The United States’ constitution should be changed to eliminate the Electoral College to provide for direct election of the President. The Electoral College in the United States is a structure defined by the country’s constitution that oversees the election of the country’s vice-president and president. In any general election, the American electorate of each county, including the District of Columbia, votes for a list of electors that are sworn to vote for the president and vice-president. The constitution requires each of the chosen electors to vote once for the president and once for the vice president. Notably, the candidates who receive the majority of the votes are declared as the president and the vice president-elect. Each state in the United States has electors equal to the number of representatives and senators, but the constitution inhibits both elected and appointed leaders from being selected as an elector. The administration of the Electoral College is left in the hands of the Office of the Federal Register. Since the popular election of the electors, the Electoral College has in many times voted for a president and deputy president that have garnered the popular vote nationwide. However, the years 2016, 2000, 1888, and 1876 are the exceptions where the president and the vice president that had the popular votes nationwide ended up losing in the Electoral College, and thus they ended up losing in the respective elections. If no presidential candidate receives a majority of the electoral votes, the House of Representatives according to the twelfth amendment should select the president. On the other hand, if no candidate for the vice-president gathers majority votes in the Electoral College, the Senate then chooses with each of the senators entitled to one vote.
The founding fathers of the United States found it better to enshrine in the Constitution of the country an Electoral College since they reasoned as the best alternative to choose the president. The initial thought was to have the electors decide the subsequent presidents and vice president with the aim of safeguarding the presidency (Williams, 2016). According to the founding fathers, some voters are uneducated and informed and thus they should not directly decide the next head of states and therefore placing the privilege on the hands of electors who are in best positions to make the right choice for the president position. The move was in an attempt to tame the influence of the states with the more substantial population from having undue influence and thus consequently compromising between letting the Congress choose the president and allowing the president to be selected by the popular vote (Williams, 2016). The Electoral College has been a success over the years since there are minimal controversies in the choice made by the Electoral College for the President and the vice president of the United States. It was the wish of the founding fathers to strike a balance between the favorite choice of the people that may result in the tyranny of numbers and the interests of the minority.
However, in the present day and age, the argument fostered by the founding fathers of establishing the Electoral College system is irrelevant. Through advancement in technology, the ordinary voter in the United States has the chance of gathering the necessary information about the candidate vying for the presidency to enable them to make informed and rational decisions (Miller & Borrelli, 2015). The initial expectation of the electors in the college to be impartial and possessing the best minds to choose the president no longer exists. The Electoral College members are never free from any bias since they are elected by the political parties and are pledged to vote on their political party’s affiliation irrespective of their thoughts and opinions about the candidates. The laws that support the Electoral College in the United States Constitution should be discarded since they limit direct democracy of the electorate who should be given priority to directly choose their president and vice president of their choice (Williams, 2016). The outcome of any election in America should reflect the free will of the people and thus, the choice of who governs the country should not be left at the mercy of a few individual who is tied by their loyalty to their parties and there are high chances of them betraying the will of the people.
The issue that the Electoral College allows all parts of the country to be involved in selecting the president of the United States in an argument that is used to support the system. The founding fathers reasoned that the dependency of the popular vote to determine the president of the country would limit the campaigning to specific regions that are known to have a high number of registered voters (Miller & Borrelli, 2015). Therefore, for a presidential candidate to successfully win the elections, he or she must stage a nation-wide campaign that seeks to gather support from multiple regions in the country and thus there are chances that the president serves the needs of the whole country. Therefore, the Electoral College system of determining the presidency, small towns and rural areas are not marginalized since their electoral vote matters in deciding the top leadership of the United States.
