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!
- Center-Right America
- FairVote - Home.
- Electoral-vote.com: Election news
Track the election with a red/blue map of the US updated daily using the latest state polls.
- HowStuffWorks "How the Electoral College Works"
The electoral college plays an important, and sometimes controversial, role in the presidential election process. Find out how the electoral college works.
- NARA | Federal Register | U.S. Electoral College
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