Time for reform? considering the failures of the electoral college in the US

Essay by Anonymous UserUniversity, Bachelor'sA+, December 1993

download word file, 7 pages 1.6


Description: This paper discusses the many shortcomings of the Electoral

College, and posits possible alternative electoral processes which likely be

more democratic.

Time for Reform?

Considering the failures of the Electoral College

A common misconception among American is that when they vote they elect the President. The truth is not

nearly this simple. What in fact happens when a person votes is that there vote goes for an Elector. This

Elector (who is selected by the respective state in which a vote is cast) casts ballots for two individuals, the

President and the Vice-President. Each state has the same number of electors as there are Senate and House

of Representative members for that State. When the voting has stopped the candidate who receives the

majority of the Electoral votes for a state receives all the electoral votes for that state.

All the votes are

transmitted to Washington, D.C. for tallying, and the candidate with the majority of the electoral votes wins

the presidency. If no candidate receives a majority of the vote, the responsibility of selecting the next

President falls upon the House of Representatives. This elaborate system of Presidential selection is thought

by many to be an 18th century anachronism (Hoxie p. 717), what it is in fact is the product of a 200 year old

debate over who should select the President and why.

In 1787, the Framers in their infinite wisdom, saw the need to respect the principles of both Federalists and

States Righters (republicans) (Hoxie p. 717). Summarily a compromise was struck between those who felt

Congress should select the President and those who felt the states should have a say. In 1788 the Electoral

College was indoctrinated and placed into operation. The College was...