How would you react if you learned that the Presidential candidate you had cast your vote for, had actually received more of the popular vote than his competition, but was not elected the next President of the United States? Every four years in November over 90 million Americans vote for the presidential candidates, then in the middle of December the president and vice president of the United States are actually elected by the votes of only 538 citizens. Wouldn't you think there was an obvious flaw in the system? I would be willing to bet that the majority of you would, but in the case of the Electoral College apparently the majority doesn't count.
The Electoral College was established in Article II of the Constitution and amended by the 12th Amendment in 1804. Each state gets a number of electors equal to its number of members in the U.S. House of Representatives plus one for each of its two U.S. Senators creating a total of 538 electoral votes. A majority winner must receive 270 votes to be elected. With a few minor exceptions, the Electoral College gives all of the electoral votes for each state to the plurality winner in that state, regardless of the margin of victory. This "winner takes all" arrangement at the state level can elect a President who loses the popular vote, as was the case in 1824, 1876, 1888, and 2000.(Kimberling) In the 2000 elections Gore received approximately 500,000 more of the popular vote than Bush winning in most major cities and urban counties. However, Bush received more votes throughout the rest of the nation winning more than three times the amount of counties than Gore. (Gregg)
I believe there are more reasons to abolish or update the Electoral College than to continue with our current system. First, it discourages candidates from focusing on those states with fewer electoral votes therefore encouraging the candidates to only focus on approximately one third of the country. How can a system work for the country...
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