The Electoral College: Good or Bad?
The United States Electoral College is the group that is responsible for electing the President and the Vice President every four years. Contrary to popular belief, the United States is not a “true” democracy in the rawest sense of the word in part because of our electoral college.
The mechanics of the United States Electoral College is fairly simple. Each state is assigned a certain number of electors. The number is derived from the total number of each state’s U.S. Senators plus the number of its members in the U.S. House of Representatives. Each of these electors meets in their respective state capitals and cast their vote for the offices of President and Vice President. These electors are supposed to represent the popular vote that took place the month before. These votes are tallied and a winner is declared.
While the process seems simple, there are major flaws in the United States Electoral College. The first major flaw is the fact that there is no federal or constitutional law against an elector casting their vote for someone other than the winner of the popular vote in their state. There are a few states that have laws concerning this, but most of the time there is little penalty for someone who doesn’t vote the way that they are told by the majority of voters. In fact, a number of states impose nothing more than a monetary fine. Voters who vote for someone other than pledged, known as “faithless electors”, have not actually changed the outcome of any U.S. presidential election so far. However, the possibility remains that they have the potential to do so. A wide-open loophole such as this should not exist in our election system.
Even disregarding the loophole of faithless electors, the U.S. Electoral College system has failed the United States a number of times, most recently in the 2000 election. In the presidential elections in 1876, 1888, and 2000, the Electoral College elected...