Changing up the Electoral College
The Electoral College of US is one of the institutions that have stood the test of time. This is a system that is used to elect the president and vice president of United States. There have been different opinions about Electoral College and these have consequently led to the proposal of some changes. This paper delineates on these changes and their advantages as well as disadvantages compared to the current constitution requirements of the operation of the Electoral College.
The current Electoral College is a compromise method of electing the president by both a vote in the congress and also popular vote of the eligible or qualified voters. The electors are elected from the various states and afterwards vote for the president of their choice. These votes are counted by the electoral congress. The election college has 538 electors that vote. According to Gregg (2011) a majority vote of 270 in favor of a candidate is required to elect the president. Each state is entitled to members equivalent to the congressional delegation whereby one member is selected for each house representative plus two others that represent the two senators. The 23rd amendment allowed District of Columbia three electors since is given the same treatment as a state. In this system of election, people that vote for their preferred presidential candidate also vote for the electors who will then vote for the president and the vice president.
In the article by Garry, “the best electoral system is the current system,” Those who agitate for the national popular vote (NPV) want to derail the process of the elections of the president. Most of the proponents of the NPV base their argument on the election of 2000 whereby there was recount in Florida (Gregg, 2011). This is only an isolated incident and therefore should not elicit the need for reforms. In addition, changes should not be instituted to avoid an increase in the number of recounts in the event the two presidents are operated with few votes which may cause unnecessary mayhems. Making changes to the Electoral College system will also lead to increased rate of discrimination of the rural parts and the minority states. Furthermore, changing the system will mean increased expense when there is a re-run, increased length of campaigns and increase legal controversies (Underhill, 2012). It will also pose a threat to the functioning of the federal system and the dignity of the states. Some of the smaller states such as Colorado and Virginia will also be secluded. In light of this, it is in order for the Electoral College to remain as “the basic institution that has given structure to America” (Gregg, 2011).
The current Electoral College also encourages the president to be independent and therefore enable him or her to dispense his duties boldly and without bias. It further helps in ensuring the election of a person that has both the morals and capabilities to hold the executive office. On the other hand, a system such as district system which is proposed is likely to increase chance of an electoral confusion and mismatch. This is likely to happen when the winner of electoral vote is different from that that gets popular votes. This situation is likely to lead to electoral challenges. Furthermore, this system will be more confusion to the electorates and this may discourage many voters from exercising their constitutional right of voting (Underhill, 2012).
In conclusion it is therefore safe to state that when the present electoral system is compared to the proposed changes, the former remains preferable because it ensures that the people who have the power elect their leaders. Though it may have some shortcomings here and there, it has proved to be more effective and has ensured that democracy and fairness is achieved. Because of this, the constitution should not be circumvented by these changes as they do not add nay value to the current system.
Gregg, Gary L. “Unpopular vote: enemies of the Electoral College aim to scrap the Founders’ design.” The American Conservative 10.12 (2011)
Underhill, Wendy. “Changing up the electoral college?” State Legislatures, 38.1 (2012)