Independent Study Paper Electoral College

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Bailey Petruska

Mr.Hupton

English 10 P3

11 February 2013

The Electoral College Should Go Back To College

In the 2000 Bush V. Gore presidential election, who did you want to win? Perhaps it was the democratic candidate Al Gore, who, according to Kevin Bosner in his article of “How the Electoral College Works” received a nationwide 50,992,335 votes. Bosner later states in his article that, “Gore secured the popular vote, but Bush won by securing the majority of votes in the electoral college” (Bosner). This is an example of how poorly the electoral college does its job at reflecting the national popular will. The electoral college system of electing a president and vice-president needs to be replaced with a method that better represents the will of the American people. Many things are wrong with the current system of election. And it needs to be replaced because it is a failure to accurately reflect the national popular will, it distorts the presidential campaign by causing candidates to visit and focus more on the states with larger populations, and it has proven in the past, that there is a possibility for a tied number of votes.

To begin with, the electoral college system of voting is our nations current way of electing the president and vice president. It was created by framers of the US constitution to provide a method of election that is desirable, feasible, and consistent with a republican form of government (Wayne). This system allowed voters to vote for electors who would cast their vote for the candidate they pledged to vote for. This is described in article II, section 1 of the constitution (Bosner). When first created, the electoral college had some flaws. And in 1804 it was amended by the 12th amendment. The 12th amendment states that, “The person having the greatest number of votes for president, shall be the president.... And if no person have such majority, then from the persons having the highest number not exceeding three on the list of those voted for as president, the house of representatives shall choose immediately, by ballot, the president” (Constitution). It is basically saying that if no candidate obtains majority of electoral votes, then the election is passed on the house of representatives, where they cast a ballot, and vote for president and vice president.

Today, the electoral college has 538 electors. A number equal to the US senators plus the US representatives for each state. This is different for all states depending on the population of the state. A candidate must secure majority, which is 270, of the electoral college votes to win presidency. Citizens vote for who they want elected on the Tuesday after the first Monday in November. And by the end of the night there is a pretty good idea of who will be the next president and vice president. However, it isn’t until the first Monday after the second Wednesday in December, that the electors meet in their state capital to cast their vote for president and vice president (Longly). In a recent incident, the 2000 Bush V. Gore election, Gore took the win for popular vote, but Bush won presidency with electoral votes. And as early as 1824, Adams and Jackson had split the electoral votes equally. So that election was passed to the house of representatives. Also, in the most recent election, Obama V. Romney, they both visited three states quite more than others. According to Devin Dwyer in his article “Election 2012: The Campaign by the Numbers”, Both Obama and Romney visited Ohio, Florida, and Virginia more than the rest of the states by far (Dwyer). These are all perfect examples that there is clearly something wrong with our current system of election.

In spite of the many faults with the electoral college, there are many splendid things about it as well. For example, it maintains a federal system of government and representation, contributes to the political stability of the nation by encouraging a...
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