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Running head: THE FLAWS OF THE ELECTORAL COLLEGE

The Flaws of The Electoral College


Lance T. Meyers
Minnesota State University

THE FLAWS OF THE ELECTORAL COLLEGE

The Flaws of the Electoral College


Introduction
Specific purpose: I want to persuade my audience that the
electoral college system of electing presidents in the U.S. is flawed,
and needs to be changed.
Thesis statement: The Electoral College has many flaws, and this
system needs to be changed to restore the integrity of the election of
the President of the United States.
Main Ideas
The Electoral College. What is it, and how did it come to be?
Origins of the Electoral College
1. 1787 the constitution of the U.S. was written, and
the Electoral College system was also created
within the constitution. Article II, Section 1.
2. Originally, U.S. senators werent chosen directly
by people either, state legislatures did.
3. In those times, African-Americans could not vote,
and neither could women.
4. In 1870, African-Americans gained the right to
vote, 1920, women gained that right.
5. 538 total Electoral Votes. 270 needed to win the
election. In the event of a tie, the House of

THE FLAWS OF THE ELECTORAL COLLEGE


Representatives chooses the president from the
top 3 vote getters.
Why this system is no longer needed.
1. Technology
a. Candidates can now communicate with
voters much easier with the developments
of technology, and can get their message
across to the whole country.
2. Everyone over the age of 18 now has the right to
vote
a. With every adult U.S. citizen having the
right to vote, there is no longer a need to
give certain states more value than others
due to slavery, or lack of the right for
women to vote.
The controversies of the Electoral College system.
1. Presidents being elected by winning the Electoral
vote, but losing the popular vote. This has
happened 4 times in history. 1824, 1876, 1888,
and most recently 2000
2. Congress has pushed for reform since 1797, with
more than 1000 bills attempting to change the
Electoral College system, but yet no progress has

THE FLAWS OF THE ELECTORAL COLLEGE

been made. Over 215 years without significant


change to the election system.
3. The value of each citizens vote is varied based on
the amount of electoral votes each state has, and
whether that state is considered a swing state.
a. The swing states for the 2012 election
according to CNN include: Colorado, Florida,
Iowa, Nevada, New Hampshire, Ohio,
Virginia, and Wisconsin. This is 8 states, and
are the primary focus of both candidates.
The other 42 states are not nearly as
important, which promotes inequality.
b. The one person, one vote concept that is
explained in the 17th amendment of the
constitution is not truly equal with the
Electoral College.
4. The constitution does not bind the electors to vote
for the candidates that they pledged to vote for.
These are referred to as faithless electors. In
1972, 1976, 1988, and 2000 individual electors
pledged to vote for the top 2 candidates, either
casted blank ballots or voted for other candidates.
This leaves uncertainty in citizens votes. No
election has been decided because of this, but the
possibility is still there.

THE FLAWS OF THE ELECTORAL COLLEGE

People who arent represented by the Electoral College system.


1. Guam, Puerto-Rico and are governed by the
United States government, and follow policies
made by the U.S.
2. These people are not allowed to vote in U.S.
elections
3. 4 million people live in these territories, and
cannot vote in these elections.
Summary of problems:
1. Devalues one person, one vote principle in
constitution
a. Swing states receive much more attention
from candidates than other states.
2. Winner of popular vote, loses due to Electoral
College values
3. U.S. Territories have no right to vote, despite
being governed by the U.S.
Conclusion:
Solution to the problem, and how to achieve this solution.
1. Election of the President of the United States by
purely popular vote, just like we do to elect House
of Representatives, and Senate.
2. Allow U.S. territories to vote in our elections, if we
are to govern them.

THE FLAWS OF THE ELECTORAL COLLEGE

3. Everyone needs to contact local representatives,


and senators to voice the need for change.
Why this is an effective solution.
1. This would bring equality into the election process,
and finally fix the current outdated system. It would
prevent someone being elected that wasnt voted for
by the majority of the people. A one person, one vote
solution could potentially increase voter turnout
rates, because of the feeling that their vote is truly
equal to everyone elses.

THE FLAWS OF THE ELECTORAL COLLEGE

Bibliography
Blau, A. (2004). Fairness and Electoral Reform. British Journal Of Politics
&

International Relations, 6(2), 165-181. doi:10.1111/j.1467856X.2004.00132.x

Bolinger, B. (2007). POINT: ABOLISHING THE ELECTORAL COLLEGE.


International Social Science Review, 82(3/4), 179-182.
Federal Register. U.S. Electoral College. Retrieved from
http://www.archives.gov/federal-register/electoralcollege/index.html
Goux, D., & Hopkins, D. (2008, November). The Empirical Implications
of

Electoral College Reform. American Politics Research, 36(6), 857-

879. doi:

10.1177/1532673X08324213

THE FLAWS OF THE ELECTORAL COLLEGE

Stark, C. Roberts, A. (2012, October 26). By the numbers: Swing states.


Retrieved from http://www.cnn.com/2012/10/11/politics/btnswing-

states/index.html