Why the Electoral College Is Good
Why the Electoral College Is Good
“The ignorance of one voter in a democracy impairs the security of all.” John F. Kennedy. Former President Kennedy expresses how imperative it is that every person has a say in the government. Contention 1: Proper representation is lost.
When there is an election, the Electoral College does not give an accurate representation of the people because they vote for representatives, who in reality cast their votes. Not only that, but a candidate can win an election with just 270 electoral votes. South Sea Republic Organization in 2008 explains:
“The Electoral College is an indirect voting mechanism. US citizens vote for representatives who then cast ballots for the US President. The electors do not have to cast their ballots as per the popular will in that state; they can defy the voters if necessary. This was done to protect against tyranny or a noble trying to usurp the democratic system. The convention however is that the electors vote in a block as per the citizen voters’ wishes.” CNN explains:
In our current system, the president is elected by the Electoral College and not directly by the people. The number of electoral votes each state receives depends on its population and representatives are chosen to vote on behalf of the people in the state. To win, a candidate has to win 270 electoral votes, which is a majority. If neither candidate gets that, Congress determines who wins. A few times, the American people’s choice for president hasn’t actually been elected or represented. The new system would also nationalize the presidential campaign. Contention 2: States are being excluded.
Right now, candidates spend most of their time campaigning in battleground states. They do not try to win over voters in small states, such as Ohio and New Hampshire. Oxford University in October of 2011 furthers:
By itself, California now has fifty-four electoral votes, making it more valuable to a candidate than sixteen smaller states with three votes each. … Campaigns should allocate a disproportionate amount of their resources to large states because the pivotal voter in a large state has more power to swing the campaign than a similar voter in a small state. According to Northeastern Political Science Association in 2002: “In terms of state advantages and disadvantages under the contemporary electoral college, it was found that the electoral college in the 1990s contains partially countervailing biases which result in a net advantage to large states as much as 2.663 to one, and a net disadvantage to states with from 3 to 21 electoral votes.”
This evidence shows the public that when one person lives in a more populated state, their vote counts more than 2.5 times more than one in a less populated one. This is not fair for the people in the smaller state because they still have as much equal rights than the people who live in larger states. On top of that, the less populated states have a larger disadvantage because the larger states grow at higher rates than others. This reduces the votes that smaller states have. If bigger states like Texas and California gain more people, then the people in smaller states get less representation. Thus, larger states have more power. Contention 3: Electoral College lowers voter turnout:
The University of Georgia in 2011 shows that “Making a statement on the overall effect of the Electoral College system voter turnout is difficult…Nevertheless, we can make comparisons between the model’s predicted turnout under actual resource allocation and predicted turnout if resources were allocated equally across states. …If the number of visits …observed across all states in 2004 were allocated so that each state had an equal number of visits and equal media saturation, the average predicted state turnout is .618, an average increase of 3.1% in voter turnout. ” In some states, the electoral college system boosts turnout. Competitive states (particularly battleground, but also some leaning states) receive a great deal more campaign activity, as do states with more Electoral College votes, which translates into higher turnout. However, this boost in a few states leaves smaller and less competitive states—the bulk of states in number—with lower turnout.
University/College: University of Arkansas System
Type of paper: Thesis/Dissertation Chapter
Date: 21 September 2016
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