Electoral College Pros and Cons

Electoral College Pros and Cons

The American Electoral College System is one of the most complex institutions in which a presidential election is decided. Popular vote technically does not elect the president, although electors in the Electoral College follow their respective state’s wishes. An elector is determined by each state ahead of time, a slate if a Republican wins and a slate if a Democrat wins. Whichever one of the major party candidates wins the most votes in that state will have their slate of electors sent to Washington to technically vote on who will become the President of the United States. The number of electors a state has is their number of senators and representatives combined. The lowest numbers of electoral votes a state can have is 3, which several states have. The state with the most electoral votes is California with 55. The total possible number of electors is 538 and a presidential candidate needs to receive 270 in order to win the presidency. If a candidate fails to achieve that threshold, then the election goes to the House of Representatives to decide the President and the Senate to decide the Vice President.

Pros of the Electoral College-

1)      Puts focus on swing states and allows for them to get massive attention by presidential candidates.

2)      It is a tradition and it is constitutionally required to exist, so therefore it should remain in place.

Cons of the Electoral College-

1)      People do not get to decide who the president is, a small group of electors does.

2)      The winner of the popular vote may not win the presidency (ie: 270 electoral votes).

3)      Leaves certain states in the dark because their outcome is all but assured.

While the majority of Americans are in favor of abolishing the Electoral College, the odds of that happening are slim to none because it will require a constitutional amendment in order to remove it. In order to get an amendment passed you need 2/3 of Congress to support an amendment or 2/3 of state legislatures to call for a convention. Then you need 3/4 of state legislatures to ratify it or 3/4 of state conventions to ratify it. The odds of achieving that are nearly impossible, especially when some 15 states are considered “swing states” and therefore would not want to give up that attention, thus depriving the 3/4 vote necessary to abolish the Electoral College. Looking at the various Electoral College pros and cons, one must realize that while the cons outweigh the pros, the likelihood of a change is almost zero. Besides, it allows us to look at red, blue, and purple state maps on Election Night!

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Comments 14 comments

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someonewhoknows 7 years ago from south and west of canada,north of ohio

Originally there was no popular vote .The president was voted for by the congress or state representitives.I don't recall how it got started ,but I'm sure it had something to do with political manuvering to influence who was chosen as president.I do know that when former president Woodrow Wilson was the Democratic presidential cadidate he was not the favorite,and John D.Rockerfeller conspired to have Teddy Rosevelt run under the bull moose party.A party he invented to be able to run against Taft who would have won the election if,Teddy Rosevelt didn't come into the race as a third party candidate to spoil the race. In any case I think the people who vote should be at least as knowledgable about politics as these are to be able to get a high school degree.Especially someone who is voted in as a representitive in the electorial colledge.


Joseph  7 years ago

The Electoral College was originally where the State senates had the say on the electors for President. The founding father didn't do it because they wanted to have a say in who was President as much as it was because they truly didn't trust people, and there was no National Media back then so they were concerned that one State wouldn't have a clue about someone from another. A candidate couldn't just fly to a state to campaign for the office so the Founders figured the way to get the best candidates were to have the individual State Senates to decide on who should be President. What they creates was the Electoral College where the states would vote for who the electors were. In the beginning it wasn't a winner take all the Senate voted on the electors and then the Electors got together and voted for President. The winner actually didn't get found out until the votes were opened in front of Congress. In fact the Constitution doesn't even say the people have a right to vote for the President it is up to the States Legislature to decide to select the electors, all states today use an election where it didn't use to be that way.


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emma 3 years ago

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