. Although it was designed in a much earlier and different time, it was designed to last the United States for a long time. Just because something was made in a different time period where many people thought differently than the people of the today, does not mean that it does not still work. For example, the U.S. Constitution was written and signed in 1787, but it is still the basis of the United States government today. I agree with the statement found in the book saying, "Undemocratic? What is undemocratic about a system of one man, one vote, majority rules?" (p. 122)The Electoral College System provides a fair and conceptually easy way to make sure that all people, no matter where you live,have the same opportunities to elect the president. The things put in place such as swing states, unit rule, and what is stated in the 12th Amendment provide an extremely fair way to run elections. "The federal principle in presidential elections forces presidential candidates to build broad cross-national political coalitions. Thereby, it produces Presidents who can govern because of their broad cross-national support" (p. 130). Since the Electoral College System gives even the small states a larger say in the election, the presidents are forced to fight for the small states votes, just as much as they have to fight for the bigger states' votes. As described in the quote above, this forces the upcoming president to get to know all states and become familiarized with the entire country. Clearly, the Electoral College is a major part in keeping the presidential elections fair to all peoples in the United States.

Erika I said...

In my opinion, the electoral college system should be kept in America today. Although at first glance it seems that the average citizen's opinion doesn't get counted by popular vote, the system is actually better for America as a whole. Smaller states with fewer citizens have a considerable say and are able to play significant roles in each election process. Additionally, the electoral college allows candidates to see which specific parts of the country are in support of or are against certain policies or ideas. The idea of "majority rule with minority consent" best describes the aim and purpose of the nation's electoral college today (Best 131). This system has also been proven to be effective over the years, considering, "The electoral college has only gone against the peoples votes twice in a century, it still had valid reason to do so" (Berns 123). Looking at the electoral college as a whole, it is obvious that it benefits our elections today and plays a significant role in making each American citizen's voice be heard.

Erika I.

Brandt Wood said...

The electoral college system was good during the eighteenth century, but no is outdated and needs to be replaced by a new or updated system. As Khil Amar put it, "the Electoral College [is] a brilliant eighteenth century device that cleverly solved a cluster of eighteenth century problems. . . but. . . our constitutional machinery of presidential selection does not look so brilliant [today]" (135). The electoral system is the reason that there are only 10 to 15 states that are really up for dispute; they are the swing states. All states should be up for grabs every election. Because of the electoral college, the people's opinion, gathered in the popular vote, is not actually the deciding factor in elections. If the people's vote is not what gets the president elected, then the people do not actually have sufficient power in our government. The Electoral College should be replaced in order to secure power in the hands of the people.

Sarah C. said...

I think that the Electoral College should not be used anymore. An Electoral college make the voters choose electors to make the final decision on where their vote goes (p. 122). Durbin states that the Electoral College is "an antiquated institution that has outlived its purpose" (125). The electoral college is an old system that was once used for a purpose, but there is no point to it anymore. The problem with the Electoral College system is that it is unfair and may hinder the voice of the voters (p. 126). The electoral college takes away the vote of, for example, a red person in a blue state, who votes for Romney. The majority of the people in the state will be voting for Obama, so the red person's vote is therefore invalid. A simple solution to this problem would be to do away with it completely, or proportion the number of electoral points in each state with the number of votes for that party.

Paige Hughes said...

I believe that at this point in time, the Electoral College does not need to be dumped. Although it has created various problems during elections in the past, attempting to abolish it right now would require the amendment of the Constitution - a "complex, difficult process" (125). Maryland recently presented a more direct method of voting that could satisfy both sides of the Electoral argument: They passed a law in April 2007 "that would award the state's electoral votes to the winner of the national popular vote - so long as other states agree to do the same" (125). In other words, if every state appoints electors who support the winner of the national popular vote, it will be the overall majority vote of the nation that decides who the president and vice president will be. This method would "nullify the Electoral College without amending the Constitution" (125). To conclude, I support the development of ideas such as Maryland's - there are easier ways to create change in the election process right now than by dragging oneself through the tedious, complex amendment process.

Paige Hughes said...

I believe that at this point in time, the Electoral College does not need to be dumped. It hasn't created any major issues during an election since 1888, but even then "there was hardly a ripple of popular discontent" (122). Attempting to abolish it right now would require the amendment of the Constitution - a "complex, difficult process" (Blue 125). Maryland recently presented a more direct method of voting that could satisfy both sides of the Electoral argument: They passed a law in April 2007 "that would award the state's electoral votes to the winner of the national popular vote - so long as other states agree to do the same" (Blue 125). In other words, if every state appoints electors who support the winner of the national popular vote, it will be the overall majority vote of the nation that decides who the president and vice president will be. This method would "nullify the Electoral College without amending the Constitution" (Blue 125). To conclude, I support the development of ideas such as Maryland's - there are easier ways to create change in the election process right now than by dragging oneself through the tedious, complex amendment process.

*(Blue 125) refers to the blue textbook.

Conor said...

Whether or not the electoral college system benefits the United States is an ongoing, nationwide debate. In my opinion, I do not think the electoral college system benefits the country because it makes many votes meaningless. For example, the state of Texas is known as a Republican state. This means that the states total votes will almost always be in favor of the republican party, so all of Texas' electoral college votes go to the republicans as well. Since democrats living in Texas have a good idea of what the outcome will be in their state, many of them don't bother to vote. Abraham Lincoln once stated, “Public opinion is everything. With it, nothing can fail. Without it, nothing can succeed” (129). As more and more democrats in Texas realize what the electoral college system does to their vote, more will lose interest in politics and voting. This electoral college system is limiting the amount of people who want to voice their opinions. Therefore, it is harming our country.

Bryce H. said...

While the Electoral College may have served the original 13 states well, in a day and age where every American has the ability to make an informed vote, there is no need to continue its use. It may have some benefits, but the system's growing flaws pose danger to the United States political system. First of all, the system values the votes of some greater than the votes of others. Because most states have a "winner take all" system, anyone who votes for the loser has no effect on the electoral vote count. Additionally, many states are ignored by politicians because they traditionally lean to one side. Thus, people who go against the grain or are undecided in that state are minimized in the election process. If a voter lives in a state that could go either way, his or her vote plays a much greater role in deciding where the state's electoral votes will go.

