Should the Electoral College vote take precedence over popular vote? Essay
Should the Electoral College vote take precedence over popular vote?
Since the controversial 2000 votes that saw George Bush being elected to presidency with majority of electoral collage votes, locking out Al Gore who had majority of votes nationwide, there have been demands for a change in the way presidents are elected. People and particularly democrats have been demanding for a change with some believing that the 2000 elections had been “stolen” despite the facts pointing to the constitution as the basis of his victory.
Because the Electoral collage is formed by representatives elected from all states, it can be entrusted with the responsibility of choosing the top leaders because it ensures a balance in votes between states. It can take preference over popular vote because at times there may be unfair advantages to candidates from states with high populations getting majority of votes but with majority of supporters from their state there by bringing out unfair representation. (Snead, 2009)
Because of the influence that the politician are likely to have on the people during campaigns, people who are not independent at the same time uneducated may end up being confused and vote for the wrong person because of the promises given to them some of which may be false. Therefore if they are left to make a direct decision they may end up making a wrong choice as compared to an electoral collage where those who have won from different states meet and do the choosing which is considered safer because of the risk of voting out of ignorance is greatly eliminated.
(Doherty, 2007) Electoral collage was charged with the responsibility of electing the president/chief executive and the vice president but its representation reflected the votes of citizens in all states in a rational way. Article two, section one of the U. S constitution was the basis of the Electoral Collage. Representatives in the collage come together after a 4 years period to elect the vice president and the president of the state.
Because of the controversies that have come up over the period of two hundred years in which it has been put in practice, there have been critics who have been vocal about changing the system but there have been perhaps less vocal individuals who have successfully managed to defend the system through their powerful arguments. (Festa, 2001) Arguments against the electoral collage. Those who are opposed to the electoral collage way of choosing the vice president and the president base their arguments on four major issues.
The first is the probability of choosing a president considered to be a minor (a president with lesser votes) (Hoffman, 1996), second is the risk from “faithless” Electors, the third is the likely hood of the collage suppressing the voter turn out and finally the probability of the collage lacking proper and equal representation from all states. According to Wagner, (2006) faithless Elector occurs when one promises to vote for the party candidate but at the end he/she votes for a different candidate from a different party. This can be avoided through elimination of individual electors and instead use a pure mathematical procedure.
In the issue of electoral collage depressing voter turn-out, it is argued that the collage may discourage voters from voting in some states leaving few citizens to decide the electoral vote for the entire state. Although the argument may have some weight in it, it can not count because elections can’t be carried out in a vacuum: voters have to vote. Arguments for electoral collage. Through the electoral collage, interests of the rural minority and smaller states’ can also be put into consideration just like those from urban and heavily inhabited areas.
The collage ensures that the individual who has attracted appeal from majority of the states wins the presidential elections. When there is a close contest between candidates, the process of recount can easily be carried out where by only votes originating from a large state are recounted instead of the entire votes. The collage is also a sign of “federalism”. Because of the electoral collage, multiple political parties have been gotten rid of giving way to a two part political system. The victory gotten in the Electoral collage is considered to be legitimate and conclusive because even a small difference in margin counts a lot.
In cases where there have been irregularities in votes of a given state, it doesn’t favor the opponent as it only affects the votes of that particular state. (Doherty, 2007) Looking back at the history of America, the system has largely contributed to the smooth running of elections in which they ensure that the president selected is accepted by the majority of citizen at the same time efficient. Although irregularities occurred during the earlier years, they have not been evident in the recent past. The system has proved to be accurate in representing citizens from both rural and urban areas equally and therefore can be trusted.
Although popular vote can be more representative of the population, there is risk of individuals who are uneducated and those who discriminate against candidates based on issues such as race voting for a wrong person. Works Cited: Doherty, Brendan J. “Elections: The Politics of the Permanent Campaign Presidential Travel and the Electoral College, 1977-2004. ” Presidential Studies Quarterly 37. 4 (2007): 749+. Questia. Web. 31 May 2010. Festa, Matthew J. “The Origins and Constitutionality of State Unit Voting in the Electoral College. ” Vanderbilt Law Review 54. 5 (2001): 2099+.
Questia. Web. 31 May 2010. Hoffman, Matthew M. “The Illegitimate President: Minority Vote Dilution and the Electoral College. ” Yale Law Journal 105. 4 (1996): 935-1021. Questia. Web. 31 May 2010. Snead, O. Carter. “Public Bioethics and the Bush Presidency. ” Harvard Journal of Law & Public Policy 32. 3 (2009): 867+. Questia. Web. 31 May 2010. Wagner, David S. “The Forgotten Avenue of Reform: the Role of States in Electoral College Reform and the Use of Ballot Initiatives to Effect That Change. ” The Review of Litigation 25. 3 (2006): 575+. Questia. Web. 31 May 2010.