Electoral College

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Persuasive Speech

(Monroe’s Motivational Sequence)

Reforming the Electoral College

Specific Purpose: To persuade my audience that the Electoral College is outdated and needs to be reformed.

Central Idea: I will discuss the most important reasons that the Electoral College needs to be reformed, the promising ways to reform it, and the benefits of reformation.

Introduction

I. Imagine that you have been shot and the bullet was wedged against your spinal cord. The doctors have told you that it is too risky to remove it, but if left untouched or unnoticed it could paralyze you. The Electoral College is defined as the dangerous “bullet” wedged against the spinal cord of Americans today. Michael Waldman, executive director of the Brennan Center for Justice at New York University School of Law, stated in the April 2008 issue of Washington Monthly that “politics advances just like medicine and there are new procedures to remove the Electoral College ‘bullet’ without changing the US Constitution.” While some politicians may disagree and argue that the Electoral College is a key factor of the political system, it is actually a restriction on the way Americans vote. Exactly like the bullet that has to be removed from your spinal cord, the Electoral College must be removed before our nation becomes forever injured. II. Today, I am going to discuss the necessary need for Electoral College reform. With the research I have done, I know what a trouble the Electoral College is to our nation. A. As college students, we may be new to the process of voting; some of us may have not had the opportunity to have our first vote, but I bet that you want your vote to count when the next election is here. III. I believe it is vital to understand the history of the Electoral College and how our country has altered since its foundation.

IV. I will explain why reform of the Electoral College is needed, some of the achievable methods of reform, and the benefits of the reformation.

(Transition: First lets discuss why there is a need for reforming the Electoral College.)

Body

I. The Electoral College must be reformed.
A. The first reason it must be reformed is because, there is a chance of electing a president that does not receive the most votes. 1. A 2007 article in the International Social Science Review reports that each state is given electoral votes equal to the number of senators--each state has two--and the number of representatives. The number of representatives is determined by the population of the state. The minimum number of Electoral votes is three. The total possible electoral votes are 538 with 270 needed to win. 2. Robert Longley, a University of Texas political analyst, wrote in the November 2001 US Government Newsletter that a candidate could win an election without receiving one vote from 39 states or the District of Columbia. The presidential election can be won by receiving Electoral votes from as few as eleven states. 3. Now does this sound like it could never happen? I thought so too until I found in my research that this has already happened three times. B. The second reason the Electoral College must be changed is the danger of untrustworthy electors. 1. In December 2000, William G. Ross of the Cumberland School of Law at Samford University, wrote in The Jurist, that “faithless electors provide an element of surprise in an otherwise routine Electoral College ritual. The electoral vote is a formality for electors to vote for the presidential candidate chosen by their states.” 2. In a March 2007 USA Today article, Dennis Cauchon reported that twenty-four states have laws requiring electors to vote for the candidate elected by popular vote in their states’ elections. All electors are free, however, to vote as they choose. Only four states penalize the electors, with the harshest being a $1,000 fine. 3. Although you may think just a couple of unfaithful votes...
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