Another main issue with the Electoral College is the possible difference between the popular vote and the election result. Because of the electoral system, it is quite possible that the president who is elected does not actually have the support of the majority of voters, such as what happened in the 2000 election. It is very dangerous for America for the leader of the country to go into office without the support of the people. Finally, the last problem with the Electoral College is the events that occur in the situation that no candidate receives the majority of votes. The House of Representatives would decide who would become the next president. However, this process became corrupted the instant that political parties began to fill the government. Most of the members of the House of Representatives are partisan members of the Democratic or Republican parties, and would most likely vote for whichever candidate aligns with the same party as them. This is incredibly problematic in the fact that the current House of Representatives might not represent the wishes of the current American populace, as well as the likely fact that those who voted for the House of Representative might not immediately side with the same party for President.

Overall, the 2000 election caused the Electoral College to show its potentially harmful effects. The idea that the public is not qualified to decide the president is outdated, and the Electoral College must be replaced by the popular vote as quickly as possible.

Sophia Rankin said...

I believe that Electoral College should be reserved. It should stay as the process for electing the President and Vice President of the United States because changing it would change a major part of our history. The Constitution would have to be amended if the government wanted to dump the Electoral College (125). If the US changed the Electoral College, results of the elections and the way candidates handle things would change completely.
The Electoral College ensures the peaceful unity of the democracy and prevents the majority from making the decision for America .According to the founding fathers, the Constitution enables the Electoral College to set a balance between the larger and smaller states. Our founders wanted to protect our country from populism and help "assuage a concern of delegates from small states" (122). If the Electoral College were to be abolished, it would be difficult to think of an alternative that would actually work. The proposal to abolish the Electoral College would also be a proposal to abolish the Federal principle in presidential elections (130). If the Federal principle is done away with in a presidential election, we could be discarding a national public opinion. Therefore, the Electoral College should not be dumped.

Jamie Quirk said...

I believe that the Electoral College system should not be reserved. It is a "curious vestige of the eighteenth century" and it "violates the principle of one-person, one vote" (140). This makes perfect sense because each individual's vote should be the only factor of how a candidate should be elected for office. States shouldn't be shown as all democratic or all republican; it should solely be about each individual's vote in all the states. If the Electoral College was to be abolished, the votes for the candidate running would show a much more accurate representation of how he or she was elected.

Catherine Graass said...

In order to ensure a peaceful democratic future for the United States, the Electoral College system needs to be reserved. On the cover, the Electoral College doesn't seem to fully exemplify the democratic values of the US as much as a popular vote. A popular vote has a sentimental appeal of being the more democratic election process, but at the core, the Electoral College upholds the values of the founders more than a popular vote would. The "tyranny of the majority" is a major threat to democratic nations, but our founders were aware of this and constructed the Electoral College accordingly. The Electoral College supports many small factions by allowing minorities' to thrive. A minority could win the vote in one state and make an impact on the election. In a popular vote, the voice of a minority faction would never impact the election, the tyranny of the majority would go uncontrolled. This is a system of checks and balances installed by our founders in order to support minority factions. An environment where factions thrive is essential to a strong democracy. The Electoral College supports factions, and as we know many small factions are necessary to warding off the 'tyranny of the majority'.
Catherine G

Michael R said...

Upon its creation in 1787, the Electoral College system was very useful for presidential elections, but it now, "an antiqued institution that has outlived its purpose" (Durbin 125). In the eighteenth century, the Electoral System was created to give power to the smaller states. As time has passed, politics has changed dramatically. In the past, many presidential candidates would campaign in all states, now only the crucial ones are visited. If a candidate knows that he/she will not win a state, they will not even bother campaigning there. Only the select few, swing states are the crucial ones. These states can win or lose an election for a candidate. This takes the power of voting out of the hands of the voters in the states not visited, if they are not with the majority. After all this country has worked for individual rights, the Electoral College takes it away. Many people believe the misconception that the candidate that receives the most votes (popular vote) wins the election. WRONG! The candidate that receives the most electoral votes wins. Each state is given a certain number of electoral votes based of off how many members of U.S. Representatives it has. Certain swing states such as Ohio and Florida are crucial for each candidate. Another flaw of the Electoral College is that it sometimes elects the president who does not also win the popular vote. If a president is elected who does not win the electoral vote will, "only produce grave dangers that could divide this Nation at a critical hour if the President-elect lacked a popular mandate" (Durbin 128). If a president is elected that is not liked by the people, how are the people expected to trust this president? WE ARE NOT! With a new election process put into place, we can return power to the people, and to our country.

Karen Lefferts said...

I believe that the electoral system is an important part of our voting process and should not be taken away. This system lets voters in smaller states to have a bit more say in the election than they would with popular vote. Creates an easier campaign and shows whether a state is more liberal or conservative. Judith A. Best says that "the proposals to abolish the Electoral College are proposals to abolish the Federal Principle in presidential elections. All of our national elective officers are based on the Federal Principle - they are State-based elections for we are a Nation of States."
Judith Best is absolutely correct by saying that we are a nation of states. We should focus on meeting the needs of the majority of the states. Saying this may come across as rude, but it is impossible to satisfy everybody's needs. I think that the electoral college should not be taken away.

-Karen L.

BraydonLilley said...

The electoral college system is a major factor used in determining the sole leader of the US. It is important because it allows states with smaller populations to have a bigger voice in the outcome of the election.As it says in the textbook, the electoral college is an important part of our governmental system. In order to abolish the electoral college, the constitution would have to be amended (125).The whole elections process would be different, changing the outcome of elections forever. The proposal to abolish the electoral college would also be a proposal to abolish the federal principle in presidential elections. The editing of the constitution, changing of the elections process, and the act of giving more power to larger states are all negative outcomes if the electoral college was to be abolished. this is why it should stay, as it is creating unity among the states during the elections process today.

Will.S said...

I believe the electoral college should not be reserved. In plain and simple terms, a presidential election should solely be based on each individuals opinion. After all, is that not the point of campaigning. It is non-sense for a state to "have its own power," which is essentially part of what the electoral college creates. While the electoral college used to vastly help the small states get their voices hear, politics have greatly changed. For example, Barack Obama does not do much campaigning in Texas because he will not get there vote in the electoral college, simply because Texas a major conservative state. But isn't this kind of taking away rights of undecided voters in Texas? They deserve and have the right to hear and see just as much campaigning material as the undecided voters do in Colorado because it is a swing state. The electoral college is unjust and creates many unfair situation for many individuals in the United States, and for this reason, it should NOT be preserved.

Meagan F said...

