It is worth noting that the presence of the Electoral College contradicts the existing belief that, in a democracy, the winner is the one who receives the most votes. This system was introduced to eliminate the possibility that a large state would impose its political position on the whole country. Despite the possible advantages, there are certain aspects that illustrate the need to alter the existing approach. The purpose of this paper is to provide arguments to prove that the Electoral College is outdated and needs to be changed due to a number of reasons.
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The electoral system that exists in the United States is obsolete since it has been formed and reflects the needs that were relevant in the 18th century. At that time, there was no communication system, as well as national media, which implied that voters could learn about candidates only from people who represented their area at the state level (Ross 103). Moreover, sparsely populated regions were concerned that large states would promote their candidates, which was not fair or objective. However, at present, the communication system is developed enough and voters have access to various sources, which help them make an informed decision.
In addition, the winner of the popular vote may lose the College votes, and the candidate who receives fewer votes than their opponent will become the president. Therefore, it is likely that the opinion of the majority of people will not be taken into account (Friedman). Moreover, to become the winner, a candidate does not need to gain an absolute majority, which has been evidenced by the documentary discussed in class. In this case, it is impossible to state that every vote has the same weight.
Further on, proposals to change the principle of presidential elections or to cancel the two-tier electoral system have been put forward many times. An important disadvantage of the existing system is related to the swing states the existence of which affects the course of the election campaigns. Since the runner-up candidate does not receive a single elector in the state, it is pointless to fight for votes in those states where the chances of winning are small (Gordon and Hartmann 37).
In particular, Republicans do not need to campaign in New York or California, and Democrats may ignore voters in Texas or Alabama. The situation leads to the fact that political campaigns are carried out mainly in the swing states, which historically move from one party to another (Virgin 38). This means that candidates can influence the course of elections with money, and they will not need to allocate resources to campaigning throughout the country.
Despite the fact that there is a set of reasons why the abolition of the current system is required, it may be assumed that it will remain unchanged. The existing principles of voting will not be changed due to the fact that they have proved to be stable for many decades. To abolish the College, it is essential to put forward an amendment to the US Constitution for which two-thirds of the members of both chambers of the Congress will have to vote (Streb 176). After that, 38 of the 50 states will also need to vote to abolish the existing system. This situation is unlikely to occur due to the fact that smaller states such as Wyoming with a population of fewer than 600 thousand people will not want candidates to stop fighting for their votes.
Thus, it can be concluded that the Electoral College is indeed outdated, and it does not reflect the contemporary realities. In addition, it needs to be changed since the existing system has particular flaws and does not serve the interests of the country’s residents. Nevertheless, the Electoral College will not be abolished due to the fact that Congress will not allow a global change in voting principles.
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Friedman, Leon. “Is the Electoral College System for Choosing Our President Unconstitutional?” Huffington Post. 2017. Web.
Gordon, Brett R., and Wesley R. Hartmann. “Advertising Competition in Presidential Elections.” Quantitative Marketing and Economics, vol. 14, no. 1, 2016, pp. 1-40.
Ross, Tara. The Indispensable Electoral College: How the Founders’ Plan Saves Our Country from Mob Rule. Regnery Publishing, 2017.
Streb, Matthew Justin. Rethinking American Electoral Democracy. 3rd ed., Routledge, 2016.
Virgin, Sheahan G. “Competing Loyalties in Electoral Reform: An Analysis of the US Electoral College.” Electoral Studies, vol. 49, 2017, pp. 38-48.