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Should we change the electoral college system?

Screen shot from CNN's YouTube video: Should the electoral college be abolished?
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In this country, every four years, we go to the polls and elect our leaders. While we might think we are voting for a person, we’re actually voting for a group of people who will vote in the electoral college. Therein lies the issue at hand. Twice in the last five elections the candidate who has won the popular vote has lost in the electoral college. The results happened this way because the electoral college is designed to try to give smaller states a voice in the election for president. Now, though, because of the two times the Democrats’ candidate lost the presidency while winning the popular vote, there is a demand by some to either alter or do away with the electoral college entirely. Should we give in to their wishes or should we keep the electoral college system the same?

Those who want to keep the electoral college the same argue that it is needed for a small state like South Dakota to have their issues heard by those running for president. If there was no electoral college then states like California, Texas, and New York would dominate the political landscape because of their large populations. They also see the argument to change things as sour grapes on the part of Democrats because they lost. They point out that the electoral college has been in existence since our very first presidential election and, if they had done a better job campaigning, they would have won.

Those who want to see the electoral college system changed, or done away with entirely, argue that it is completely outdated. They contend the founders could not possibly have imagined what the country would be like today and so the system needs to be changed for the modern day. Also, they argue the electoral college is not used in the way it was intended. The founders feared mob rule and a possible tyrant swaying the masses to rise to power. They put the electoral college in place as a way to save the republic where the people failed. Now, though, the electoral college is nothing more than a rubber stamp and should be done away with.

Since the very first presidential election, we have had the electoral college. It was created to give smaller states a voice, but also to prevent a dictator. Five times in our history, the person who has won the popular vote has lost the electoral college. This is the system we have and will have for the foreseeable future.

Stanford Professor Douglas McAdam discusses the electoral college in this CNN video:

The Issue

Should we keep the electoral college system we have for presidential elections in place? Is the electoral college an outdated system that must be changed or done away with? Is the electoral college still needed to protect the small states from being dominated by the big states?

In support of keeping the electoral college

Those who want to keep the electoral college the same argue that it’s a system that was set up to ensure that the small states have a voice on the issues of the day, which is what it still does.

In opposition to keeping the electoral college

People who want to change the electoral college system feel it is an outdated system that has failed. The majority of voters are not getting the results they voted for and that needs to be changed.

We look forward to hearing from you.

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