The Electrol College (EC) indirectly selects the President of the United States. The incitistution was formed to help out in reducing the incidences of electoral and counting errors that may arise. The college was created by the founding father of the nation who is considered by many as framers of the state (Putnam, 2015). The Electoral College was designed for the fear that the public election was not accurate enough to choose the country’s highest power. Besides, the United States at the time had a feeble two party structure which could easily have given the radical candidate a greater chance of winning if the best candidate’s votes were to be divided. The framers opined that the rational public would be able to make an independent judgment (Putnam, 2015). This paper discusses explores the structure and functionalities of this pivotal electoral body.
Structure of the Electoral College
After various suggestions on how to elect the best candidate to be the president of the nation, the committee of eleven in the constitutional convention proposed an indirect method of electing the president through a college of electors. This institution was created by the founders of the nation. The shape of the Electoral College can be related to the Centurial Assembly system of the Roman Republic. In the Electoral College, the states acted like the centurial groups, and the number of votes per state was defined by the size of each congressional delegation. So far, the Electoral College has had two designs (Putnam, 2015).
In this design, each state was given some electors similar to the number of the nation’s senators plus two of the United States representatives. The mandate of selecting the electors was given to the state’s legislature, hence, placating the doubt of a dominant national government. The state electors were required to meet in their respective states. In a bid to avoid the incidences where electors voted for their preferred candidates, the electors were expected to vote twice one of which was for a candidate who is not from that particular state with the assumption that the best candidate would be every elector’s second choice. The candidate with the most electoral vote was to be the president as long as the votes was an absolute majority.In the case of a tie, the US house of representatives was to choose the president from the top five candidates (Putnam, 2015).
The first design lasted over for presidential elections at that time and was the phased out and replaced by a second layout. This second model was developed after the upsurge of political parties which had established respectability across the nation (Putnam, 2015). By September 1804, the Congress and the states hurriedly adopted the twelfth amendment to the Constitution which required that the electors to cast one vote for the president and the other for the vice president instead of the two vote’s cast being only for the president. In the case where there was no candidate with the absolute majority, the US representative was to select the president from the best three. For the vice president is no candidate received the absolute majority, then the Senate was expected to choose the vice president from the best two candidates. These were the only amends done on the first designs (Putnam, 2015).
Comparison of the Electoral College and the Popular Vote
The political structure of the Electoral College has the representative of the Republic which is contrary to the popular vote approach that uses direct democracy. In the Electoral College the citizens vote for the delegates basing on their parties of allegiance and in turn, the delegates elect running candidates. The popular vote approach dictates that the elect their preferred candidate for the positions they are vying for. Regarding bureaucracy, the EC system requires formation of a council of the electorate who are elected by the people. On the contrary, popular vote system requires the formation of any specialized committee to oversee or take part in the elections (Mason & Stephenson, 2015). Another sharp distinction between the popular vote Approach and the Electoral Collage system is that the EC requires the formation of districts, a feature that is absent in the political systems that utilize the popular vote technique. The EC system favors the majority party while the popular vote approach does not support any particular party and greatly improves the potential for minority parties (Putnam, 2015).
Value of an Individual Citizens Vote
When an individuals elect their preffered candidates, they do not vote in the national elections but the state elections. The value of an individual vote counts more in the particular state that they participate. However, the value of votes from the public differs from states. In the Electoral College system, the votes that an individual gathers from small states are more valuable than those from bigger states since small states have fewer residents per electoral vote than the national average. The weight of the value of a vote of an individual is calculated dividing the national average of residents per elector in that state. This criteria gives the states with a smaller population higher say of who is to be the president than bigger states (Mason & Stephenson, 2015).
In summary, the authenticity of the Electoral Collage has been a debate that invites divergent opinions. The value of an individual vote is always the key determinant of the fairness of an electoral body. The EC ensures that all the voters have an equal say on their representatives. Despite the outcomes of the popular votes differing sharply with the results of the EC, this body ensures that the the minority groups are perfectly represented in the elections. In a nutshell, the Electoral College is one of the most effective and trusted systems in the globe.
Mason, A. T., & Stephenson, G. (2015). American constitutional law: introductory essays and selected cases. New York: Routledge.
Putnam, J. T. (2015). A simple approach: Projecting the electoral college. International Journal of Forecasting, 31(3), 910-915.