Retrieved July 25, 2007, from Grolier Online Copyright © 2007 Scholastic Library Publishing, Inc. Since many Americans are against editing the constitution in any way, shape, or form, applying edits to the electoral college or eliminating it all together is difficult. He fails to understand the simple concepts of the constitution and the history of the changes that have been made to it. I know that this is a really old post but I would firstly like to point out that I completely agree with Eric; especially on the point about states taking control. Who could have had the foresight? What problems were the framers of the Constitution hoping to solve with the Electoral College? Such a unifying mechanism seems especially prudent in view of the severe regional problems that have typically plagued geographically large nations such as China, India, the Soviet Union, and even, in its time, the Roman Empire. Senate, the Archivist of the UnitedStates, the state's Secretary of State, and the chief judge of theUnited States district court where those electors met. In December each states' electors meet in their states capitol andvote for president and vice president.
State viewpoints, they decided, are more important than political minority viewpoints. However, the only instance in which a candidate who received a majority 50%+1 but lost the election was in 1876; in 1888 and 2000 the winner of the popular vote lost, but no candidate had a majority. I would not consider this a flaw but a design characteristic. Opponents of the Electoral College are disturbed by the possibility of electing a minority president one without the absolute majority of popular votes. I chose the year 2000 because this is the latest year for which I could find urban versus rural population data. Experience quickly demonstrated, in other words, that a popular vote would work, and the strange contrivance of appointing electors by rules that could shift from state to state and election to election was now superfluous.
The parties nominated candidates for president and vice president and then picked electors to vote for them. This occurred, as noted above, in 1824 and was unsuccessfully attempted in 1948 and again in 1968. Nor would a direct election have changed those outcomes without a run-off requiring over 50% of the popular vote an idea which not even proponents of a direct election seem to advocate. If, for example, a third party or independent candidate were to win the support of even as many as 25% of the voters nationwide, he might still end up with no Electoral College votes at all unless he won a plurality of votes in at least one State. New Haven: Yale University Press, 1972. The winner is sworn into office at noon on January 20th. As for the first issue, that the Electoral College over-represents rural populations, proponents respond that the United State Senate - with two seats per State regardless of its population - over-represents rural populations far more dramatically.
In fact, there have been several presidential candidates who won the popular vote, but lost the election because they received fewer electoral votes. In rare instances, an elector will defect and not vote for his or her party's candidate. It's a political upset that's occurred several times since the first U. Can this be a good thing? But there are also staunch defenders of the Electoral College who, though perhaps less vocal than its critics, offer very powerful arguments in its favor. Back in the 1800s, it simply took that long to count the popular votes and for all the electors to travel to the state capitals. This issue was mentioned above and is discussed at greater length below. If the Democratic candidate wins in astate, then the electors chosen by the state Democratic Party getsto vote for the president in that state; the same if the Republicanwins.
Minnesota, with its current delegation of four Democrats and four Republicans, would be a good candidate for this fate. However, in parliamentary systems, the third or fourth or fifth party is what is the cause of frustration. First, the framers were experimental politicians, and they were open to the evidence of how things were operating. The simplest one is that it sometimes lets the popular vote winner not win the election, which is sort of weird. However, as in other political reforms, convincing is necessary.
The great points here lead directly to the zero-sum game we have today, which is causing the rancor and acrimony in America. For more on the Electoral College. Of course, this all assumes that a direct popular election is preferable to an indirect election. But once he retired or died, the framers worried that a popular vote would then center on provincial candidates. Jack Rakove Image credit: L. The fact that the Electoral College was originally designed to solve one set of problems but today serves to solve an entirely different set of problems is a tribute to the genius of the Founding Fathers. I believe the existing system has two fundamental — I wish I could say fatal — flaws.
This is so because the voters of even small minorities in a State may make the difference between winning all of that State's electoral votes or none of that State's electoral votes. I had to sit down and ponder the whole thing and look up a whole bunch of information for my own sake of understanding. The entire electoral college does not meet together in one place. Post navigation I think your blog is going to be very interesting to read. The Electoral College alsocarries certain advantages over a popular election, including thefact that under the Electoral College, one candidate nearly alwayswins a majority of the electoral vote regardless of their showingin the popular vote and there is little need for runoff orsecond-round voting.
They also had no sense of who the electors would be, whether they would be men, as Mason observed, of the second or even the third rank of qualified voters. Proponents further argue that the Electoral College contributes to the political stability of the nation by encouraging a two party system. Why the delay between the general election and the Electoral College meetings? As is obvious, each party has a candidate standing in the presidential elections. Better not try to cram that whole saga in here right now. This includes Americans that live abroad and Americans whohave dual citizenship. 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.