According to the Merriam-Webster Dictionary, “democracy is a government in which the supreme power is vested in the people and exercised by them directly or indirectly through a system of representation usually involving periodically held free elections.” Therefore democracy can be approached in many different ways to accomplish its maximum purpose: give people the power ofchoice. One of those ways is the one that United States citizens use to elect their president. It is called the Electoral College.
The Electoral College in the United States is a 200 years old system created by the country’s founding fathers. It has 538 electors. 535 of those electors are from the sates and 3 from Washington DC. The candidate must receive 270 of those votes to win. The votes arecast in each elector state capital on the second Wednesday of December. The votes are sealed and sent to the senate who read them before the congress on January 6th.
The Electoral College system was created to have the Congress or the Senate decides the presidential election. When the United states were a brand new country, Communication and travel around the country were slow; there were worriesabout citizens not having enough information about the candidates outside voter’s state that would lead them to pick someone from their own region. Then with the direct vote, only states with large population will decide the elections with little attention for the smaller ones. Therefore the Electoral College seemed like a better way to assure a more fair process.
Each state gets an equalnumbers of Electors that the members they have in the House of Representatives and one for each of the two Senators each state have. Electors are chosen in different ways, every sate can adopt its own particular way to do so. The most common ways are being nominated by his or her party committee as a prize or reward for the work to the party or campaign for the position that is decided at the party’sconvention. Most people have no idea who these electors are, unless they are highly involve in their states politics.
One of the most controversial topics about this system is the called “faithless elector” which means that even though the population wish is represented by the elector vote, he or she could go against the majority will and vote the opposite way. That is perfectly legal, some stateshave passed laws to prevent that behavior but experts agree that state level laws cannot do much about a constitutional right.
As mentioned before, the Electoral College works different in each state. Forty eight states have the standard “winner takes all” system. That means that whichever candidates ends up with the most popular votes in the state, will takes all the electors of that state.The two exceptions to that system are Maine and Nebraska, whose electoral votes are divided by the “winner takes all” system and the “district system” that means that the popular vote counts to determine each district vote.
In the event that one of the candidates do not obtain at least 270 votes from the Electoral College, the decision then would be taken by the Congress, where each state has onevote; and the winner most have at least 26 votes to win the presidency.
Those who support this system like the fact that the president has wide geographic distribution of voters to win the election, and that it helps minorities to have a voice and to play an important role in the final decision. Supporters also alleged that the system encourage a two party election. Having only two parties forcesthe candidates to be in the middle of public opinion and allows the voters to know the candidates. It will also prevent abrupt changes from one administration to another.
The idea of the founding fathers was have the people to choose the members of the Congress, and then have the congressmen to express the wishes of the nation by electing the president and vice-president; contributing this...