However, the establishment of the Electoral College has introduced the issue of having the swing states to have more power, and thus the outcome of any presidential election in the United States is only determined by a handful states. The two main political parties, the Republican and the democrat count on having electoral voted in particular states (Miller & Borrelli, 2015). For example, the Republican Party aims to clinch electors’ form the state of California, and the Democratic Party, Indiana State is the preferred state to win Electors. Therefore, after the parties have acquired the electoral vote from the selected states, they do not worry about winning the popular vote. Accordingly, the presidential candidates only need to concentrate on a few regions that give them an advantage of gathering most votes in the Electoral College. Notably, in the recently concluded elections of the United States, the presidential candidates, Donald Trump and Hillary Clinton made their campaign stops in only eleven states that are considered as the battle-ground states.
The Electoral College system avoids the incidence of having a president who has popular voted but lacks to obtain the majority. History has it that, in the time the system has been in place no run-offs or recounts have limited the time frame stipulated in the constitution to have a president in place have ever been experienced. The presidential elections of the United States are less contentious and in most cases have a definite ending (Wang, 2016). If any issues arise on the votes, there is no need for a national recount, and only the votes of a particular state are recounted. As a result, there is a widespread upheaval that is created and thus for a president to win the elections must formulate national coalitions that guarantee national cohesion and peace. The system is also known for granting the president more credibility. In 2012, Barrack Obama, the then president of the United Stated gathered 51.3% as a popular vote, but in the Electoral College, he got 61.7% (Wang, 2016). In most cases, the winner of the popular vote ends up winning the electoral vote. However, critically analyzing the system reveals that only 538 people out of the over 300 million voters in the United States have the mandate to elect the president (Wang, 2016). Also, it is painful for a presidential candidate to win a popular vote only to lose the chance of clinching to the presidency by losing the electoral vote. For example, in 2016, Hillary Clinton won the popular vote by more than one million votes, but she lost in the electoral votes (Wang, 2016). Therefore, it is clear indication that, the Electoral College does not represent the will and choice of the people and the electors serve their interests and not that of the people who elected them. American presidents should have a backing of the majority of the people, and that defines the real democracy where the majority have their way, but the minority have their say.
The Electoral College has the effect of keeping the two parties in the United States politics strong. Therefore, it is difficult to have any other third party enter the political scenes of the country and gather substantial support. The political system of the nation leaves the electorate with no choice other than conforming to the policies of either affiliation to the Republican or the democratic parties (Miller & Borrelli, 2015). The introduction of a third party also has the effect of reducing the chances of having its presidential candidate winning and thus the American citizens have no choice but to stick with the two main political parties and rivals. Also, the system of determining the president of the United States has the effect of making Americans reasoning than their vote does not matter. An ordinary voter thinks that despite his or her voting pattern, it is only a team of a few individuals have the right to determine the president of the United States (Miller & Borrelli, 2015). In the recent time, the rates of voter participation are quite low and eliminating the Electoral College is the sure way of mitigating the adverse trend. Every American deserves the chance to be involved in the political and electoral process since the government is put in place to govern the people. The electorate are the first recipients of the impact of governance in the country and thus should be given the right erect leaders of choice to top positions of power.
To sum it up, the constitution of the United States, therefore, should be amended to eliminate the Electoral College and provide for direct election of the president. The reasons for the founding fathers to introduce the Electoral College have been outdated, and it is the high time to return the sovereign power to the people. The current clashing of the popular vote with that of the electoral votes is a clear indication that the Electoral College is a failed system and increases the chances of having rogue electors. No legislation in the constitution requires electors to vote in the interest of their respective states, and there are chances that the electors can vote for a candidate that never won the elector’s state. Therefore, the bottom line is that the United States need to eliminate the Electoral College and declare the popular vote as the ultimate determiner of the president of the people.
Miller, A., & Borrelli, S. (2015). Policy and performance orientations in the United States. Electoral Studies, 11(2), 106-121. http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/0261-3794(92)90033-3
Wang, C. (2016). Personality traits, political attitudes and vote choice: Evidence from the United States. Electoral Studies, 44, 26-34. http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.electstud.2016.07.004
Williams, P. (2016). Electoral studies and the 2016 election in the United States. Electoral Studies, 1(3), 347-354. http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/0261-3794(82)90223-2