Though optimistic views of its origins have perpetuated its support, said origins are not as pure as proponents claim them to be.
MinnPost illustration by Jaime Anderson One in a series of articles. You can read the whole series here. Sticking with the Electoral College system, but not yet plunging into the surprising too-little-discussed history of why the Framers put it in the Constitution, I want first to dash off a quick list of ten problems and potential problems with the Electoral College system: This is more than a theoretical possibility.
It has happened at least four times out of the 56 presidential elections, or more than 7 percent of the time, which is not such a small percentage, and it created a hideous mess every time. The most recent occurrence was If you have to carry Florida to win, it elevates the already ever-present need candidates feel to pander to elderly voters, Cuban-Americans, orange-growers and any other group that can deliver a bloc of Floridians.
The same thing with Iowa and ethanol subsidies and other agriculture-friendly policies, except even more so because Iowa is not only a swing state over recent cycles but has become since the key first state in the presidential nominating process.
But that last bit about the nominating process, of course, is not rooted in the Constitution.
Who can explain how this can be a good thing? A first-term president who expects to have a tough reelection fight as they all at least expect to but who wanted to establish diplomatic and trade relations with Cuba broken in would have to consider the possibility that such a policy might cost him Florida and therefore a second term.
Perhaps this helps explain why long after Washington normalized relations with the Soviet Union, China and other governments that formerly or presently call themselves Communists, Cuba remains on the do-not-call list.
Yes, you read that right. Can this be a good thing? If we could do nothing more than allocate the electoral votes on a population basis, it would make the system substantially more democratic.
The rules of the Electoral College system for dealing with a tie are bizarre and scary and create a fairly plausible scenario by which no one would be elected president in time for Inauguration Day. The only tie in Electoral College history was ina totally bizarre situation, in the days before formal tickets, and back in the days when several states still did not even hold a popular vote in the presidential selection process.
The Constitution did not and still does not require that any popular vote be conducted for president. In that election, Thomas Jefferson tied with his own running mate Aaron Burr. Better not try to cram that whole saga in here right now.
This happened inwhen Ralph Nader, running as the Green Party nominee, finished third in the popular vote with just 2. And, because of winner-take-all, that one state also tipped the outcome of the national election.
In most recent cycles, there has been at least one halfway credible scenario under which a small third party can tip a key state and perhaps the whole election. Johnson from the ballot after he filed proper paperwork three minutes after his filing deadline, and Romney campaign aides participated in unsuccessful efforts to keep him off the ballot in other states as well.
Of course, even in a pure popular vote system unless you have ranked choice voting minor parties have the potential to change the outcome. But the Electoral College, paired with the winner-take-all aspect, greatly increases the leverage. This rule actually made sense when the Framers put it in there but stopped making sense almost immediately.
Bush was a Texan. And the electoral vote was so close that without the Texas votes, Cheney would not have had a majority.
And the courts decided that was good enough to make him a non-Texan for electoral vote purposes. Yes, Wyoming — populationin the census — would have equal say in the selection of the president with California — 37 million.
And to win, a candidate must receive the support of an absolute majority of states. But states that have an even number of House members may deadlock. Minnesota, with its current delegation of four Democrats and four Republicans, would be a good candidate for this fate.
A deadlocked state cannot vote at all for a presidential candidate. But, to produce a winner, one candidate would still have to win 26 states, even though several states would presumably be deadlocked.
If no presidential candidate can get to 26, there is no constitutional mechanism for producing a winner.
The vice president whose selection in this scenario would be thrown into the Senate could serve indefinitely as acting president. This has never happened, although it has come close. If we wait long enough, it will happen someday. When the Framers put that crazy structure, where the presidential election would be thrown from the Electoral College into the House for a one-state one-vote choice of the next president, they believed this would actually happen on a regular basis.The winner-take-all system explains why one candidate can get more votes nationwide while a different candidate wins in Electoral College.
and how each has serious flaws. Rural states do. The Significance of the Electoral College Introduction The Electoral College is a huge part of the United States, however, many people do not know much about the Electoral College unless they are a politician or an active democrat or republican.
The Electoral College is a system that selects the president of the United States by. Another argument for the continued use of the electoral college is that it gives the candidates more incentive to appeal to voters across different regions, rather than simply resting on the.
Robert Longley is a U.S. government and history expert with over 30 years of experience in municipal government. He has written for ThoughtCo since Did they not realize that the Electoral College system effectively took the power to select the American president of out of the hands of the.
Under the Electoral College system, it is possible for a presidential candidate to lose the nationwide popular vote, yet be elected president of the United States by winning in only a handful of key states. Should you ever forget this fact, critics of the Electoral College will be sure to remind you.
What is the theory used in the United States that involves people giving their freedom to the government in order to protect life, liberty, and person property? It established separate ballots for the President and Vice President in the electoral college.
Defenders of the electoral college argue that. Mandate of the People. Informal.