Tuesday, December 11, 2012

How the Electoral College should be done

Probably one of the most controversial aspects of a United States presidential election isn't the money spent campaigning, or the negative ads, but how we actually vote for the candidates itself.

The United States uses a system known as the Electoral College where instead of the population voting for who will be the President of the United States as a whole, individuals called Electors actually vote for who will become the President.

Now the only reason why a presidential election is is even held in the first place is because all 50 states have laws that state that the Electors must respect the wishes of the majority of the voters in the state they are in, and all the Electors usually choose who majority of the voters voted for (although this is not always the case).

Now while this may sound okay to some, this does have several flaws in it.

The first flaw in this is that the way the Electoral College is set up is that it can led to the person who did not win the popular vote to still win the election because they had enough electoral votes (this has happened three times before, four if you count the election of 1824).

The second flaw with this is that a couple of highly populated areas can literally give a candidate all the electoral votes in one state by only a few thousand votes, which in turn creates a huge amount of resentment from everyone else in the state.

There is of course a way to solve this problem.

As most of you may well be aware all states plus the District of Columbia are given a minimum of three electoral votes. This is of course to reflect the number of people that state has in congress (members of the House of Representatives and the Senate).

So here is what I feel should be done. Instead of a presidential candidate winning all of a state's electoral votes if they win the popular vote in that state, they should only be given the two electoral votes that is suppose to represent that state's senators if they win the popular vote, and that the candidate who wins the popular vote in a certain representative district should be given the electoral vote that represents that district, regardless of whether or not they actually won the popular vote in that state.

Doing this would not only more accurately represent the voting population of a state, it would also give a boost to "third party" candidates as more people might be more willing to vote for a candidate they actually want to for instead of voting against a candidate by voting for a candidate they don't necessarily like, but they can not stand the other candidate.

This could also eliminate Faithless Electors as well, as an elector might be more willing to vote for the candidate who won the distract that the elector is assigned to rather then actually becoming a faithless electors. Electors could even become no longer necessary at all and that the electoral votes be given out by the state.

Of course we could just do away with the electoral college completely and go to direct vote...

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