Alexander Hamilton once said of the Electoral College, that, “The mode of appointment of the Chief Magistrate of the United States is almost the only part of the system, of any consequence, which has escaped without severe censure. . . . I venture somewhat further, and hesitate not to affirm that if the manner of it be not perfect, it is at least excellent” (Schumaker 13). These words that were spoken more than 200 years ago still ring true today; the system we use to decide our chief of state may at times seem to have its apparent faults, but overall it is an excellent and fair way to see that the most popular candidate be elected. Although in recent years a debate has arisen over whether or not the Electoral College accurately portrays the views of the American people, or if the so-called “convoluted” system is even necessary. Critics of the Electoral College believe we should simply abolish it and move on to a direct popular vote system, but what many of these critics do not realize is that the Electoral College is a facet to the framework of the American government. It was written into the U.S. Constitution due to concerns about a nationwide election becoming a maelstrom of confusion, and fears about the politically unstable environment of the time; furthermore, it was established to balance the state's and people's interests. America’s electoral process should not be abolished, because it maintains the federal system of government and representation and contributes to the political stability of the nation by encouraging a two-party system.
The Electoral College was first conceived in 1787, at the Constitutional Convention. The delegates at the convention had just finished the "Great Compromise," which “determined that membership in the House would be based on population and that in the Senate by an equal number of seats per state” (McCollester 183), and they did not want a repeat of the same debate over how to elect the president. At the time there was a...
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