It's that time of year when campaigning clogs the airways to an annoying level.
What always made me leery about the way voting takes place in the USA is the Electoral College. I understand the 12th Amendment was created by farmers in Sept 6, 1787, so that the small towns in BFE would have an equal say in who runs this country. But it is not a very democratic method for our current society. Even now farmers way out in BFE have cell phones and the internet.
Critics like myself argue that the Electoral College is inherently undemocratic and gives swing states disproportionate influence in electing the President and Vice President. It violates the principle of political equality, since presidential elections are not decided by the one-person one-vote principle. A result of the present functionality of the Electoral College is that the national popular vote bears no legal or factual significance on determining the outcome of the election. Since the national popular vote is irrelevant, both voters and candidates are assumed to base their campaign strategies around the existence of the Electoral College; any close race has candidates campaigning to maximize electoral votes by capturing coveted swing states, not to maximize national popular vote totals.
George C. Edwards, 2011 has stated:
The United States is the only country that elects a politically powerful president via an electoral college and the only one in which a candidate can become president without having obtained the highest number of votes in the sole or final round of popular voting.
The electoral college does not provide a straightforward process for selecting the president. Instead, it can be extraordinarily complex and has the potential to undo the people's will at many points in the long journey from the selection of electors to counting their votes in Congress.
Except in closely fought swing states, voter turnout is largely insignificant due to entrenched political party domination in most states. The Electoral College decreases the advantage a political party or campaign might gain for encouraging voters to turn out, except in those swing states. If the presidential election were decided by a national popular vote, in contrast, campaigns and parties would have a strong incentive to work to increase turnout everywhere. Individuals would similarly have a stronger incentive to persuade their friends and neighbors to turn out to vote. The differences in turnout between swing states and non-swing states under the current electoral college system suggest that replacing the Electoral College with direct election by popular vote would likely increase turnout and participation significantly.
Voting should be based on the direct popular vote of the people. Not by some shady elected “electoral” group of people who can be fined an obnoxious amount (in some states) for not voting a way they had promised. Although electors are not required by federal law to honor a pledge, in the overwhelming majority of cases they vote for the candidate to whom they are pledged. But no, the Electoral College can somehow supersede Us, the vote of the people.
4 times in our history the Electoral College superseded Our vote:
Things to read:
How Stuff Works
The Electoral College Controversy article
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