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The Election Process

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Autor:   •  August 21, 2010  •  1,839 Words (8 Pages)  •  993 Views

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The Evolution of the Election Process

The election process in the United States is a valuable process to the election of the proper officials to satisfy the people. The people run the country which is why we live in freedom because we control what happens with major decisions by choosing whom we want to decide these decisions. The whole country goes to vote on a certain day and by the end of that day we will vote to select who will run the country, state, county, or city political positions. The most complex decision and one with the biggest impact are selecting who the President of the United States shall be. We examine what their views are and who would do a better job. Then vote in our respected states with a certain number of electoral votes depending upon the population in that state. Those votes go toward the overall count of the candidate and help choose who will reach the magic number of 270 electoral votes first. This hasn't always remained the same since the beginning but the basic idea behind this type of voting system was created by the views of the Founding Fathers of our country.

The Founding Fathers had to examine all the necessary information to make sure that their process meets the needs of all of their countries' citizens. They faced the idea of how to choose a president that had such diverse needs and wants. They had to realize that the smaller states were not happy about the idea of a national central government because their rights and powers would be limited. The factor of their being 4,000,000 people spread all over the Eastern coast made them realize that national campaigns were impractical. They felt that political parties were dishonest and evil due to the British

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political parties. This led them to have to find a way to accommodate everyone without the use of political parties and a national campaign.

The Founding Fathers came up with several different ways that they could elect the president. The first idea was to have Congress select the president but this idea was rejected because many felt this would lead to corruption within the government because members of Congress. It could have also led to a bad balance of power between the legislative and executive branches of government. Another idea was to have state legislatures select the president, but was also rejected due to the fact that it could erode federal authority. Popular vote was then propositioned but declined because they felt not enough people would know about the candidate and thus vote for someone else leaving no one with the popular vote. A so-called "Committee of Eleven" whose idea was to have the president elected through a College of Electors was the idea that was selected to pick the president.

The idea for picking the president came from the same way that the Pope is selected by using Roman Catholic Church of the College of Cardinals. The structure of the Electoral College can be traced to the system used by the Roman Republic. In that system the richest people were divided into groups of 100 called Centuries. Each group was entitled to cast one vote in favor or opposing certain measures. This is exactly how the Electoral College system works in America by having electors based on the size of the state cast their vote for the candidate that is chosen in that state. The systems are extremely similar and have virtually the same advantages and disadvantages. These

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similarities are not accidental; the Founding Fathers were heavily educated in ancient history and its lessons.

The Founding Fathers filtered through the first design to elect a president in four years. They determined that the first way they wanted to have it run, which was 2 electors for each state plus the number of representatives. There were many more ideas in this design but it ultimately needed to be changed. The reason for the change was because of the result of a tie between Aaron Burr and Thomas Jefferson. Since this was exactly what they wanted to avoid with the Electoral College they had to adopt the Twelfth Amendment. This would prevent a tie by casting one vote for the president and one vote for the vice-president so there wasn't two votes for the president from each elector. Political parties were the main reason this change had to be implemented. Over the year small changed have occurred in the selection of Electors. The decisions to pick electors were left up to the states to decide and most chose either to elect them by popular vote or to just pick them themselves.

The current Electoral College maintains the same framework as the original. The only change is that there are now fifty states and 538 electoral votes. Each state is allowed two electors for the number for senate seats in that state, always two, plus the number of its U.S. Representatives. On the Tuesday following the first Monday in November people cast their votes for the candidate they think would do the best job for the country. Whichever candidate wins the popular vote in each state gets all of that states electoral votes, Maine and Nebraska are exceptions where the areas are divided. On the Monday

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following the second Wednesday in December the State Electors meet to cast their two votes, one for president and one for vice-president. The votes are then transported to the President of the Senate who reads them on January 6th. At noon on January 20 the president and the vice-president are sworn into office.

As stated above the larger states are allocated more electoral votes and every ten years their population is measured and it is determined if they will receive additional electoral votes. The idea of this Electoral College has been sustained to many critics who think that this process is not fair. These critics are trying to gain support to get rid of the electoral process.

The arguments against the Electoral College are for the college to be eliminated and to elect the president based of popular vote. They have four basic arguments to do away with the college: the possibility of electing a minority president, the risk of so-called "faithless" Electors, the possible role of the Electoral College in depressing voter turnout, and its failure to accurately reflect the national popular will. This has most recently been shown in the recent election with Bush winning the Electoral College and Gore winning the popular vote. The election process was never created to reflect the popular vote. If the


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