I believe the electoral college should remain in our constitution but be modified. There have been a few cases in which a candidate has won the electoral vote but lost the popular vote. (122) This is wrong because the people should choose who represents them as a country. However, I believe it is unrealistic to expect an amendment to the constitution changing the entire election process. I think the best option would be to encourage states to, instead of giving all their electoral votes to the popular candidate as it is in Texas, to split all their electoral votes on a ratio between the two candidates. This would be a way to keep the electoral college and still have the all the people deciding who wins the Presidency.

Amanda Kadesky said...

The Electoral College has been in the United States history ever since the nation had been first formed, so why change an age old tradition. The Founding fathers battle for equal representation while writing the Constitution and while discussing how the President would be voted into office they conjured up a plan to not leave anyone out. If the vote would be based off of popular vote, votes from the smaller states would be overpowered by those of the larger states. This is still a problem that could happen today if the Electoral College were to be taken away. Also another good reason to keep Electoral College, as stated by Judith A. Best is that if popular vote were to be adopted then the more likely a third party could surface in a Presidential election. She says that " the New York Times would have to publish a 20-page supplement simply to identify all the candidates" (Reader 134). The United States has been very consistent to have only two major parties that run for the office of President, and most Americans probably want to keep it that way. It is way easier to remember only two names and not twenty. The final reason to keep Electoral College is because politicians have developed a game-plan to win votes, "State-by-State" (Reader 138) says Charles Fried. Because candidates go to mainly swing states to win votes, if the Electoral College was gone they would have to visit almost every state. This would make things much more complicated for both candidates. If both candidates were asked if they want to campaign in many states, including states with majority of either party, they would probably not like the idea. This also brings attention to the smaller state, because when winning a presidency, every vote Electoral College counts. Over all the Electoral College has done more good than bad in the 200 plus years it has been used and now is not the time to create a new system.

Connor said...

Connor Hahn:
The Electoral College is no doubtably one of the most controversial topics in the United States' Presidential election. The Electoral College needs to be abolished because it nulls the popular vote, which ultimately is who the President needs to work for. The Electoral College can be seen as an issue since "three times out of the 42 presidential elections" resulted in winners that had "fewer popular votes than their main opponent" (127). Senator Birch Bayh very simply pointed out that she "[could not] see how such a system [could] be beneficial to the American people" (128). She goes on to question why the American citizens would want a President that lacked popular mandate. There are several other flaws that the Electoral College is made of, but the most significant question is why. Why wouldn't the direct vote of the people for who they want to be president the deciding factor in who takes office?

LeonelA said...

In my opinion, I believe that the Electoral College system should be abolished. As Akhil Amar said on page 135, "I considered the Electoral College a brilliant eighteenth century device that cleverly solved a cluster of eighteenth century problems," which is understandable as the present day U.S. The founding fathers set up the electoral college since they felt that the people weren't educated enough, in how government works, to wisely choose the next president of the U.S. at the time, but the U.S. has modified itself with technology and new ways of communication. Now in modern day America it is more diverse and easier to educate one-self on politics through the internet, more local libraries, and national television. With the electoral college today, it only makes the individuals' votes seem worthless to the candidate they voted for since a representative would choose who the state as a whole will vote for, making it seem less democratic. The electoral college makes popular vote seem pointless, which is one of the many factors as to why Americans don't try to go vote, since the electoral college seems to have more power of it. People should be able to vote knowing that their vote would be valid, rather than having to worry that their state representative made the opposite vote.

LeonelA said...

In my opinion, I believe that the Electoral College system should be abolished due to how much America has been modified over the past 200 years. As Akhil Amar said on page 135, "I considered the Electoral College a brilliant eighteenth century device that cleverly solved a cluster of eighteenth century problems," which is understandable as the present day U.S.The founding fathers set up the electoral college since they felt that the people weren't educated enough, in how government works, to wisely choose the next president of the U.S. at the time, but the U.S. has modified itself with technology and new ways of communication. Now in modern day America it is more diverse and easier to educate one-self on politics through the internet, more local libraries, and national television. With the electoral college today, it only makes the individuals' votes seem worthless to the candidate they voted for since a representative would choose who the state as a whole will vote for, making it seem less democratic. The electoral college makes popular vote seem pointless, which is one of the many factors as to why Americans don't try to go vote, since the electoral college seems to have more power of it. People should be able to vote knowing that their vote would be valid, rather than having to worry that their state representative made the opposite vote.

Fergus de Papp said...
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Fergus de Papp said...
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Bailey Cummings said...
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Bailey Cummings said...

The Electoral College is one of the most controversial processes of the American elections. Throughout American history, it has been seen that the candidate with the most votes from the American people hasn't always won the election. I do not believe this is fair for the American voter. Abraham Lincoln said, “Public opinion is everything. With it, nothing can fail. Without it, nothing can succeed.” (129) I believe that the Electoral college devalues the voice of the American voter thus leading to less democratic process. Durban writes that the “the people of this country should choose the President as they choose Members of Congress as well as U.S. senators.” (130) The electoral college makes certain people's votes more important than others. I believe that the electoral college should be removed in order to create a more democratic election process.

CoreyWands said...

As stated by Conor earlier, the Electoral College system has fabricated a sense of "meaningless" voting. Due to the Unit Rule voting in super-majority states, such as New York, Texas, California, etc. is relatively obsolete if one chooses the minority party. In this sense, The Electoral College only hurts our nation and should be amended or abolished.

The Unit Rule, in my opinion is the sole issue with the Electoral College system. Due to the "winner take all" system associated with the Unit Rule, one-sided states receive miniscule campaign exposure and voter participation is diminished. As Richard Durban states, "you do not see Al Gore and Joe Lieberman spend much time in the state of Texas...nor George W. Bush [visiting] New York" (126). Because "[one-sided] states do not see much of the presidential campaign," (Durban 126) residents of these states do not receive any addition to national media coverage. More importantly, why should candidates even visit the one-sided states? Because of the Unit Rule it is evident that it is a mere waste of time. For the same reasons voter participation is diminished; why even vote if the Republicans (or Democrats) will receive the electoral vote no matter what? The winner take all system of the Unit Rule truly harms our nation's voters.

Drew C said...

The Electoral College System should be removed due to the fact that many times it completely negates the popular vote. It allows the candidate who did not win the popular vote but who could win the electoral college votes to now have a majority and therefore get elected, the loss of the popular vote should result in the loss of the race because that is what the voters and citizens of America wanted. The Electoral College is, in a sense, voiding the true wants of the people when it comes to elections.

