final - Donhauser 1 The Electoral College Debate The...

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Donhauser 1 The Electoral College Debate The Election of 2000 between George W. Bush and Al Gore urged the American public to question the legitimacy of the Electoral College. In this election, Al Gore won the majority of the popular vote by approximately 500,000 (2000 Presidential Election—Popular Vote Totals ). Despite the fact that more Americans sought after Gore for the Presidency, Bush won this election by five electoral votes. As a result, it appears that the Constitution allows for the possibility for the majority to be overridden by the Electoral College. However, it was formed with the intent to choose the best fit leaders for our new country by the intellectual elite. At the time of its creation, the Framers of the Constitution thought that the average voter was not informed enough to cast a well educated vote because information about the candidates was not readily accessible and thus this policy was instated. While in the past the College was set in place for legitimate reasons, a debate has arisen to its need in today’s society due to more media exposure than in the past, its original reasons for instatement being obsolete, and its negative affects on voter turnout. Contrarily, some still argue that it is the best means of election because it promotes federalism and it keeps the balance of power between small and large states that it was created to promote. In order to interpret how the times have changed since its formation, one must look at how and why the College was created. While writing the Constitution, the Framers struggled to find a successful way for the new country to elect its President and Vice President. With a large majority of the country skeptical of the new central government, the authors had to be especially careful in choosing the method to go about elections. The decision came down to two sides: those in favor of a congressionally elected President and those in favor of a democratically direct
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Donhauser 2 elected President by the people. The result, the Electoral College, was yet another compromise in the struggle to form a living Constitution. In Article II, Section 1 of the United States Constitution, the constitutional Framers outline the process of the Electoral College. It states that these officials shall be decided by a number of state chosen electors. The number of electors a state has to represent itself is determined by the number of members that state has seated in Congress. That is, a state is allotted two electors for each Senator as well as an elector for every Representative that state has in the House. Prior to the ratification of the Twelfth Amendment in 1804, the electors cast a ballot with two names on it: one name being the candidate they chose for President, and the second being the candidate they chose for Vice President. The votes were then sent to the President of the Senate for counting where the candidate with the most votes would become the newly elected President and the runner-up, the Vice President. In the event of a tie in the
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This note was uploaded on 07/07/2008 for the course ENG 110 taught by Professor Paulcrenshaw during the Fall '08 term at Elon.

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final - Donhauser 1 The Electoral College Debate The...

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