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The Electoral College: Should We Keep It? Apush Highschool Government

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DBQ: The Electoral College

        In recent times, citizens of the U.S. are questioning whether or not the electoral college is still the best way to nominate our leaders. While many support this electoral process, a growing number of Americans are dissatisfied by this system, as new evidence and studies suggests that this structure is flawed. Due to this new information, this ongoing controversy has generated further debate, causing many to speak out about in opposition. Opponents of this ideology say that the electoral vote outweighs the opinions of the American people, which is unjust to those passionate about this process. For these reasons I find this system to be inadequate, and therefore should be reinvented.

To begin, I think it is fundamental to address the unequal amount of electoral voters in each state. A concise publication (2010) by George C. Edwards from Yale University (Document B) compares populations to the amount of electoral voters. In his document, he takes 12 states with a lower population and combines them together to contrast it with a state that has the sum of the population. From his findings, these 12 small states had twice as many electoral votes than that of the single state with the same population size.

We can also look at specific case studies as well, showing how the views of the American people have been vastly skewed in the past. Take for example the 1980 presidential election, where Ronald Reagan received 91% from the Electoral vote, even though he received a modest 50.7% in the popular vote. Look at the 1992 presidential election as well, Bill Clinton had only 43% of the popular vote, yet received 69% of the electoral vote (Document F). Statistics such as these display how disproportionate the electoral vote can be compared to popular vote of the American citizens.

By now it is indisputable that the Electoral vote has a prodigious influence when nominating a candidate, so much so that they often have the final say when election time comes around. This political process seems to cater more towards the electoral voters than the American people, which is problematic, especially when the election is close. Bradford Plumer from writes about this concern in his publican entitlted “The Indefensible Electoral College”, where he states, “Perhaps most worrying is the prospect of a tie in the electoral vote. In that case, the election would be thrown to the House of Representatives, where state delegations vote on the president.” (Document D). Electing a candidate in such a way as this is by no means democratic, which is why many citizens are calling for this change.



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