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The Electoral College has been around since the beginning of democracy in America. The Founding Fathers set up the Electoral College in order to vote for a president every four years. The Electoral College gives each state, and D.C., a number of votes based on population. November 8th every four years, any citizen 18 years of age or older can vote for the candidate of their choosing. Based on the number of popular votes that candidate receives in each state, their matching Electors are activated to submit the final votes for a candidate. The president is decided off of the votes of the Electors. The method of the Electoral College in order to pick a president brings up issues with electors not being faithful, candidates will not visit every state, and the popular vote not counting.
The Electoral College is the deciding factor in who becomes the next president. Parties when looking to nominate a candidate for presidency have to take into consideration, whether or not they will be able to get the most electoral votes in election. That issue alone leads to the possibly of a “not-so-great” person getting the nomination. The parties look at whether the candidate would be reliable and loyal to their party while in office, whether they are an obscure candidate or a celebrity, and whether they are prompt and firm or high-minded. A celebrity who is high-minded may be the better choice but because an “eminent man makes more enemies, and give those enemies more assailable points…they are far less desirable candidates” (Bryce 70). With that issue at hand the party has to decide which candidate will be the best for them in the end of the election. The party may go with either an obscure candidate or a celebrity, but they may have not been the better president.
The way the electoral college works is that each state receives a minimum of three electoral votes in each election, but the state may have the population to only receive one. In order to combat the issue, the votes are taken from larger states with more electoral votes and give them to the states that need it. “Because of this process, the appointment of electoral votes always over-represents some states and under-represents others” (Edwards 2). Electors are given authority with the power to give the vote for their state. The question is whether they are “to think and act dependently, or are they merely agents of the people who choose them” (Edwards 19). This can be an issue for the people if their electors go against the wills of the people. Faithless Electors can lead to a “not-so-great president” coming in to power because their vote, going against the will of the people, can lead to the candidate people did not want to win to victory. Although this has never been a successful strategy in the past for some electors, it is still very possible. An elector can agree with the party’s views but not the candidate’s, so they could vote against them. If enough electors believe the same way, the electoral system can lead to tensions between the people and the Electoral College. Even though there are efforts to avoid a faithless elector, it can never be certain to stop. The Electoral College allows for the possibility of the “not-so-great” candidate to win in a state.
The Electoral College decreases the chances of the more popular to candidate to always win. The number of votes per state leads to swing states where less people are voting for a candidate, but they are getting more electoral votes. A smaller state with more electoral votes can vote Republican and a larger state Democrat, but due to the vote distributions the Republican will win more votes in the end. The electoral votes are in favor of the candidate who may, in fact be the least liked candidate across the country. Without direct election of the candidates, the president who is “not-so-great” or popular amongst the people can win.
Looking at how the Electoral College is set up, distributed, and mandated, it can be determined that it is flawed when it comes to picking the best candidate for the presidency. The better many may not even become the candidate because they will not get the votes, population is a hindrance in voting power, and the popular man may not win due to votes. In the end, the whole process of the Electoral College allows for issues when it comes to voting for the presidency and makes it possible for a “great” president to never get nominated.
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