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.
Arguments Against the Electoral College Those who object to the Electoral College system and favor a direct popular election of the president generally do so on four grounds: Opponents of the Electoral College are disturbed by the possibility of electing a minority president one without the absolute majority of popular votes.
Nor is this concern entirely unfounded since there are three ways in which that could happen. One way in which a minority president could be elected is if the country were so deeply divided politically that three or more presidential candidates split the electoral votes among them such that no one obtained the necessary majority.
This occurred, as noted above, in and was unsuccessfully attempted in and again in Should that happen today, there are two possible resolutions: House of Representatives would select the president in accordance with the 12th Amendment.
Either way, though, the person taking office would not have obtained the absolute majority of the popular vote. Yet it is unclear how a direct election of the president could resolve such a deep national conflict without introducing a presidential run-off election -- a procedure which would add substantially to the time, cost, and effort already devoted to selecting a president and which might well deepen the political divisions while trying to resolve them.
A second way in which a minority president could take office is if, as inone candidate's popular support were heavily concentrated in a few States while the other candidate maintained a slim popular lead in enough States to win the needed majority of the Electoral College.
While the country has occasionally come close to this sort of outcome, the question here is whether the distribution of a candidate's popular support should be taken into account alongside the relative size of it. This issue was mentioned above and is discussed at greater length below. Far from being unusual, this sort of thing has, in fact, happened 15 times including in this century Wilson in both andTruman inKennedy inand Nixon in The only remarkable thing about those outcomes is that few people noticed and even fewer cared.
Opponents of the Electoral College system also point to the risk of so-called "faithless" Electors. A "faithless Elector" is one who is pledged to vote for his party's candidate for president but nevertheless votes of another candidate.
|The Electoral College - Pros and Cons||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.|
|Arguments Against the Electoral College||It is composed of the heads of executive departments chosen by the president with the consent of the Senate, but the members do not hold seats in Congress, and their tenure, like that… Duties of the office The Constitution succinctly defines presidential functions, powers, and responsibilities.|
|The Pro's and Con's of the Electoral College System||Fairness is not always sustainable, and this is one of the cases where I think that statement applies.|
|Duties of the office||The Electoral College an electoral device that makes the election of the President an indirect one.|
|The Electoral College - Pros and Cons||
There have been 7 such Electors in this century and as recently as when a Democrat Elector in the State of West Virginia cast his votes for Lloyd Bensen for president and Michael Dukakis for vice president instead of the other way around.
Faithless Electors have never changed the outcome of an election, though, simply because most often their purpose is to make a statement rather than make a difference. That is to say, when the electoral vote outcome is so obviously going to be for one candidate or the other, an occasional Elector casts a vote for some personal favorite knowing full well that it will not make a difference in the result.
Still, if the prospect of a faithless Elector is so fearsome as to warrant a Constitutional amendment, then it is possible to solve the problem without abolishing the Electoral College merely by eliminating the individual Electors in favor of a purely mathematical process since the individual Electors are no longer essential to its operation.
Opponents of the Electoral College are further concerned about its possible role in depressing voter turnout. Their argument is that, since each State is entitled to the same number of electoral votes regardless of its voter turnout, there is no incentive in the States to encourage voter participation.Electing Presidents by states' votes, rather than individuals' votes, creates a method of electing a President who is a good compromise candidate for the majority of Americans The Electoral.
Arguments against the Electoral College A third way of electing a minority president is if a third party or candidate, however small, drew total.
Far from being unusual, this sort of thing has, in fact, happened 15 times including (in this century) Wilson in both and , Truman in , Kennedy in , Nixon. A second way in which a minority president could take office is if, as in , one candidate's popular support were heavily concentrated in a few States while the other candidate maintained a slim popular lead in enough States to win the needed majority of the Electoral College.
If Democracies Need Informed Voters, How Can They Thrive While Expanding Enfranchisement?. Election Law Journal: Rules, Politics, and Policy [Internet]. Election .
In defense of the electoral college.
an extraordinary amount of argument on the electoral college, and it was by no means one-sided. college and the method of electing a president never. A third way of electing a minority president is if a third party or candidate, however small, drew this sort of thing has, in fact, happened 15 times including (in this century) Wilson in both and , Truman in , Kennedy in , Nixon in , and Clinton in both 1nd argument goes, the Electoral College reinforces.