The US Electoral College is an electoral system, which in line with the American people elects the President and the Vice President. The system has existed since the drafting of the constitution during the 18th century. There are 538 members in the Electoral College, and cast their votes after every four years.
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This electoral system is multi-stage where the presidential winner must secure majority of the electoral vote and more than 50 percent of the popular vote (BBC). Membership to the electoral vote guarantees one power to appoint a presidential candidate. The primary aim of the Electoral College is to represent the majorityr’s votes on the best candidate for White House.
State members of democrat and Republican parties are responsible for electing the college members after every four years. According to Harper (2), the population size of each state will determine the number of members. Therefore, states like California, Florida, and Texas have more electoral members than others states. Washington DC is not a state and as such, three members represent Washington as a state in the Electoral College to make it more transparent (Belenky 6). On the other hand, 55 electoral members represent California because they are the most populous. Unlike the Congress, the Electoral College ensures that a state has more say similar to its population size.
Their stater’s party members select electoral members. If a state has more Republicans, then most of their popular votes will be republican and a similar case for the Democrats (Neale 8). This has been one of the target areas for most American presidents; they target the most popular states, for them to win both the popular and electoral votes. Presidency is awarded to the candidate with more than half of the electoral votes. A good example is President Obama who had sixty-one percent of the electoral votes. President Trump achieved more than half of the votes but had less popular votes than his counterpart. The electoral vote is more dominant than the popular vote, which explains its criticism. However, some people have criticized the system since it has no accurate representation of the American population (Belenky 6). Technically, the Electoral College voids the link between the popular vote and the presidency.
The founding fathers drafted the Electoral College for two main reasons; first was to prevent the public from directly electing the president. The second was to create a system that allowed more power for less popular states (Neale 8). The original drafters of the Electoral College feared that the tyrant candidates to secure their way into power through public manipulation. The Electoral College ensured that the presidential seat is in the hands of intellect Americans who understand the constitution and the presidency.
The less popular states would have less impact on the election process. It allowed the less popular votes to have a significant effect on electing the president (BBC). Notably, less popular states had little consideration as important regions in the electoral process. Today, a presidential candidate must conduct rigorous campaigns in most states to secure his seat in the Oval Office. The popular vote would give power to people oriented towards specific regions. This would create unfairness, and some states could be disadvantaged (Neale 9). The founding fathers drafted the Electoral College to fix the errors in the electoral process.
The Electoral College was a positive impact on the American people. The system might have flaws, but the effect it has on electing the right candidate is significant. The Electoral College brings a fair representation of the majority population (BBC). As mentioned earlier, the system helps to eliminate the manipulation of the public by tyrant candidates. Notably, the electors are select groups who understand the election process and can evaluate whether a candidate viable for the Whitehouse (Belenky 15). The less populous States have a significant impact in the electoral process, if it was not there, the most populous would have a tremendous impact on the election compared to states. With the Electoral College, the US election can focus on two primary candidates and eliminate the multiparty system (McGee 18). Additionally, there is little chance the US can go for a runoff election. The US electoral process is unique and has proved its effectiveness over the past years.
Years ago, a group of liberal minds came up had a similar idea of drafting the Electoral College and minimize control of the popular vote. The system has proved itself over the years and Americans have always elected the right candidate after the election. Today, the system may seem useless and against democracy but in the real sense, it is not an enemy. An absolute public vote could make the presidency more vulnerable and make the road to presidency much easier. Unless someone proposes a better electoral system, the current system will remain the best for the American people.
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