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The Electoral College is known to be an important part of the electoral system. Many researchers have proven that it benefits our government and society in many ways. Just like any great idea, there are still many flaws. The original idea began in 1787 when the Constitutional Convention and its delegates were trying to figure out other ways to elect presidents. They turned to the Committee of Eleven on Postponed Matters, which later resulted in the creation of the Electoral College. However, many of the Electoral College’s intents are not working in today’s society and therefore are not working efficiently.
The Electoral College’s intent was originally to prevent majority rule. Researchers believe that our Founding Fathers had a “deep abhorrence” towards democracy and majority rule. This for a time did work. The system allowed to elect presidents in an easier way. The way it worked was, basically, whichever candidate had the most electoral votes would become president. The one with the second-most votes would become vice-president. Many critics believe that one of the benefits of having the Electoral College is that it gave a sense of protection for states that had small populations by preventing large-populated states from dominating them. James Madison believed that the Electoral College would keep factions in check and it would maintain federalism and the rights of individual states, therefore, promoting the idea of keeping the Electoral College. Another one of the benefits of having the Electoral College is that, according to many of the researcher’s beliefs, it maintains the founder’s beliefs of “securing the blessings of liberty”. Some might even say that it levels the political playing field a bit. John Adams once said, “Remember, democracy never lasts long. It soon wastes, exhausts, and murders itself. There never was a democracy yet that did not commit suicide”.
What this might mean is that nothing lasts forever. There might be times when some don’t benefit from one’s decisions, but what matters is that it works. Although it may be true that the Electoral College maintains a sense of liberty, the flaws are still able to outnumber the benefits. Many critics today believe that the Electoral College is not working as well as it used to, and therefore, should be changed, if not, abolished. A retired businessman and life-long Republican, Roy T. Davis, once said in an article, “The fact is it was developed 200 years ago and has a structure to it that was meant to appease opposing forces back then so they could agree on other issues. With that being said, it doesn’t really matter how or why it’s in place, it just is and we should seriously consider eliminating it and go to a straight popular vote election.”
An example of how the Electoral College does not function well is during the 2016 election, Donald Trump lost the popular vote by about 3 million, nonetheless, he won the presidency by gaining 304 electoral votes. This, in a certain point of view, is not fair to the electors that did not support Trump. Lots of critics believe that the Electoral College results do not represent the will of the people, therefore ignoring the political interest of individual voters, thus proving how inefficient the Electoral College is. Many individuals share this opinion saying that in the end, their ballots don’t end up in the national total, thus defeating the purpose of voting. “Gale Cengage Learning”, an educational publishing company, stated in one of their articles, “There have been five elections in American history in which the candidate who won the majority of electoral votes did not win the popular vote: John Quincy Adams in 1824, Rutherford B. Hayes in 1876, Benjamin Harrison in 1888, George W. Bush in 2000, and Donald Trump in 2016. Opponents of the Electoral College note that Hillary Clinton won the popular vote by almost 2.9 million votes in 2016. Because those votes were not cast in states critical for securing electoral votes, however, she did not win the election”. As this article states, elections like in 2016, have happened in our past. This evidence points to the fact that the Electoral College might not be working as well as it was supposed to.
In conclusion, as seen from the essay, the Electoral College’s intents are not being met and therefore is not working efficiently. It is true that the Electoral College has many benefits to our society and some might say that change is not required. Others might not be affected whether or not the Electoral College is changed or abolished, and others will support the idea of abolishing it. Nevertheless, the Electoral College might have been working in the past, but in today’s society, it should be changed, if not abolished.
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