Analyze Criticism of the “Electoral College” System and the Alleged Advantages and Disadvantages of Various Reform Proposals.

Topics: United States Senate, United States, President of the United States Pages: 3 (694 words) Published: October 25, 2009
Every four years, the Electoral College enjoys a fleeting moment of fame. But the impact of the college on presidential elections is far greater and more controversial than its brief life indicates.


Each state has a number of electors equal to the number of its U.S. senators (2 in each state) plus the number of its U.S. representatives, which varies according to the state's population. Currently, the Electoral College includes 538 electors, 535 for the total number of congressional members, and three who represent Washington, D.C., as allowed by the 23rd Amendment. On the Monday following the second Wednesday in December, the electors of each state meet in their respective state capitals to officially cast their votes for president and vice president. These votes are then sealed and sent to the president of the Senate, who on Jan. 6 opens and reads the votes in the presence of both houses of Congress. The winner is sworn into office at noon Jan. 20. Most of the time, electors cast their votes for the candidate who has received the most votes in that particular state. However, there have been times when electors have voted contrary to the people's decision, which is entirely legal.



Opponents of the college call it undemocratic. They say it functions in contradiction to the one-person, one vote principle and that the president should be elected by the direct popular vote of the people. They point out that the distribution of electoral votes in each state is determined by the number of members it has in the House of Representatives plus the number of members of the Senate, which is always two. Each state, therefore. has at least three votes, even though on a straight population basis, some states might be entitled to only one or...
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