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Morgan Stanchak

Mrs. DeBock

English IV Honors 2nd Block

9 March 2017

The Fairness of the Electoral College

In 1787, the Electoral College was created and ever since then it has been the only way

that the United States has voted for the President of the United States. Although in the United

States, the popular vote is also in existence, the candidate that wins the popular vote is not

always the candidate that wins the Presidency. The Electoral College system is by no means

perfect, but it has ideas in it that is sufficient in order to have the right man or woman earn the

job as President of the United States.

Many people are unaware of the fact that the President of the United States is not directly

elected by the people of the United States,the Electoral College elects him or her. More talk was

added to the Electoral College debate after the Election of 2000. In this election, Al Gore won

the popular vote, but lost in Electoral College votes. George W. Bush lost the Popular Vote, but

won the majority of Electoral College, thus winning the Presidency. This also had happened in

1824, 1876, 1888, and in the recent 2016 election (Bowman). Before these elections, many

Americans did not know that the President of the United States was not directly voted on by the

people. The Electoral College is composed of 538 and the first candidate to reach the 270 vote

majority is the winner of the presidency (Ballaro). This system allows for the election of a

president who wins the 270 majority votes needed, but loses the popular vote (Ballaro). This has

rarely happened in the United States, but when it has, it has sparked yet another heated

discussion in the debate on whether or not the Electoral College is a fair voting system. Liberals
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argue that the Electoral College is outdated and support states only with a larger population.

Supporters of the Electoral College say that the if it wasnt for the Electoral College it would

lead to political instability. The Electoral College has functioned well enough to avoid a national

crisis (The Electoral College Debate). Therefore, many people people have not seen the

necessity for the need of a new American voting system.

Although there has been four times where the Electoral College voted for a president that

did not win the Popular Vote, America has still survived. This proves that the Electoral College

System has many advantages to it. The Electoral College suits as the best and most efficient way

for Americas President to be chosen. Since 1804 there has only been two elections where the

Electoral College has not been a landslide victory (Ross). This also shows that when there is a

close Popular Vote, also a close Electoral College vote. The problem with electing President

strictly based on Popular Vote is that there would have to be hundreds, and maybe thousands of

recounts to ensure that whoever won actually won (Ross). The Electoral College also strengthens

Federalism, which is one of the main concepts in America. The current Electoral College System

is one that ensures Americans life, liberty and property (Uhlmann). A direct election could

provide no assurance to the three principles of American Democracy, and could even assure the

opposite. The advantages of our almost 230 year old system of voting certainly do outweigh the

disadvantages.

Although the Electoral College has many advantages, it also has its disadvantages, which

all add to the debate of whether or not the Electoral College is fair or not. After the Election of

2016, President Donald Trump tweeted, If the election were based on the total popular vote, I

would have campaigned in New York, Florida, and California and won even bigger and more

easily (The Pros and Cons of the Electoral College). With the concept of the Electoral
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College, it is not necessary for candidates to campaign in all states, they just need to campaign in

swing-states to ensure that they get their votes. 94% of campaigning was done in just 12 states

during the 2016 Election (The Pros and Cons of the Electoral College). This shows that

America as a whole is not voting for the next President of the United States, rather 12 states are.

On one side of the Electoral College debate, people, mostly republicans, believe that the

Electoral College should stay the same that it is, and always has been. The Electoral College is in

no ways perfect but many believe that it should be abolished. Presidents like Richard Nixon and

Jimmy Carter have been activists in the abolishment of the Electoral College. According to

Pulmer in The Electoral College Should Be Abolished, 60% of Americans prefer a direct

election. They believe that the choice of President of the United States should be directly the

peoples decision, like a true democracy. The argument that the Electoral College protects states

interests is not necessarily true. It is hard to tell what the majority of the state's interest are, and

many of the presidential candidates rarely talk about local or even statewide issues (Pulmer).

Only a handful of speeches from the 1996 and 2000 election even referred to any local issues.

Also, many small states are ignored in presidential elections, while the candidates focus on big

states like California, New York, Texas, etc. Almost every other democratic or republic country

around the world has a direct election. In those countries, there is little to no political unease In

the article The Electoral College Should Be Abolished, the author Pulmer states that the

supporters of the Electoral College believe that the Popular Vote would put the wrong person in

office, and that it would not always support a strong Presidency. In their second terms, Presidents

Ronald Reagan and Richard Nixon proved this to be false.

On the contrary, many Americans who believe that the Electoral College should stay the

same that it is and always have been. Our founding fathers founded a republic, not a democracy.
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Although the Electoral College sometimes work out differently than expected, it still serves the

political goals intended to serve (Ross). Many people also believe that with the Electoral

College, many people are wasting their time and votes while they vote for President. The people

are not wasting their votes. They are simply casting their vote so their candidate could have the

same opportunity to win (Ross). The Electoral College also protects the interest of small states.

Each state is as evenly represented as possible, although not all states are the same size. In The

Electoral College Should Not Be Abolished, it says, As a statistical matter, however, the

advantage plays in favor of the state as a whole, rather than the individual voter (Ross). The

Electoral College looks out for the interest of each and every state in the United States of

America, no matter how large or small it may be. Not only does the Electoral College look out

for small states as a whole, it also looks out for minorities as a whole (Ross). This is becoming

more and more of a need in the United States, so without the Electoral College, who knows how

protected the minorities around the United States would be.

Although the debate of the Electoral College has been and probably always will be one

that is in the interest of the American People, it is something that is needed to make sure that the

right man or woman is elected for the job of President of the United States. The debate will more

than likely not be over until there is a change in the Electoral College. The Electoral College is

fine the way it is, and changing the Electoral College could result in a change of American

Democracy.
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Works Cited

Ballaro, Beverly, and Cheryl Bourassa. "Electoral College: An Overview." Points Of View:

Electoral College (2016): 1. Points of View Reference Center. Web. 17 Feb.

2017.

Bowman, Jeffrey, and Tracey M. DiLascio. "Counterpoint: Why We Need The Electoral

College." Points Of View: Electoral College (2016): 3. Points of View Reference Center.

Web. 17 Feb. 2017.


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"The Electoral College Debate." Congressional Digest 96.1 (2017): 1. Academic Search

Complete. Web. 17 Feb. 2017.

Plumer, Bradford. "The Electoral College Should Be Abolished." Democracy. Ed. Mike Wilson.

Detroit: Greenhaven Press, 2006. Opposing Viewpoints. Rpt. from "The Indefensible

Electoral College." www.motherjones.com 8 Oct. 2004. Opposing Viewpoints in

Context. Web. 17 Feb. 2017.

"The Pros And Cons Of The Electoral College System." Supreme Court Debates 69.1 (2017):

18. MasterFILE Premier. Web. 17 Feb. 2017.

Ross, Tara. "The Electoral College Should Not Be Abolished." Democracy. Ed. Mike Wilson.

Detroit: Greenhaven Press, 2006. Opposing Viewpoints. Rpt. from "The Electoral

College: Enlightened Democracy." Legal Memorandum. 2004. Opposing Viewpoints in

Context. Web. 17 Feb. 2017.

Uhlmann, Michael M. "The Electoral College Strengthens Federalism." The Presidential

Election Process. Ed. Tom Lansford. Detroit: Greenhaven Press, 2008. Opposing

Viewpoints. Rpt. from "The Old (Electoral) College Cheer: Why We Have It; Why We

Need It." National Review 56.21 (8 Nov. 2004): 28. Opposing Viewpoints in Context.

Web. 6 Mar. 2017.


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