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Electoral College: The Democratic Process - With A Free Essay Review



The Electoral College system used in the United States to elect the President was created to make voting a smoother process when the country was first founded. At the time, the fastest way to transport peopleís votes was by horseback. To speed up the voting process, U.S. leaders devised the Electoral College system, so the electors who represented each state could keep each other updated without the delay of travel. In todayís world, we have the Internet. Information is transmitted instantaneously through the web, resulting in no delay when votes are coming in from states during Election Day. Why does a country, as technologically advanced and prosperous as the U.S, keep using this age old process today? That is an excellent question. The Electoral College system in the U.S. is unfair, outdated, and should definitely be replaced. That being said, the Electoral College system is not the only problem with voting in the U.S., but also the two-party system which often has voters picking a candidate because they do not like the other.

The major issue with the Electoral College is how it allots voting power. Instead of the citizens being given votes, they are actually given to states based on their population. However, states are automatically given three votes no matter their population. This is giving votes to people who are not actually in the states, and takes the votes away from citizens that actually exist in other states. For example, ten votes are taken away from California and redistributed among smaller states such as Wyoming and Vermont. This means that a vote in smaller states is worth more than a vote in a larger state. Also, the whole population of the United States is not represented by these votes. Approximately eleven million people live in the territories of the U.S., which include Guam, Puerto Rico, the Northern Mariana Islands, and the U.S. Virgin Islands. These millions of people are U.S. citizens and are governed by the same federal laws, but they do not get to vote for their leader? That goes against the republican values the country was founded on. What makes the issue even worse is that U.S. citizens who are traveling abroad are able to mail in their votes, but if you travel to these territories, you are not even allowed to do that. These territories are being treated as if they donít even exist in the Electoral College. Another issue is that even though the majority of the population does not vote for you, you can still win the presidency. This has happened three times in American history, and if you figure there have been fifty six elections, that is the five percent chance that a president who was not supported by the majority of the U.S. will lose. Why should the loser be the winner of the contest for the most powerful man or woman in the world? According the Electoral College, it can happen.

Instead of the Electoral College system, the United States should use the simple, but effective popular voting method. This ensures that every citizenís vote is equal and that whoever wins the majority of the votes, will win the election. An argument usually used against this system is that presidents will most likely abandon smaller states in favor of larger states in terms of population to win more votes. However, this is already happening as presidents seldom visit the less populated states, but rather the states that flip flop. In other words, candidates usually focus on states that change the party they vote for each election and ignore the states that are defined as either Democratic or Republican. Also, if a candidate were to only campaign in large cities for the votes, he or she would still not be reaching the amount of people needed to get the majority. Yes, most of the population lives in urban areas, but these urban areas are numerous and spread out across the U.S. and there is no way that a president would be able to cover them all to win a majority.

Another problem with the voting system in the U.S. is the two-party system. In every election, there are two main candidates running for each major party, Democrat and Republican. This leaves the three hundred million people in the U.S. to decide between two people. Voters may not agree with everything a candidate is supporting, however they are forced to vote for him or her anyway because they are picking the candidate they have the least issues with rather than the candidate they support. The two party system also keeps candidates not in these two parties basically no chance of being elected. The two parties restricts a personís right to choose who they think they can do the job the best. To fix this problem, more political parties should be involved with the election. However this creates more issues. For example, if ten candidates are running and a certain candidate receives twenty percent of the vote, eighty percent of the population did not want him as president. A resolution to this issue could be for voters to list the candidates that they would most like to see in office. If the number one candidate on this list is not elected, than the vote that would go to that person, go to the second person on their list and so on. This is known as instant-runoff voting and is more balanced system than the current two-party system in place today because the candidate who most people support, is placed in office.

The Electoral College was a good system for the time period it was founded. But in todayís world, where the presidency had an effect on the rest of the world, we cannot afford to keep using this unfair voting method and should instead use popular voting as well as the instant-runoff vote. These two methods allow the correct candidate to be elected as well as the one who most citizens support.

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ESSAY REVIEW

Because you are writing about several distinct problems, as you see it, with the way in which presidents are elected in the U.S., you should probably revising the beginning of your essay. As it stands, the beginning suggests that your focus will be on the electoral college system, but that is in fact only one part of the larger problem you want to analyze. Your essay is about all the problems with the electoral system, and for that reason you ought to clarify at the outset that you are speaking about the general situation.

The problem with the way you set up your essay from the outset is reflected in the way the essay is organized. You begin by talking about the electoral college system, and end by talking about it too, but in the middle you present a list of disparate things that you find problematic with the way the president is elected.

Consider the second paragraph. In the topic sentence (the first sentence) of that paragraph, you raise the issue of the electoral college. You identify a problem with the electoral college system and then, in the same paragraph, announce another issue: residents of US territories that have no vote. Then, in the same paragraph, you announce another issue: the possibility that a candidate can be elected without winning the popular vote.

Divide that paragraph up into three separate paragraphs. The beginning and end of the paragraph (the first and third issue you address) relate specifically to the question of whether the electoral college system is a good system. The second issue (about the lack of representation in territories or dependencies) is a separate issue. Perhaps there is a resistance to allowing residents of those areas to vote because of a sentimental attachment to the electoral system, but in truth it seems like a separate issue altogether. One could certainly imagine the U.S. changing to a popular vote for the president while still excluding the residence of those territories from voting.

Sorry this is such an curt response to your essay, but it's a holiday here. Happy Thanksgiving!

Best, EJ.
Submitted by: Radomile
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