Sabeeh said...

I believe that the electoral college should be kept. If the electoral college is abolished, then the candidates would only focus on the most populated states, and completely disregard other states. With the electoral college, each smaller state "must reciece a minimum of 3 electoral voters, regardless of their population." Three might be a small number, but it is enough to change the tide in an election.

Ellen.v14 said...

If we want a true democracy, then we have to get rid of the Electoral College. Although it does represent all states equally, it doesn't represent each individual vote. Richard J. Durbin says that "the first problem with the Electoral College system is that it is inherently unfair and may disenfranchise voters" (126). If we were a true democracy every vote would be counted across the US. In a state if your majority is Democratic, and you are of the few Republican supporters you might as well not even vote. But, if we use the direct popular vote then every person has a say in the election. We have seen in several elections the president losing the popular vote, but still winning the election. If they do not have the popular vote then would it make sense for a person whom the majority does not vote for to be president? No matter what system we use for the election, candidates will focus on certain states and not all. No matter if we have the Electoral College or not, they will campaign in certain states. With the Electoral College the candidates focus on large and swing states in order to gain the majority of the electoral votes. No system will be perfect, but we need a system that doesn't cheat voters. Every person should contribute to the election but with the Electoral College half from each state are not represented in the election. Richard J. Durbin says he wishes, "to abolish the Electoral College and say we trust the people in this country." I agree, and if we want to be a true democracy we will have to follow a direct popular vote.

Fergus de Papp said...

I believe the Electoral College should not be preserved. The Electoral College may have been useful in the 1800s, but times have changed. Delegates at the constitutional convention were worried that voters would be misinformed about presidential candidates, but that is not an issue anymore. Thanks to the Internet and advances in communications "potential voters have more information about presidential candidates then they had 200 years ago" (Dubin 126).

The Electoral college is undemocratic. Not everyone's vote counts. Those who vote for the less popular candidate in their state have no say in the election process. This causes voters to lose interest in politics. Candidates that know they will not win a state will not campaign in it. This is unfair to the voter. Barack Obama rarely campaigns in Texas because it is a Republican state.

A candidate who wins the popular vote may not always win the electoral vote. We saw this in 2000 when Al Gore won the popular vote, but lost the election because Bush had more electoral votes. We ended up with Bush in the White House, whose ability to govern this country has been questioned to this very day. With the Electoral College abolished, we will all be able to live in a more democratic nation where every vote counts.

Anonymous said...

The Electoral College should be preserved in America today. It is understandable that people feel that their voices are being silenced by the Electoral College, but in reality, the Electoral College helps a lot of voices to be heard. The voices the Electoral College bring to attention are those of the smaller states and minority groups. This allows the citizens of smaller states to have a voice and say in elections. According to Charles Fried “the Electoral College is one of the political safeguards of federalism: those structural features of our constitutional system… that of their own force and without court intervention assure that the States count as distinct political entities, not merely administrative units of one central government” (137). The Electoral College makes sure that the states with smaller populations still have a significant say in the elections. This allows them to be either differentiated from other states popular vote or clumped together, but only based on what they want.
- Chandler N.

Tristan C said...

The Electoral College should be preserved in the United States. “The American idea of a democracy cannot be expressed in a simple but insidious formula, the greatest good for the greatest number” (123). The Electoral College gives smaller states a bigger voice in the elections. It makes it more of an American majority of opinions on who the citizens want the president to be. Also, the candidate winner of the Electoral College votes, for the majority of the time, wins the national popular vote. It has only happened three times in United States history where the results of the Electoral College and national popular vote were different. Another reason why the Electoral College should be kept is because the “founding fathers recognized the entitlements of popular majority. So they created institutions that modify and qualify the majority principle, and the Electoral College is one of them” (123). The founding fathers of the United States did a great job at retaining a democratic government. The principles they created have worked so far, so why would we get rid of any that might make the American citizens have less of a majority vote.

Kai Assoun said...

For The United States of America to stay a democratic nation we need to abolish the Electoral College system."The first problem with the Electoral College system is that it is inherently unfair and may disenfranchise voters."(126) Even though in an Electoral College each state is represented equally, it takes away the power of the people's vote. There have been many presidents that won the popular vote of the people but his opponent ends up winning. If we were to uphold the democratic foundation of this nation the people's vote should be the thing who wins the elections. Even if we had the Electoral College the candidates would still only campaign in their majority states, which makes the Electoral College look good by involving swing states and getting them in the majority. But I think we need a system that does that but without taking the vote of the individual away. Mr. Durbin says,"I hope my colleagues will join me in supporting this effort to abolish the Electoral College and say we trust the people in this country.(130) I agree with Mr. Durbin, that if we want to uphold the democratic foundation of this nation we need to abolish the Electoral College and pick our president based on the people's popular vote.

Kai Assoun said...

For The United States of America to stay a democratic nation we need to abolish the Electoral College system."The first problem with the Electoral College system is that it is inherently unfair and may disenfranchise voters."(126) Even though in an Electoral College each state is represented equally, it takes away the power of the people's vote. There have been many presidents that won the popular vote of the people but his opponent ends up winning. If we were to uphold the democratic foundation of this nation the people's vote should be the thing who wins the elections. Even if we had the Electoral College the candidates would still only campaign in their majority states, which makes the Electoral College look good by involving swing states and getting them in the majority. But I think we need a system that does that but without taking the vote of the individual away. Mr. Durbin says,"I hope my colleagues will join me in supporting this effort to abolish the Electoral College and say we trust the people in this country.(130) I agree with Mr. Durbin, that if we want to uphold the democratic foundation of this nation we need to abolish the Electoral College and pick our president based on the people's popular vote.

justinator said...

The Electoral College doesn’t necessarily need to be discarded, however it does need reform. As shown in the election of 2000, the Electoral College sometimes doesn’t reflect the view of the people. Other states have tried different approaches to best reflect their voters, “In all, some 40 states have had measures introduced to modify the allocation of the Electoral College votes.” (Reader, 126) They have tried a winner takes all view, whether it was the majority in the state or majority of the country. However these solutions fix a specific problem, neither solve the entire issue. One side reflects the view of the states; another reflects the view of the country. What is needed is something in the middle; a way to solve both issues and creates a happy medium. A way to fix this issue would be to have the electoral votes divided up with the results of the popular vote in that state. For example, if in New York there was an even split with a slight favor to the democrats, the New York would have 16 democrat votes and 15 republican votes, and in Georgia there was an overwhelming majority Republican with little to no Democratic support, Georgia would send 15 Republican and zero Democrats. This way the candidates would have to go to lesser populated states and the Electoral College vote would reflect the vote in the states.

gabby.s14 said...

