If the System is Not Broken, Why fix it?
In today’s day in age change is the new trend, whether is it change in technology, Religion or politics. Unlike most debates, in political parties each side has mixed views on this issue. This argument is that the Electoral College is outdated and has run its course in America, therefore making it unnecessary to be part of the election process. People who believe that the Electoral College is outdated feel that it would be best to use the popular vote to elect our President as a replacement.
Those who favor the popular vote rather than the Electoral College will make few cases as to why the Electoral College should be replaced with the popular vote. One case that is made is that the Electoral College fails to elect the correct candidate. Another case is that the popular vote is not taken into consideration when the Electoral College is making their decision. As a final point, by not using the popular vote as a means to elect the President that distances the citizens feeling of involvement in our democratic system.
In the two hundred years-plus of the Electoral College’s extensive history a mistake has only been made once. This happened in the election of 1876 between Rutherford B. Hayes and Samuel J. Tilden. Jackie Hicken states in “10 of the Closest Presidential Elections in United States History” that “…Samuel J. Tilden, Tilden won the popular vote, 4,288,191 to Hayes’s 4,033,497. However, the electoral votes of four states were disputed” (Hicken 1). This quote clearly shows that while we do not have a perfect system it is more than capable of performing the task at hand successfully.
Furthermore, if the President were to be elected through the popular vote this would also raise issues. By this I mean that instead of candidates campaigning through all the states, the candidates would have a stronger focus on the higher populated states like California, Texas and New York. By way of contrast, this is how the Electoral College helps citizens realize that their vote is important because the candidates will continue to campaign through their state persuading them to have their votes. Also, in the Electoral College each state is given a minimum of three Electoral votes so they are not dominated by other regions of the country who have more electoral votes.
With this in mind, the people who favor popular vote say that it is important for every voice to be heard. As a result of having the Electoral College replaced with the popular vote the opposite would happen. By using the popular vote only a limited number of citizens would have their voice heard through the election. This is because as previously stated, the candidates would simply focus their attention on areas with higher population.
Given these points, it is easy to see that although the Electoral College has its faults, it is a better representation and allows citizens to feel that their vote really does have a significant impact as opposed to the popular vote. Clearly, our founding fathers had the country’s best interest in mind while going through the decision process of how a country should be run and how leaders should be elected.
1. Hicken, Jackie. "10 of the Closest Presidential Elections in United States History." Deseret News 5 Nov. 2012. Web. 14 Apr. 2013.