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Electoral College Research Paper

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                                         Electoral Power

        Next year’s election will be a lot closer than skeptics think, not in distance between locations, but in vote or ballots. The only accurate way to measure the lead in ballots is to know who has the most electoral votes, and this process is part of the Electoral College. The Electoral College consists of the electors chosen by each state who lawfully elect the President and Vice President of the United States. Presidents are elected by the states and the District of Columbia; casting ballots for electors, who vote for a candidate they are politically allied with. If no candidate acquires majority of the votes by November 2, the House of Representatives will pick the president from the top three candidates, and the winner is obligated to have at least 26 votes to be elected.  

The Beginning 

The Electoral College was created during the Constitutional Convention of 1787 held in Philadelphia; the convention stared in May 1787, and went through September 1787.  “In an effort to correct the counter-democratic problems posed by the existence of the Electoral College, I, along with Congressman Wise, introduced H.J. Res. 28 on January 9, 1997. This resolution calls for an amendment to the Constitution of the United States to abolish the Electoral College. The House of Representatives overwhelmingly passed legislation in 1969 that would have abolished the Electoral College, but the same legislation failed to pass in the Senate” (LaHood). The Electoral College was created for a couple of reasons. The primary reason was to set a safeguard between population and the selection of a President. The founding fathers were afraid of direct election to the Presidency. They believed that those types of elections would become corrupted.   Secondly, part of the process made the government provide extra power to the smaller states in order to keep balance. Generally, the smaller states saw it as an unfair advantage to voters in the small states whose votes actually count more than those heavily populated large states. As a result, the smaller states favored the Electoral College, because of the fairness benefits it provided.  

The Electoral College has a Confrontational history of changing the election process for the United States presidency in countless ways. The Founding Fathers knew that politicians often made promises that couldn’t be kept. As a result, the founding fathers had several debates and arguments to changing Americas’ election for presidency.  The election process is easily one of the most important processes on the planet. The election process is where the nation’s leader(s) is chosen. The Electoral College has produced many arguments since adopted into the constitution.

Generally, ethnic groups in the United States focused on the states that had the most electoral votes, assuming their numbers would have an effect on elections, when it came to the ballots. For instance, “A major concern of those opposed to the direct election plan is the potential increase in the number of third party candidates.  The opposition is concerned that the election of minority candidates will lead to less government stability because the balance of power will be upset” (Whitaker). Many had argued that the college should have weakening minority votes by discouraging voter involvement; the Electoral College actually increases the will of the minority groups. The same outlook applies to other interest groups such as labor unions, farmers, and environmentalists.  In contrast, changing president elections in direct would damage minority’s benefits since the nation’s general population would overthrow their votes.  This argument, along with others was just a milestone for the founding fathers.
         Out of all of the founding fathers, Alexander Hamilton, was the one that had the most influence towards the Electoral College.  He was known for all sorts of political documents that he published for the constitution. A great summary of his thoughts or feelings on the Electoral College was summarized in his 68
th federalist paper:
        “
It was equally desirable, that the immediate election should be made by men most capable of analyzing the qualities adapted to the station, and acting under circumstances favorable to deliberation, and to a judicious combination of all the reasons and inducements which were proper to govern their choice. A small number of persons, selected by their fellow-citizens from the general mass, will be most likely to possess the information and discernment requisite to such complicated investigations.

It was also peculiarly desirable to afford as little opportunity as possible to tumult and disorder. This evil was not least to be dreaded in the election of a magistrate, who was to have so important an agency in the administration of the government as the President of the United States. But the precautions, which have been, so happily concerted in the system under consideration, promise an effectual security against this mischief. The choice of SEVERAL, to form an intermediate body of electors, will be much less apt to convulse the community with any extraordinary or violent movements, than the choice of ONE who was himself to be the final object of the public wishes”(Hamilton).

That segment of his paper clarifies his belief, that the voters would be able to assure that only a qualified candidate becomes President. In addition, the paper states that the college would not allow the voters to be falsely influenced. Hamilton and the founding fathers wanted to make sure the constitution could only be changed when there was consent in order for change. Also, it protected the presidency against any form of unlawful corruption towards America or foreign powers. Founders feared that being without power, politicians would only focus on the bigger states and major cities. Getting rid of the Electoral College would require a constitutional amendment. Amending the constitution is an exceptionally difficult process needing two-thirds vote of the houses of Congress, and three-forth vote of the legislatures of the states; changing the Electoral College system in not easily accomplished.

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