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Time For Reform? Considering The Failures of The Electoral College
Description: This paper discusses the many shortcomings of the Electoral College,
and posits possible alternative electoral processes which likely be more
Time for Reform? Considering the failures of the Electoral College
A common misconception among American is that when they vote they elect the
President. The truth is not nearly this simple. What in fact happens when a
person votes is that there vote goes for an Elector. This Elector (who is
selected by the respective state in which a vote is cast) casts ballots for two
individuals, the President and the Vice-President. Each state has the same
number of electors as there are Senate and House of Representative members for
that State. When the voting has stopped the candidate who receives the majority
of the Electoral votes for a state receives all the electoral votes for that
state. All the votes are transmitted to Washington, D.C. for tallying, and the
candidate with the majority of the electoral votes wins the presidency. If no
candidate receives a majority of the vote, the responsibility of selecting the
next President falls upon the House of Representatives. This elaborate system of
Presidential selection is thought by many to be an 18th century anachronism
(Hoxie p. 717), what it is in fact is the product of a 200 year old debate over
who should select the President and why.
In 1787, the Framers in their infinite wisdom, saw the need to r...