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Electoral College Reform - Research Paper Example

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This paper explores the reform needs in the Electoral College system used in U.S presidential election. The Electoral College system has been deemed as requiring reforms despite its being a time-honored system because of its likelihood to conflict with the popular vote…
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Electoral College Reform
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Electoral College Reform

The Electoral College is the system used in the United States to elect its presidents. Generally, an electoral college refers to a set of electors with the mandate to elect a candidate to an office. Members of an Electoral College represent various interest groups or organizations with their votes weighted in specific ways. In countries where electoral colleges are used, the wishes of the general membership of a country or an entity is often ignored since the members of an electoral college are not only regarded as important but also as of the ideal wisdom needed to make better choices than the larger population. Though dating back to the historical times, there are several cases of modern electoral colleges in countries with complex regional electorates, which prefer Electoral College elections to the rather direct popular elections. The United States is perhaps the only modern state in which presidents are elected indirectly through the Electoral College system. In the U.S., the electors in the Electoral College represent the 50 states and the federal district of Columbia. However, each state is accorded electors corresponding to its total congressional representation in both houses. In addition to these electors, the non-state District of Columbia has three electors. In the U.S where the law requires one to marshal 270 electoral votes to win the presidency, the Electoral College generally votes for whichever contender wins the popular vote in each state (Bugh 67). This paper explores the reform needs in the Electoral College system used in U.S presidential election. Although cases of conflict with the popular vote are rather rare, having been reported only three times in over 200 years, the Electoral College system has been deemed as requiring reforms despite its being a time-honored system because of its likelihood to conflict with popular vote. Electoral College Reform Proposals Several proposals or reform options have been suggested regarding the need to reform the Electoral College in the U.S. First, the Electoral College could be reformed by altering the organization of the states in the U.S. That is, the territory should be re-divided into equally sized 50 bodies with roughly equal populations. An advantage of this proposal is that it would end the over-representation of small states and the under-representation of big states in U.S presidential and senate voting. Further, this proposal will not do away with the Electoral College; rather, it will preserve and ensure the continued existence of the unique federal system and the Electoral College (Bugh 67). In addition, there will still be a balance of authority among different government levels. What is more, the states should be re-districted after every census. However, there are several challenges and disadvantages associated with these proposals. For instance, local authorities and residents would have to deal with the shifting state procedures and laws. The other reform options for the Electoral College system in the U.S include direct election followed by instant runoffs, proportional allocation of electoral votes, and direct vote with plurality rule, congressional district method, and national bonus plan (Ross & Will 165). Direct Election with Runoff With or without the Electoral College, instant runoff voting is a highly recommended approach to elections in the U.S. In this system, voters would be required to rank their preferred candidates so that in case no candidate emerges a clear winner and whoever has the lowest number of votes is automatically eliminated. Counting begins again during which second choice votes, which indicate the eliminated candidate as first choice are tallied. This process continues until a candidate with majority votes emerges. This system has the advantage of reducing time and resource wastages. The hallmark of most of the proposed replacements of the Electoral Col ... Read More
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