Argue for or Against the Electoral College sample essay
The 2000 United States (U. S. ) presidential election concluded with Vice President Al Gore winning half a million more popular votes than George W. Bush (50,992,335 to 50,455,156) yet losing the White House in the Electoral College by only five votes (271 to 266). It once again raised questions about the validity of the Electoral College as the same scenario has occurred in the 1824, 1876, and 1888 presidential elections. This essay will discuss two problems of the Electoral College: the failure to accurately reflect national popular vote will and the problem of state bias.
I argue that the U. S. should abolish the Electoral College and implementthe direct popular election of the president. The Electoral College fails to accurately reflect national popular vote will as it is possible to elect a minority president. As mentioned above, this “incident” has happened four times in history. The Electoral College is fundamentally unfair to voters where voting rights are grounded in the one person, one vote principle. By giving a chance for the Electoral College to elect a minority president, it shows that the Electoral College ignores the people’s choice.
The Electoral College also faces the problem of state bias which favors the votes of some citizens over that of others. Firstly, it gives undue weight to the votes of citizens in the smaller states. As the constitution assigns a number of electors equal to the whole number of senators and representatives, each state will at least have three electors, including the smaller states. This system gives “bonus votes” to the smaller states since the three electors they have are more than what they deserve on the basis of their population share. Therefore, this bias gives added power to citizens of small states.
For example, in the 2000 election, California cast one electoral vote for every 203,071 voters while Wyoming cast one electoral vote for every 71,242. Al Gore lost because his votes were not dispersed across the states in a such manner as to prevail in the Electoral College. The race was lost in the smaller states where Bush successfully won eleven out of eighteen small states. Secondly, the Electoral College and its winner takes all system gives greater voting power to the larger states since they have more electors.
It is possible that a candidate could win the presidency with only 7% of the popular vote if he or she wins all of the eleven largest states without having to capture a single popular vote in the remaining 39 states and D. C. Therefore, candidates would spend more time in the larger states. To the extent that large states are not as competitive in larger states like California and Texas (solid blue and red states), candidates will target the more competitive larger states (swing states) such as Florida, Ohio, and Pennsylvania. This system discourages voter turnout and disenfranchises people who vote for the losing candidates in the solid blue or red states.
This is because in these noncompetitive states, one or the other major party is traditionally victorious. There is arguably less motivation for citizens in that state to vote, no matter which candidate they might support because they know their vote will not matter. To conclude, U. S. should switch to direct election as it is the best system that guarantees the president has the “ direct popular mandate” from the people. It also ensure representativeness (“one person, one vote”) and encourages voters turnout by giving voters a direct and equal role in electing the president.
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