I beleive that the Electoral College should be removed. Even if a candidate wins the popular vote, their fate is in the hands of the electoral college. This brings the question to mind, are the poeple really voting for their president? The Electoral college eliminates the idea of democracy in our presidential elections, the President is not picked by the majority vote of the people, but by representatives that may not represent the average American citizen. Why even have a popular vote if it will just be overruled by the Electoral College? The Electoral College does not always represent what the people want, therfore if we want our Presidential elections to be truly democratic, the popular vote should be the only vote that matters.

Gregory.I said...

We should get rid of the Electoral College system because it is not representing the people in the U.S as well as popular vote. The Electoral College system puts majority vote over Electoral vote. So if a president were to win majority votes he could still lose based on electoral votes. People in smaller states such as Massachusetts have just as many electoral votes as does a large state like California. Because the states go mainly on electoral votes the citizen’s vote doesn’t really matter in a mainly democratic or republican state.

Zoe said...

I believe that we should keep the Electoral College system in the United States of America. One may argue that by keeping this system we are not being truly democratic, or that we are not actually voting directly for the president. However, the founding fathers of this nation did not intend for the political system to contain a majority vote. On the contrary, the “Founders sought free institutions that would protect the country from what has come to be called populism” (123). This process by which the president is elected helps to make the minority voice heard. With a popular vote, a minority would have less of a chance to express their opinions and the majority would take over. Therefore, by preserving the electoral college in America we are continuing in the vision of the Founders.

Tony de Bruyn said...

The Electoral College system needs to be thrown out in today's world. The Electoral college system worked well in the 18th century, but it does not work well in today's world. Akhil Amar wrote "I consider the Electoral College a brilliant eighteenth century device that cleverly solved a cluster of eighteenth century problems." Amar is correct the system worked well in the past, but in the 21st century it does not work well. The system also ignores the popular vote, which is the opinion of the people. The peoples opinion should be the most important. Also the system removes focus from all states, and it puts focus on smaller states. All the states should have equal voting ability.

william L said...

It is debated wether or not the Electoral College should be kept around or gotten rid of as a whole. I personally believe we should keep the Electoral college.
"Nothing could be clearer than that the Founders sought free institutions that would protect the country from what has come to be called populism.(123)" The Electoral College is very important to American democracy because it allows even the small states to have a say in the election. Without the Electoral College then American populous would have control of the election and may not vote on the person who is right for the country but the person who talks the best or presents himslef better.

Maiken C said...

I think that the electoral college should be kept. If it was removed, then all the states that doesnt have a massive population, will be ignored and all the attention will be on the most populated states.

Matt Johnsrud said...
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Matt Johnsrud said...

I believe that the electoral college should be removed. It was a good idea and worked well in the past but does not work well in todays world. The point of a popular election is to elect a president with the majority of the vote. This ensures that the president is elected based on who the people what to lead them. "the danger is said to consist in the possibility that a candidate might receive a majority of the electoral votes while receiving fewer popular votes than his or her opponent." (122) Another fear is that the electoral college might encourage people to not participate in the election. For example the state of Texas votes republican in the election 100% of the time. Because of this a democrat living in Texas might not feel inclined to vote because he already knows that that the state is going to vote republican. The electoral college does not represent the popular opinion and therefor should be abolished.

Thomas J. said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Caroline said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Caroline said...

I believe the electoral college system should be removed because the people's vote does not directly have a say. "The last major flaw in the Electoral College system is the electors, in general, are not bound to cast their vote in accordance with the popular vote results from their state," (128). When the people's vote does not really have a say they feel less motivated to vote. It is not their vote that wins the election. It is their state's representative's vote that has a say. If their state representative does not vote with the majority then they feel their vote has gone to waste.
- Caroline Mitchell

Thomas J. said...

The Electoral College needs to remain. Although many argue that it undermines the citizens vote, it allows smaller states to have greater recognition within the presidential election. The reader claims that "the danger is said to consist in the possibility that a candidate might receive a majority of the electoral votes while receiving fewer popular votes than his or her opponent." (122). But the possibility of a citizen's vote being undermined is insignificant compared to the possibility of lesser parties creating political disdain within our election process. The Electoral College protects the process of the presidential election from a smaller voting gap due to the support of lesser known parties.

Caroline said...

I believe the electoral college system should be removed because the people's vote does not directly have a say. "The last major flaw in the Electoral College system is the electors, in general, are not bound to cast their vote in accordance with the popular vote results from their state," (128). When the people's vote does not really have a say they feel less motivated to vote. It is not their vote that wins the election. It is their state's representative's vote that has a say. If their state representative does not vote with the majority then they feel their vote has gone to waste.
Caroline Mitchell

Adam Mitchell said...

In my opinion we should stop using the electoral college system because it does not represent a democracy. A reason as to why the electoral college system should be removed is that the popular vote has a chance to lose. The reader says that, "the danger is said to consist in the possibility that a candidate might receive a majority of the electoral votes while receiving fewer popular votes than his or her opponent" (122). Another reason as to why the electoral college system should be removed is that a couple of states are always all republican or all democrat. In these states citizens that are the opposite of the electoral college won't feel inclined to vote since they would feel like their vote does not count. The United States should cease using the electoral college system because it does not properly represent a democracy.

Hope Sarles said...

The Electoral College System should not be preserved. This system "shapes the 'winner' of the election but in every election, this awkward procedure shapes the election process" (122). One of the concerning aspects of the the system was that "many were concerned that average citizens should have some say in the process" (122). The system should be modified because of the chance that a president with the most voters that vote for one candidate and the system can make it so that president does not win the election. The people of america should have a total say in the president with the popular vote and not just be disregarded the way that they can be with the use of the Electoral College system. "If every state agrees to appoint electors who would vote for the winner of the national popular vote, no matter who wins their state, the national popular vote would decide the winner" (125). There are several places for improvement in the system that should be modified and therefore the Electoral College System should not be preserved.

Celeste Laster said...

