Electoral College System Essay

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Analyze criticism of the "Electoral College" system and the alleged advantages and disadvantages of various reform proposals.

The Electoral College is a system in which the individual voter does not actually vote directly for the president. When a person votes they are voting for an elector that has pledged their vote or allegiance to the running party. The Framers realized that without widespread communications available at the time and with other varying factors an "each vote counts" or "the popular vote" system would not be practical. Because of this they formed the Electoral College system, Under Article II of the US Constitution, although this system was never called this in the Article. This system has survived for over 200 years,
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Faithless electors have caused many peoples faith in the Electoral College to waiver. On many occasions an Elector have placed their vote for the opposing party. To help stop this many states have enacted laws to punish Electors that do this. Although no Elector had ever been prosecuted. Just in this century alone there have been 7 faithless Electors, the most recent was in 1988. Even though this has happened many times, it has never changed the outcome of the election.

Many people fear that the Electoral College may cause a decline in voter turnout. They say that there is no incentive for states to encourage people to vote. They say that people may decline to vote because many believe there vote does not count.

An issue that has plagued the system since its development is the inequality of Electoral votes from small states and large states. An example would be in the 1988 election, the combined voting age population of 3,119,000 of the seven least populous jurisdictions of Alaska, Delaware, the District of Columbia, North Dakota, Vermont, and Wyoming carried the same voting strength in the Electoral College as the 9,614,000 voting age people in the State of Florida. Due to this each vote in Florida was only about 1/3 the weight of the other states listed.

Third parties have a large disadvantage in the Electoral College system. Most states allot their Electoral Votes that favor a tow-party system. Even if a third party candidate receives a large

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