Attention-Did you know that in a presidential election, one single vote in Kansas has more power than a single vote casted in Missouri because of the Electoral College? B. Background/Need- This is true according to the article “Electoral College” by Jost Kenneth and Greg Giroux on CQ Researcher. C. SP/CI-We will look at 3 areas: First, how the Electoral College works and why it should be changed. Second, how it should be changed and Third, what you can do to help change it. A.
First point-First, How the Electoral College works; Presidential electors are selected on a state-by-state basis, as determined by the laws of each state. Generally, each state except Maine and Nebraska appoints its electors on a winner-take-all basis, based on the statewide popular vote on Election Day. Although ballots list the names of the presidential candidates, voters within the 50 states and Washington, D. C. actually choose electors for their state when they vote for President and Vice President. These presidential electors in turn cast electoral votes for those two offices.
Even though the aggregate national popular vote is calculated by state officials and media organizations, the national popular vote is not the basis for electing a President or Vice President. A candidate must receive an absolute majority of electoral votes which is currently 270 to win the Presidency. Maine and Nebraska are the only two states who do it a different way, they use The Congressional District Method which is an alternative way of distributing electoral votes within a state. In a winner-takes-all system, the winner of the statewide popular vote receives all of that state’s electoral votes.
Under the Congressional District Method, the electoral votes are distributed based on the popular vote winner within each of the state’s congressional districts; the statewide popular vote winner receives two additional electoral votes. This is how the Electoral College is currently setup. C. Second Point-Secondly, why the current system of electing the president, the Electoral College system should be changed. Our system of electing the president should be changed because it is old and uses the middle man of these electors.
The elections of 1876, 1888 and 2000 produced an Electoral College winner who did not receive the plurality of the nationwide popular vote. In 1824, there were six states in which electors were legislatively appointed rather than popularly elected, so the true national popular vote is uncertain. When no candidate received a majority of electoral votes in 1824, the election was decided by the House of Representatives and thus could be considered distinct from the latter three elections in which all of the states had popular selection of electors. This is not how a democratic system should function.
Outcomes of this sort are attributable to the federal nature of the system. This feature is not a logical consequence of having intermediate elections of Presidents but rather the winner-takes-all method of allocating each state’s slate of electors. Allocation of electors in proportion to the state’s popular vote could reduce this effect. Scenarios exhibiting this outcome typically result when the winning candidate has won the requisite configuration of states (and thus their votes) by small margins, but the losing candidate captured large voter margins in the remaining states.
Given the allocation of electors in 2000, it is possible a candidate could win with only a small margin of support in the 11 largest states. In such an example, the very large margins secured by the losing candidate in the other states would aggregate to well over 50 percent of the ballots cast nationally. Claims that the Electoral College suppresses the “popular will” are therefore open to debate. A result of the present functionality of the Electoral College is that the national popular vote bears no legal or factual significance on determining the outcome of the election.
Since the national popular vote is irrelevant, both voters and candidates are assumed to base their campaign strategies around the existence of the Electoral College; any close race has candidates campaigning to maximize electoral votes by capturing coveted swing states, not to maximize national popular vote totals. The current electoral process is also bad because it makes candidates focus on large swing states such as California and Texas and focus less on state who usually vote the same way.
The current system also discourages turnout and participation, The Electoral College eliminates any advantage to a political party or campaign for encouraging voters to turn out, except in those swing states. If the presidential election were decided by a national popular vote, in contrast, campaigns and parties would have a strong incentive to work to increase turnout everywhere. Individuals would similarly have a strong incentive to persuade their friends and neighbors to turn out to vote.
The differences in turnout between swing states and non-swing states under the current Electoral College system suggest that replacing the Electoral College with direct election by popular vote would likely increase turnout and participation significantly. The Electoral College also favors less populous states; a voter in a state with a smaller population has relatively more voting more to decide who an elector votes for than one person in a bigger state, when everybody should have the same amount of voting power for voting for our next president and vice president.
There shouldn’t be a middle man, which the electors currently are with the current system, every vote should vote directly for the president, there shouldn’t be electors at all. The senate and representatives are all decided by popular vote and so should the presidential election. The United States is the only current example of an indirectly elected executive president. This is why we should get rid of this process of voting for electors to vote for us, we should take out the middle man and make it a direct election system.
D. Third Point-Thirdly, now, what would it take to change the election process of the president from the Electoral College to a direct election system? It would take a constitutional amendment so 2/3 of the House of Representatives and senate would have to vote yes on the amendment and ? of the states also have to pass the amendment which makes it a rather hard task to do or a Constitutional Convention to be called by two-thirds of the legislatures of the States which has never happened before.
The closest an amendment ever got passed for fixing this issue going to a straight direct election was in the 91st congress back in 1969 where the proposal for the amendment passed the house with bi-partisan support but only got 55 votes from the senate when it needed 67 to pass and was filibustered by southern senators, However, the proposal was never considered again and died when the 91st Congress officially ended.
Recently in the 110th congress which was from 2007-2008, there was a new amendment for a direct election of congress but it never really got out of the committee this time, but this shows that there are still people trying to fight for the change, so with enough support it might happen one day in the far future. III. Conclusion A. Signal Ending-In Conclusion; how the Electoral College works, how and why it should be changed, and what it would take change the system to a direct election. B.
Summary of Points-We have looked at three areas. First, how the Electoral College works currently; second, how and why it should be changed, and third, what would have to happen for the presidential election process to change? C. Call to Action-This is why you should go and write letters and emails to your senators and congressmen, tell other people to do the same, get the word of general support out about it, so that we might someday have a direct democracy when it comes to electing the president of these United States.