The Electoral College Essay Research Paper Parenthetical — страница 2

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considering what exactly could have and should have been done in regards as to how to elect the country’s most powerful leader. In the end, it was decided that the Electoral College was a way to closely represent the nation’s feelings about an election while at the same time, ensuring the choice made would be in the country’s best interest. Though this system was decided upon and thought to be the best, it was soon revealed that it had some flaws that needed attention afforded them. It was found that in theory, a candidate could win the popular vote yet lose the electoral vote and hence, lose the election. Though this instance is rare, it has happened twice in the Electoral College’s 213-year history. To have such a thing happen once should have provoked enough public

outrage to ensure the system’s downfall, but this did not happen. Instead, the problem went unaddressed until over 100 years later when it finally happened a second time. How is this possible one might ask? If candidate A win 10 states with a combined total of 20 million votes, but candidate B wins 9 states with a combined 30 million votes. Even though candidate B might be largely ahead in the popular vote, he might be close to or losing to candidate A in the electoral vote. Another problem that was found in this system is that the electors, being those who actually have one of the currently 538 votes for president are not obligated to vote as they are told by anything (Toner 12). It is perfectly legal. This flaw is perhaps the scariest of all because it involves the most

corruptible and inconstant part of the system, people. By choosing others to vote as the people wish them to, a risk is taken that one or more might just vote anyway they darn well please in order to advance their own personal agendas or for any number of other reasons. As stated by Judis, “…the electoral college increasingly distorts the electoral process itself by encouraging candidates to focus on certain states to the exclusion of others, deluging them and their ‘swing voters’ with advertising. Some small states worry that if the Electoral College were eliminated they would be neglected by presidential candidates, but most of the swing states tend to be large ones rather than small ones (which are not worth the trouble)”(Judis 10). Yet again, the paranoid notion

that small states might lose the voice currently possessed restrains the overall ability of the country to adapt its election system with the 21st century. Even with all of these problems, no changes have been made. Why? Its not like there haven’t ever been any efforts to change. For example, in 1969, an effort to abolish the Electoral College was sent to the House and passed overwhelmingly. This effort also had the support of the president, but was filibustered immensely and killed with a 52-48 vote in the senate. (Cohen) The two-thirds majority wasn’t reached and the issue was left to sit until 1997 when a man by the name of LaHood managed to get a hearing for the proposed elimination of the Electoral College in the House Judiciary Constitution Subcommittee. The panel’s

chairman, Charles J. Canady, said, “There are indeed potential problems with the current manner in which we elect our president…(and the public) would not understand the election of a president who had not received the most votes in the election”(Cohen). However, once it was determined the current system was supposedly doing a good job, no further action was taken. Should America ever do away with the Electoral College, who would benefit and who wouldn’t? In other words, would the ends justify the means? Areas where population is higher would still receive the most political attention and those places more sparsely populated would still be brushed aside. “It is true that the strategy and tactics employed to win the White House would become more complicated, and that the

law of unintended consequences might rule. Under a popular-vote scheme, there are almost as many possibilities for gaining a majority, as there are media markets in the country. The rewards of winning decisively in states that are part of a candidate’s home base also raise a worry: Sympathetic local polls might be tempted to try to tip the scales. “Vote fraud would be at a premium,” said former Republican National Committee Chairman Haley Barbour. “You get into a state that you are going to carry by a large margin, there’s not much incentive to run up the score today. Ninety percent turnout in some precincts matters a lot more if it’s a straight popular vote.” “It would be a free-for-all,” said Jeffrey Bell, a Republican presidential campaign strategist who is a