I believe that the electoral college should stay in place. It gives some of the smaller states a feeling that they are really contributing to the election. Also, it keeps some of the more unintelligent voters from really affecting the outcome.One fear is "said to consist in the possibility that a candidate might receive a majority of the electoral votes while receiving fewer popular votes than his or her opponent" (122), but sometimes the electoral votes know better than the citizens. People should just continue to trust the electoral college and keep the system in place.

Katie C. said...

The Electoral College is one of the most debated ideas in politics. I believe the Electoral College should be abolished from the system. Judith Best says, "To create the critical mass necessary for a President to govern, his votes must be properly distributed" (130). Everyone should be able to have a say in who they want to be their president. The Electoral College prevents the president from getting the proper amount of votes. Although a candidate wins the popular vote, they may not always win the election. The purpose of the elections is to persuade the public that one candidate is better than the other. President's should be chosen by a popular vote, not by states that have the largest amounts of Electoral votes. I think the Electoral College takes away the true votes in the elections that the Presidents receive. I think the Electoral College should be abolished.

jackson solari said...

I believe that we should keep the electoral college. The reson that i feel we should keep this is becasue it gives the smaller states the same advantage of bigger states in voting. I beleive that if we did not have this that the voting process would not be fair to smaller states and it would give bigger states and advantage over the smaller states just becasue they have a bigger population. I beleive that by keeping the electoral college it makes voting for the whole country and every state fair this also makes it so that the election process is more fair for everyone nationwide. I feel as though we should keep the electoral college still in voting because it makes election eqaul to the whole United States.

Skippy said...

The electoral college should be kept. "what system is more likely to produce a President possessing the qualities required of the person who holds that office. I may be blind, or deaf, but I have yet to encounter an opponent of the Electoral College who argues that a President elected directly by the people will be a better President" (words of Walter berns, page 123).The present system produces great presidents and prevents minorities that are highly concentrated in a region from having too much power. In all cases where the two polls showed opposite results there were no complaints as to whether the new President was qualified. Trite though it may be; if it isn't broken, don't fix it.

TC said...

I believe that the Electoral College should be preserved because it gives everyone a voice. The Electoral College uses majority vote in each state to choose electors to vote in the final presidential election. Each state has a representative count based on the size of their population with a minimum of three electors. By narrowing down the number of representatives, it gives the smaller states a larger voice while still maintaining a reasonable size ratio. The College also prevents tyrannical actions by keeping the larger states from overwhelming the smaller ones. Without the College, the large states could elect who they want to be president and enforce any law that they wish without the support of the other states. The Electoral College also forces the presidential candidates to pay attention to the smaller states in addition to the states they wish to swing. If the country “were to rely on popular vote… [the presidential candidate] would spend no time in” the small states and they would be overlooked (Durbin). This forces the hopefuls to become cultured and get to know the entire country. He must be “sensitive to balancing national and local interests” (Best). They must work to gain support all over the country instead of simply gaining half the country and ignoring the other half. The Electoral College gives a greater voice to the smaller states as well as leveling the playing field and forcing the presidential candidates to work harder to reach their goal.

Andrew Haubenstricker said...

In my opinion the electoral college should be eliminated. the electoral college was functioning properly in the 1800s but nowadays it is not working as it is intended to.The goal of having an election is to elect the president that wins the popular vote."The danger is said to consist in the possibility that a candidate might receive a majority of the electoral votes while receiving fewer popular votes than his or her opponent." (pg.122 ). In 2000 the president who won the popular vote was not elected and the president who won the electoral college took the presidency. The fact that one can win the popular vote but lose the election is a big fault in the electoral college system. the electoral college system discourages voters and gives to much power to the smaller states. A voter can be discouraged because in a strongly democratic state like California, a republican voter can feel that their vote is unimportant because of the electoral college system. The electoral college gives the smaller states a good amount of power even though they are considerably smaller in population compared to a Texas, California, or New York. I believe that America is capable of producing a more functional voting system. The electoral college system must be eliminated because of its obvious flaws.

Andrew Haubenstricker said...

In my opinion the electoral college should be eliminated. the electoral college was functioning properly in the 1800s but nowadays it is not working as it is intended to.The goal of having an election is to elect the president that wins the popular vote."The danger is said to consist in the possibility that a candidate might receive a majority of the electoral votes while receiving fewer popular votes than his or her opponent." (pg.122 ). In 2000 the president who won the popular vote was not elected and the president who won the electoral college took the presidency. The fact that one can win the popular vote but lose the election is a big fault in the electoral college system. the electoral college system discourages voters and gives to much power to the smaller states. A voter can be discouraged because in a strongly democratic state like California, a republican voter can feel that their vote is unimportant because of the electoral college system. The electoral college gives the smaller states a good amount of power even though they are considerably smaller in population compared to a Texas, California, or New York. I believe that America is capable of producing a more functional voting system. The electoral college system must be eliminated because of its obvious flaws.

Morgan.W said...

There are flaws in the Electoral system in both ways, but because we are a nation of democracy and a nation of states we should allow the states to vote. In best case instead of dumping the electoral system, we should try and improve it. “Electors, in general, are not bound to caste their vote in accordance with the popular vote.” (Pg.128) Perhaps we should consider requiring electors to vote in the way their state’s popular vote voted. “is we abandoned the Federal principle in presidential elections, we will be abandoning a national consensus-building device by allowing candidates to promise everything to the populous Eastern megalopolis, or to promise everything to white Christians, or to suburbanites…” (Pg. 131) despite the fact that there are flaws in the Electoral College, a better alternative with safe guards to protect the minorities has yet to be suggested.

Sadie R said...

The Electoral College system should be preserved. If the Electoral College system was abolished then there would be many cons with elections to come. In the Electoral College System it allows smaller states to have a say in the election.
In the United States, it is more populated on the West and the East coast, with the exceptions of Illinois and Texas, "If the selection of the president was based on popular vote, the largest states (the states with the most voters) would elect their favorite son every time" (Pg. 122). The larger populated states that lean in one direction completely over power large portions of the country. Most people live on the East and West coast, so if they ignore the central part of the country, more than half the country would not have a say in the election at all "Another unfortunate byproduct of the unit rule is that voters in solid states feel as if their votes and efforts are irrelevant" (Pg 125). But because of the Electoral College System, it gives every state a say in the election. It also avoids the election of having to not have a recount on the votes. But with out the Electoral College System, it would be based off of popular vote, then the candidates would go to where the largest population is, to try and win over their votes. The Electoral College System should be preserved, because with out it elections would became all about population and the popular vote, but with this system, it gives every state a say with it being fair.

