Uphold Electoral College in presidential elections

November 27, 2012

By Nitin Shyamkumar

Nitin Shyamkumar Skyline High School

The Electoral College tends to receive a substantial amount of criticism. I don’t dispute that the criticisms are valid; what I do question is whether popular vote is preferable to a system that has existed since 1788.

The Electoral College preserves the purpose of a state as an entity. In the event of popular vote, the states as legal entities are no longer necessary for presidential elections. It is this preservation of the purpose of the state that contributes to maintaining federalism.

Similarly, the Electoral College contributes to the cohesion of the nation by requiring a distribution of the popular vote. The Electoral College requires a candidate to win a majority of the vote in a majority of the states. Interestingly enough, it has compelled presidential candidates over the years to choose vice presidential candidates that would “balance the ticket.”

Another aspect to examine is the two-party system. If one views the two-party system in a favorable light as a potential source of stability, then the Electoral College actually aids the system because of the difficulty for a minor party to win enough votes.

The Electoral College certainly has flaws, but ultimately these flaws do not detract from its merits in a way that adversely affects American democracy.

Never has the need to eliminate the Electoral College been clearer than it is now.

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