The Electoral College system is a process that is made up of the electors’ selection—basically, it is the meeting of electors, where they will select the president and the vice president, involving the electoral votes counting by the Congress. The Founding Fathers of the United States established this system within the Constitution as a compromise between the President’s election based on the common vote of eligible citizens and by the vote within the Congress. In its 200-year history, there have been a number of proponents and critics who proposed reforms to the system or even eliminate it, with both sides offering very powerful arguments in their favor. Now, we should be aware of—and weigh down—the pros and cons of Electoral College to know where we stand.
List of Pros of Electoral College
1. It maintains a representative form of government.
Through Electoral College, states are given the power to select delegates to the system, allowing them to take part in the selection of a president and vice president, thus maintaining a representative form of government.
2. It ensures division of power.
The Constitution created by this system divides the government into three branches in order to ensure checks and balances to be done, along with deliberation. This system prevents directly elected presidents to declare national mandates that would undermine the other branches. As the system uses 2 political parties, this structure can actually create more stability. With a small number of political parties, there will be a generalized platform.
3. It is effective in protecting minority interests.
This system preserves the voice of the states with more rural areas and fewer populations, which is especially true in these modern days where this system is able to save the interests of people who live in less-bustling areas.
List of Cons of Electoral College
1. It uses a complicated system that deters people from voting.
While a popular vote is a simple majority, Electoral College necessitates redistributing votes in a certain period of time for the election of delegates and changes in population. Aside from this, it also involves a lot of steps, making people feel that their votes do not matter.
2. It places more attention to the states in the bigger “swing”.
Most states see candidates having most of the votes acquiring all electoral votes, where a few consistently vote for their Democrat or Republican favorites. With Electoral College, candidates would pay less attention to states with clear favorites.
3. It does not guarantee that people who are favored by the majority will win.
Basically, smaller states are given more Electoral College votes than individual population percentage, which is considered as being not democratic.
Having performed its function for over 2 centuries now, the Electoral College has been ensuring that the president of the country has sufficient popular support to govern, enabling him/her to look after his country and the people effectively. However, it had some few anomalies in early history that prompted critics to propose movements to abolish it and push some alternative solutions that they see fit. Now, with the pros and cons listed above, we will be able to build an opinion whether this system is entirely beneficial to society, or not.
Brandon Miller has a B.A. from the University of Texas at Austin. He is a seasoned writer who has written over one hundred articles, which have been read by over 500,000 people. If you have any comments or concerns about this blog post, then please contact the Green Garage team here.