Sarah V. said...

I think that the Electoral College should be removed. It has worked well in the past years but it is time do move on to a new system. According to Richard Durbin, one major flaw in the Electoral College is “…the electors, in general are not bound to cast their vote in accordance with the popular vote results from their state.” I agree with this statement, if the citizens feel that their vote will not affect the election due to the popular vote results from their state, they often do not vote. I do not think that the states should be shown as only democratic or republican; I think that it should be about each individual vote throughout all of the states. The United States needs to get rid of the Electoral College and create a system that would portray each individual’s vote.

Maria I. said...

I believe that the Electoral College System should be preserved. In America voting is the main theme of democracy. What happens if a person just goes out to vote without actually knowing what the candidates believe in? This is the issue with deciding who our president will be by popular votes. Some people are not well educated on the beliefs that the candidates have and yet they still go out and vote. What happens if that one person who knows nothing about the candidates turns out to be the deciding vote on who becomes president? According to Walter Berns, we would have a “system that pays no attention whatever to the qualifications of officeholders” (pg.123). The Electoral College system makes sure that every vote that goes toward each candidate is actually a vote that has meaning. By this I mean every vote was thought out. This helps America with choosing the right president that would best benefit us.

Anonymous said...

Eric Hernandez

I believe that the Electoral College should not be preserved. The Electoral College worked well back then when it was first used but many things have changed since then. Back then there were different priorities and problems compared to twenty-first century ”the Electoral College a brilliant eighteenth century device that cleverly solved a cluster of eighteenth century problems. But as we approach the twenty-first century, we confront a different cluster of problems….” (pg. 135). The Electoral College lessens the importance of the people’s votes. Since the United States is a democracy the people’s opinion should count, but due to the Electoral College the popular vote by the people is not the deciding factor in the elections. The peoples vote should be the deciding factor on how the president gets elected. I believe that the Electoral College should be removed because it is making the United States a less democratic society because the Electoral College lessens the importance of the people’s votes and doesn’t give the people a say in the government.

Anonymous said...

Brent Friedman

I believe the electoral college system should not be preserved. In the electoral college system it is not the most popular president who wins the election, but the candidate who receives the most electoral votes. There have been many cases over the past few centuries where the candidate receiving the most overall votes lost the election, and that completely unjust. Many argue that the electoral college system was put in place by our founders, therefore, it should stay that way, but the founding fathers really founded the United States based on popular majority, "The men who founded this country surely recognized the entitlements of a popular majority...."(123). In the electoral college system, only voters in swing states(10-15) have any affect on the election because a majority of the states a pre-decided before campaigning begins. The electoral college system needs to be abolished as soon as possible.

Travis S said...

"Public opinion is everything. With it, nothing can fail. Without it, nothing can succeed." (129). The electoral college system is absurd and unfair to all voting Americans. It says the electoral college system gives the smaller states a chance to show what they support. What is the point in voting if you're individual vote doesn't really even count? It is a rhetorical question. It means absolutely nothing. Americans do not vote just because of it. I personally talked to a group of voters that stated why they stopped voting because of it. The president that is supported by most of america, is the president that deserves toehold that position. Electoral college system should not be preserved any longer, so America can have a fair voting system.

Ford N said...

America, as a nation, has thrived due to the fact that everyone has a say. It is a democratic nation. All of us, the citizens, maintain our natural rights and we have the ability to speak our voice, assemble, and express our opinions in order to further our nation. The electoral college hinders these rights. The means by which it does this are not blatant and directly stated, but as the college itself unfolds, it reveals its undemocratic qualities. First of all, the electoral college "impacts the way campaigns are conducted" (124). The candidates focus themselves on swing states, "states where the outcome of the election is uncertain" (124-125). Throughout the history of the USA, about 35 to 40 states have been quite obviously leaning either democratic or republican. So, the whole election boils down to the say of 10 to 15 states, which usually are rather small. Now to backtrack. America supposedly thrives off of their democratic policies in which everyone has a say. 10 to 15 states is not everyone. The fact that a small percentage of the nation theoretically decides who the leader of our nation is going to be completely hinders the right of Americans to "have a say". Moreover, the states that are predominately republican or democratic do not allow those who oppose the states views to have any say. There votes are basically worthless when it comes to those solid states. A system in which the total popular vote is taken and whoever is liked more 1, makes more sense, 2 is the system in which America needs in order to insure democracy. The Electoral College is way too focused on swing states, hinders the ability of the "underdogs" to voice their opinion, and obstructs democracy in the United States.

Danielle said...

I believe the Electoral college system should be abolished. I do not think it is fair for the country as a whole. First, it violates the Federal principle. "The proposals to abolish the Electoral College are proposals to abolish the Federal principle in presidential elections. (130). Also, according to the text, "To create a critical mass necessary for a President to govern, his votes must be properly distributed (130). I believe that this is not true with the Electoral College System. Individuals should each have their own say in who they think who will be the most appropriate leader for the United States of America.

Anonymous said...

In my opinion I think that the Electoral College System should not be preserved because it is an indirect method of electing the President by a simple majority electoral votes elected by the House of Representatives and greatest number of voters. It is said in the electoral college that the system gives the slight advantage to the smaller states, however, the winner-takes-all method leads the candidates more towards the bigger states. Since many of the candidates only go to the larger and swing States they influence the number of contested States. Some states are just “safe states” and do not receive much attention. Another problem with the electoral college is that it is not a direct popular vote. It is just the popular vote in the State. “In effect, millions of voters are disenfranchised if they happen to vote for the losing candidate in their State.” (Durbin 127). Five candidates have lost the popular vote by .3 percent. Not only is it unfair is the candidates but also to the many thousands of voters are having a “disproportional impact on the national election (Durbin 128). Many say that the electoral college should be preserved, however, the “...that the so-called Electoral College system has never functioned as contemplated by the Framers of the Constitution.” (129). The Electoral College system worked well for what the Framers had in mind, but they never imagined the future of politics.
- Abby J.

AlienorR said...

I believe the Electoral College system should be abolished. I came into this assignment knowing little to nothing about this system, but after reading what Honorable Richard J. Durbin had to say about the electoral college, I was persuaded to join the con side. He made very good arguments, pointing out three major flaws he sees within the system. First, he points out that the system is "inherently unfair" (126) because it can lead to Presidents who had received less popular votes than his opponent. Durbin backed up this information with the fact that this very situation has happened three times out of the 42 presidential elections since 1824. Another flaw he pointed out about the system is that it "produces artificial distortion in the political process (128). All of these flaws he has pointed out about the system has made me develop a negative outlook on the Electoral College system.

