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Electoral College reforms have been a very controversial subject that has attracted many views and reviews. There has been an increased demand for these reforms. This is because most people including the members of the congress are dissatisfied with the ‘’winner takes it all system. ‘This paper seeks to study at least four proposals of the electoral collage review. It will try to address the constitutional concerns in relation to the initiative of voters who will be able to achieve the Electoral College reforms.
History of the Electoral College
The United States of America uses a specific method in the election of its presidents. This method was originated from intense negotiations and compromise of the constitutional intervention dated back to the year 1787. At that time, some of the states favored direct elections of the presidents. This was because the direct elections of the presidents would have given them direct influence, because of the large population that resided in these states. On the other hand, the smaller states were afraid that, if direct election was allowed, the larger and more popular states would have more influence on the presidential candidate of their choice (Bugh, p.3).
This lead to a very heated argument and every part wanted to be heard. Eventually, a compromise had to be reached. The compromise entailed the number of electrical votes that each state would have as compared to the number of senators and representatives to the states that they represented. This compromise was invited and accepted by both larger and smaller states.
This is because this process would help to put all states on an equal footing. However, the critics of this system were not pleased with the compromise. They insisted that under this method the citizens are not allowed to directly vote for the presidential candidate of their choice. Instead, the citizen has to vote for electors, who promise and pledge to vote for a particular presidential candidate. According to the constitution, the state can appoint electors’’ in such a manner as the legislator there of may direct’’ (Cont article 11). This simply means that the state has complete authority over the manner, in which they elect or appoint the electors. In most states the electors run in a general election and the winning elector is awarded all the electoral votes of the state. This method is called or known as the winner takes it all method. In the resent times nearly all states use the win and take method during general elections. (Malbin, p.28)
Aftermath of the 2002 Elections
The 2002 presidential elections helped to bring into light the fears of the many critics, who were against the winner. This is because during the 2002 elections the Democrat Al Gore won the popular vote. However, he lost the Electoral College to Republican George Bush by a few electoral votes ‘These results sparked debates, different views, reviews on the same (Bugh, p.95).
Those, who supported the Electoral College and the winner, get all system supported the system. They insisted that this system could still accomplish the original purpose. According to the supporters, this system would prevent the large states from determining and influencing the presidential candidate. They also insisted that the persons who won in the smaller states would be able to offset the persons, who lost in the larger states. They also attribute the fact that this method will help to destabilize the effect on the current party system .According to the supporters, this would eventually provide stability and also help to ensure that the particular presidential candidate will be the choice of the country at large. The opposition, on the other hand, has begged to differ with the supporters of this system (Conradt, p.9). The critics do not agree with the disproportionate influence of the smaller states in relation to their minimal population. The critics argue that the smaller states will still be guaranteed three electoral votes with one representative. Therefore, the voters from the smaller state will have more influence in the appointment of the electoral votes as compared to the larger states. The critics agree that the larger states enjoy a greater advantage or benefit. However, they argue that these votes are meaningless before the winner of the election is determined.
Abolishing the Electoral College
Many have suggested that the best approach would be to abolish the Electoral College reforms. However, such a plan and change would require a constitutional amendment. If the congress succeeds in amending this bill, the Electoral College would be eliminated and the Nation would then adopt the direct voting system. Those in support of the abolishment of the Electoral College argue that direct election would give equal voting rights and weigh all the states equally. They also argue that direct election would reduce the possibility of electing a president, who has not received the majority votes. (Canady, p.44) They also attribute their support to the fact that direct election would change campaign strategies and focus more on individual voters. On the other hand, the opposition is mainly concerned with the potential increase of third party presidential candidates. They argue that this would cause instability, and thus, the balance of power in the United States would be upset.
It would be very difficult to amend the constitution. This is because the amendments would require two thirds of the congress to agree. It is also clear that many of the large states would not agree with the amendments, since they would lose their influence on the outcomes of elections.