Electoral College Pros and Cons Debate
The essay exam is based on the following two questions. The student will choose one of the two questions and write a paper approximately 4 Pages in length. The essay should be typed (preferably not single-spaced) with a cover page and cite page. Please utilize several sources with a consistent citation method and have a bibliography at the end of the paper. I. The 2000 and 2016 Presidential elections brought renewed attention to the already controversial electoral college.
A. Briefly, but fully describe the electoral college, including, the numbers presented in the overview of the Electoral College PowerPoint under Assignments – Essay in Canvas. B. Please explain, at least, (2) pros and (2) cons of the electoral college.
B. If you could improve the electoral college; please choose to either abolish or reform the system. Provide 2 reasons why you would reform the electoral college and explain why your reforms would create a more democratic electoral college?
C. If you choose to abolish the electoral college, specifically explain which voting system would replace it and 2 reasons why your voting system would create a more representative presidential election. Please provide sourced arguments both pro and con to support you position to reform or abolish the electoral college.
II. The 2008 and 2012 Presidential elections stimulated interest among young adults in the American political system. However, previous election cycles (since the 1970s) often reveal a lack of interest in citizenship and lower voter turnout among adults under 30 years of age, especially when compared to older adults (over 60). Moreover, some Americans have predicted it could decline again in future elections (as it did in 2014).
A. Provide 2 possible sourced reasons for the overall decline in citizenship and voter turnout among adults under the age of 30. Compare and contrast younger adults (under 30) with adults over 60 years of age, in terms of basic citizenship activities, as well as voting turnout. Please provide statistics and other cited evidence to support your position.
B. Please provide 2 suggestions that might boost interest and participation. Explain why your suggestions could possibly prevent a similar decline among young adults. Please provide several sourced arguments to support your suggestions to stimulate citizenship among younger adults.
Electoral College Pros and Cons Debate
There are several methods used when selecting a national leader. In some countries, the citizens vote for their president of choice directly while in other nations the citizens vote for the president indirectly. In United States, the citizens vote for the president indirectly whereby it is the Electoral College which determines the presidential elections winner. This paper briefly describe the Electoral College, advantages and the disadvantages of having the Electoral College and changes that could be made to create a more democratic Electoral College.
Description of the Electoral College
The Electoral College is a process used in the United States to elect the president and the vice president. Its operations are coordinated by the office of the federal register on behalf of U.S. citizens and the states. It is made up of 435 states representatives, 100 senators and 3 electors from the state of Columbia. In total, there are 538 electors in the Electoral College. The number of electors in each state varies because the number depends on the state’s population and the number of senators in the U.S senate and the number of representatives each state has in the House of Representatives. However, each state should have a minimum of three electors in the college because it is supposed to have at least two senators and one member from the House of Representatives (Electoral College and the National Archives). Although the nation has clear laws governing selection of electors, some states have their own laws. In most cases the electors selected should not have responsibilities in the national government. States choose electors from the presidential candidate’s political parties.
Citizens above 18 years vote for their preferred presidential candidate in their state. The winning presidential candidate is then allocated electors to vote him/her in the Electoral College. The state’s governor prepares a “Certificate of Ascertainment” which lists the presidential candidates, their electors, the winning candidate and the electors who will represent the state in the meeting of Electors. When electors meet in their respective state, they vote for the president and the vice president separately. The results are recorded in the certificate of vote, which is sent to the Congress and the National Archives. The Electors’ votes per state are later counted in another joint meeting of electors. The President of the Senate later announces the presidential results and the president elect is sworn in office (Villegas).Pros of Electoral College
It equalizes the states in the nation. All the states are given equal chances of electing electors to the Electoral College who elect the president. The states are allocated electors depending on their population, which gives each state equal chance to participate in selection of the president.
Chances for election riggings are minimized and results presented are always accurate. Zinger (233) argued that The Electoral College ensures that the presidential elect was people’s choice because majority of the electors represent candidates who garnered the highest number of votes in every state. Chances of a presidential candidate interfering with the results are minimal because the election are carried out twice. First time at the state level by the American citizens and second by the electors in the Electoral College. There are higher chances that the candidate elected by the citizens gains the highest number of electors votes at the electoral college which confirms that the president elect was people’s choice.
The Cons of the Electoral College
The candidate elected by majority of the citizens may not be sworn in as the president. In some cases, the candidate elected by the majority of the citizens may fail to be elected by 270 electors. For example in 2000 and 2016 George Bush and Donald Trump respectively were sworn as the presidents because they garnered more electoral votes than all others who earned more popular votes. Swearing in such a president fails to meet democratic standards in the nation because the president will rule against the will of the American people. Such a leader may face challenges in his reign because he will not have the full mandate since some powers are empowered by the popular vote (Reeves et al, 2). In addition, states population varies and some states may be over represented in the Electoral College. Hence electors may increase the chances of a presidential candidate being sworn in when they are not the people’s favorite which prevents citizens from being governed by the president of their choice (Bugh, 8). And in fact, even today some Americans feels that Donald Trump was not their right choice. It is therefore clear that the electoral votes have more power in determining the American president than the citizens, which slowly kills the “voice of the people” and discourages citizens from voting because the system tarnishes democracy.Small states are ignored in presidential campaigns. Presidential candidates’ concentrates their campaigns is densely populated areas like in major cities and most populated states. Their main interest is to get the popular votes in the states because the electoral colleges favors candidates with the highest number of votes. They believe that campaigning in scarce populated areas is a waste of time and resources because the elector’s votes determines the president elect (Desliver). This divides the nation because people in low populated areas feel less important in electing the nation’s president.
There is need to reform the Electoral College system; first, it acts against democracy. There is no democracy in the election system because the electors vote has more power than the peoples vote. The people elect their leader of choice depending on the leaders manifesto. They elect the candidate they feel that will meet their needs the best way possible. Their decisions is however ignored ones the electors vote in a different person who does not meet their needs. As a remedy, the popular vote should be used in determining the president to be sworn in office. The body in charge of election should put a limit of votes per state that the candidate should meet to be considered as the president elect (Reeves et al, 8). This way there will be democracy in the electoral system because the decision will majorly lie on people’s choice rather being based on elector’s choice.
Secondly, there is no equality in representation. In Wyoming, one electoral vote represents 195000 people while one electoral vote in California represents 712000 people (Zingher, 233). This means that some states are overrepresented in the Electoral College while others are underrepresented. This means that some electoral vote in the Electoral College are weightier than others, which affects democracy in electoral system. To ensure that there is democracy, the office of the register should establish a constant ratio of elector’s representation to ensure that all citizens are well represented in the Electoral College (De mouzon et al 26).
In conclusion, the Electoral College has both positive and negative effects on the Americans citizens. It ensures that peoples get the best leader since the presidents elects is elected in two stages. However, democracy is tarnished in the voting system because the citizens may end up being governed by the person they least expected.