Anonymous said...

I believe that the Electoral College system should be abolished. "The first problem with the Electoral College system is that it is inherently unfair and may disenfranchise voters."(126) As a democracy, we should be a country by the people. Not only is it taking away power from the people as a whole, but it violates the Federal principle. According to the textbook, "the proposals to abolish the Electoral College are proposals to abolish the Federal principle in presidential elections" (130). The system is completely out of date and is an obstruction of the democracy that we call ourselves as a country.

katy w

GriffinL said...

I think we should change the methods of electing a president and not have the electoral college. Richard Durbin talks about how even though the president will win the majority vote, he may not win the electoral vote. He talked about how the "less populous states are largely ignored (126)." He also proposes that the system is "unfair and may disfranchise voters" (126). He emphasizes that the electoral college will often lead to wide disparities between electoral and popular vote. The electoral system can overturn the popular vote of the people, almost making it seem like the peoples voice can be overturned by the officials appointed by the state. All the problems with the electoral system makes me feel like it is a method of the people not getting a full voice in the election.

DavisD said...

If you ask me, the Electoral College System was great.... for the eighteenth century. It helped solve many problems back then. But that was back then, and this is now. It has even been argued that the System is "a "constitutional accident waiting to happen" (135). I believe that there are two main points that prove that Electoral College System should be abolished. The two are federalism and inertia. Federalism can explain why the Electoral College is used to pick presidents but not governors. "It is hard to see what the federalism argument is today" (137). The inertia argument can be broken into two parts. "A change in presidential selection rules would radically change the the game in ways hard to foresee" (137). Second, the specter of a popular loser becomes the Electoral College winner hasn't necessarily happened anytime in this century. I also believe that with it, there is no way we can become a true democracy by it not representing each of our votes. And in order to, we must follow a direct popular vote or else its worth nothing. These are some reasons why I believe the Electoral College system should be abolished.

Katie Rostamo said...

I believe that the Electoral College System should not be preserved. One reason it should be abolished is because it does not support the democracy we strive for. By only letting electoral votes count, there is the chance that the man the majority of citizens vote for will not become president. According to Senator Thomas J. Dodd, "there is something wrong with an election system which hinges, not on the vote of 70 million, but on the vote of several thousand in a few key states" (128). The fact that only a handful of large states get to run the election, over the millions of citizens in every state is unfair and undemocratic. This system also makes for a divide among the country. All of the attention and time goes into the larger states, leaving the small states to feel ignored and uncared for. The votes from one state should not be worth more to a presidential candidate than the votes in another. Another reason why the system should be abolished is because electors have the power to go against the popular vote in their state, even though they were elected with the trust that they would represent the popular vote in their state. Whether this system remains should also be decided by popular vote and "every public opinion poll indicated that an overwhelming majority of Americans want to elect their president directly with popular vote" (129).

Laura Scully said...

I do not think that the electoral college should be preserved. The electoral college was much more beneficial back in the day rather than the present. "The first problem with the Electoral College system is that it is inherently unfair and may disenfranchise voters."(126) The people are what make the country a democracy. The electoral college does not benefit the present day as it did in the eighteenth century.

SarahRostamo said...

While I understand the reasons for the creation of the electoral college and the potential problems that could come from its absence, I feel it is no longer needed. As Richard J. Durbin Says, it is "an antiquated institution that has outlived its purpose." It is an undemocratic institution that diminishes the weight and importance of some citizens votes and leads to the problem of a non-majority president. In Texas, for example, the electoral votes will go to Romney. So a vote for Obama would not really matter considering that it will have no impact on the electoral votes. But the votes of members of small states can have a "disproportional impact on a national election." As happened in 2010, it is also possible for a candidate who received the majority of votes from the citizens to not win the presidency. America cannot be a democracy until its citizens can elect their president directly by popular vote.

Kenzie B said...

I do not think the Electoral College should be preserved. Although the Electoral College worked back when it was first created, it does not work well today. One of the biggest issues, I believe that the electoral college has today, is that not all states get the same amount of attention. Richard J. Durbin says, "The winner-take-all asopect in each State motivates presidential candidates to focus on states with a moderate or large number of electoral votes, assuming the candidates believe they have a chance to win the popular vote there." (126) This proves that not all states get the right amount of attention from the candidates especially the smaller states that have a small number of electoral votes. Another flaw I see in the system is that in a lot of states electors have little to no penalty if they don't vote with the popular vote of that state. This means that the popular vote in a state could be republican, but the electors could vote democrat and have little to no punishment. Like Durbin says, " this leads to the disturbing possibility that a President, in an election with a close electoral vote, could win through subterfuge." (128) This is why I believe the electoral system is undemocratic and should not be preserved.

Nic said...

In the 2000 election, Bush did not win the popular vote however, he won the vote in the all-or-none Electoral College. The college should be preserved due to its knowledge on the candidates and its majority vote. The fact that the college has a more in depth knowledge contributes to the election of the one better fit for presidency. The Electoral College helps preserve federalism in the states. (Us Gov Info)It also helps the state get a say on who they wish to become president. Furthermore, to those who wish to abolish the Electoral College would cause chaos and tremendous rebellion, which the College can help solve in the process of election. So the College trumps that of the people. The College helps in the election of the best fit for presidency.

Chase Correll said...

I believe that the Electoral College should be dissolved for many reasons. Richard J. Durbin points out that the system is "inherently unfair" (p.126) because a president can win the election even if he has received less popular vote than the other candidate. Durbin also points out that since 1824, three presidents have lost the popular vote, but has won the election. Thus stirring up controversy among voters and conspiracists. Also, the textbook states that "the proposals to abolish the Electoral College are proposals to abolish the Federal principle in presidential elections" (p.130). I agree with this statement because I believe that the Electoral College is the government's way to have some kind of control of the election. Overall, I believe that the system needs to be altered to have a more outright, and fair election winner.

Caitlyn Shannon said...

I believe that the Electoral College is still beneficial to our voting system today because it equalizes the playing field. The fact is that the smaller states, such as Rhode Island, are at a disadvantage compared to larger states like Texas. With the Electoral vote, however, it gives each state an equal say in the election.

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