An analysis of the electoral college issue in the united states of america

Tap here to turn on desktop notifications to get the news sent straight to you. Our government leads us to believe that our vote matters, and that we should not take the responsibility lightly. As a political science major, I religiously follow presidential campaigns and was looking forward to being able to vote this November in the general election for the first time. However, as I did more research on our voting system my excitement began to evaporate.

An analysis of the electoral college issue in the united states of america

An analysis of the electoral college issue in the united states of america

Now, HE was confused! I looked around me- there was not a hint of recognition: I could see the "light bulbs" going on one by one until one of my friends said, "In other words, the State Legislature could legally decide not to allow us to choose the Presidential Electors- either directly or indirectly- by popular vote.

Why We Should Abolish the Electoral College | HuffPost

Many are blissfully unaware- at least it rarely, if ever, pervades their everyday consciousness- that they do NOT directly vote for President or Vice-President; most have some vague notion that there is this "Electoral College" and that the candidates for those high offices get something called "Electoral Votes" which is somehow different from the "Popular Vote"- the actual, raw tally of election statistics, as in: But most, I dare say, do not really understand subtle nuances such as that I pointed out to my friends that day nearly a decade ago; and a large number of my fellow citizens have very little idea where this "Electoral College" came from- other than a vague notion of high school history references to "Great Compromise"s in the Constitutional Convention and the like- or why it, such an old-fashioned institution, still survives and functions in modern America.

This essay will be an attempt to- in chronological sequence of the various developments in the history of the Electoral College- attempt to answer at least some of this.

To begin with, calling the body which actually elects the President and Vice President of the United States the "Electoral College" is a bit of a misnomer: Instead, it is rather purposely forced to meet in segments based on the State which "appoints" a number of its members.

In order to understand this, as well as other elements of its history and functioning, we have to go back to the beginning to where the concept of the Presidential Elector first began- and, to do that, we will first have to go back to where the concept of that high office for which the Elector chooses as well.

In short, we have to know how the conception of the office of President of the United States itself arose in order to then understand why these sometimes mysterious Electors actually elect that President.

Breakdown of the Electoral College:

One of the many weaknesses of the Continental Congress operating under the first fundamental law of the United States of America- the Articles of Confederation- was that it had no permanent executive. This was a result of the fear of executive power engendered as a result of the American Revolution: Accordingly, the early state legislatures were given great power in the new State Constitutions: When it came to any government on a level above the newly "free and independent States", an executive in this sphere conjured up images of the British Crown embodied by the King George III the newly independent Americans were only lately unchained from.

So, the United States of America would prevent the type of Tyranny they so recently fought by not having any executive above the State level at all! Of course, these same newly independent Americans conveniently forgot about the "tyranny of the majority"; they also forgot that, in at least some cases, someone has to be in charge and to be accountable in order to get the things done that had to be done.

They forgot the lesson that- when it comes to legislatures- "too many cooks" often DOES "spoil the broth"! Encouraged by many who were becoming more and more alarmed by growing unrest among debtor farmers and frontiersmen in the countryside as well as the inability to form and enforce agreements among the several States, the Continental Congress authorized the holding of a Convention to meet in Philadelphia "to revise the Articles of Confederation" beginning in the late Spring of We, of course, now know that meeting as the Constitutional Convention and its delegates as the Framers; we also know that they drafted a whole new document to supplant the Articles of Confederation en masse: That a permanent national executive was needed was clear to the delegates meeting in Philadelphia that May, but what should it be?

The so-called "Virginia Plan", submitted to the Convention on 29 May by Edmund Randolph of Virginia, called for a "national executive" purposely leaving its makeup unstated "to be chosen by the national legislature" for a deliberately unstated term of office.

On 1 June, James Wilson of Pennsylvania proposed that this executive be a single person but Randolph was vehemently opposed to this, feeling that a single executive smacked of monarchy Randolph preferred a committee of 3 to form the executive- one from each of the major regions of the country: New England, the Middle [now Mid-Atlantic] States and the South ; the question of the makeup of the executive was postponed but the idea that there be a "national executive" was approved by the Convention forthwith- showing how this was seen as one of the chief defects of the Articles of Confederation.

As to how the executive- whatever it consisted of- was to be chosen, this was another matter: Wilson was for election by the People though it is unclear whether he was in favor of direct election: George Mason of Virginia agreed with Wilson but doubted it was practical he was clearly thinking about direct election.The Twelfth Amendment (Amendment XII) to the United States Constitution provides the procedure for electing the President and Vice replaced the procedure provided in Article II, Section 1, Clause 3, by which the Electoral College originally functioned.

Problems with the original procedure arose in the elections of and But as the Boston College political scientist Lindsey O’Rourke notes The United States isn’t alone in doing that; many European governments do, too.

America’s electoral interventions. If it needs repeating, in the United States of America, we have an Electoral College, wherein the president and vice president aren’t elected directly by the voters, but rather by electors who.

If the amount of Electoral College votes a state receives was directly proportionate to its population, smaller rural states would be rendered completely irrelevant.

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Johnny Iacobucci Electoral College Essay Civics The electoral college is the current system of voting used in the United States of America to elect the president.

An analysis of the electoral college issue in the united states of america

A body of electors chosen by the voters in each state to elect the President and vice President of the U.S.

WHAT ARE THEY ALL DOING, ANYWAY? an historical analysis of the Electoral College