Electoral College & Plans

Current Electoral College
Description
– Each state has as many electors as it has members of Congress
– Electors chosen by *winner take all* system in every state except ME & NE
Current Electoral College
Advantages
– Known process
– In most elections, it identifies the president-to-be quickly & certainly
– Helps promote 2-party system
– Forces candidates to campaign in smaller competitive states
Current Electoral College
Disadvantages
– Winner of pop vote not guaranteed presidency
– Electors not required to vote in accord w/ pop vote
– Any election might be decided in HoR
District Plan
Description
– Each state choose 2 electors at large who cast votes in line w/ pop vote statewide (represent senators)
– Other electors elected separately in each of the state’s congressional districts (represent representatives)
– Used in ME & NE
District Plan
Advantages
– Would bring election results more in line w/ pop vote than current system
– Would not require constitutional amdt to become effective
District Plan
Disadvantages
– Prevents weighing of all votes equally b/c every state has 2 electoral votes, regardless of pop
– Unknown process/hidden defects
We will write a custom essay sample on
Any topic specifically for you
For only $13.90/page
Order Now
Proportional Plan
Description
– Each candidate would receive share of each state’s electoral vote = to share of that state’s pop vote
Proportional Plan
Advantages
– Would do better job of weighing pop votes equally than current or district plan
– Would not require const amdt
Proportional Plan
Disadvantages
– Smaller states still overrepresented (2 senate-based electors)
– Loser of pop vote could still win election
– Unknown process/hidden defects
Direct Popular Election Plan
Description
– Would abolish electoral college system
– Voters would actually chose pres & VP
– Each vote would count equally
Direct Popular Election Plan
Advantages
– Winner would be majority choice
– Would ensure winner of nat’l pop vote would win presidency
Direct Popular Election Plan
Disadvantages
– Would require const amdt
– Smaller states would oppose
– Key groups in some states would oppose (lose power)
– Could weaken federal system
– Might put too great a load on election process b/c candidates would have to campaign strenuously everywhere
– Might spur various forms of voter fraud & lead to lengthy post-election challenges
– Unknown process/hidden defects
National Popular Vote Plan
Brief Description
– Each state’s lawmaking body would…
1) Amend state election laws to provide that all of a state’s electoral votes are to be awarded to winner of nat’l pop vote
2) Enter into an interstate compact, the Agreement Among States to Elect the President by National Popular Vote
– That compact, & with it each state’s election law changes, would come into force only if & when agreed to by enough states to account for a majority (270) of the 538 electoral votes
National Popular Vote Plan
Advantages
– Appears to satisfy major objections to current electoral college system
– No need to amend const
– 11 states have already signed leg into law
– Has support of several nonpartisan groups & newspapers around country
National Popular Vote Plan
Disadvantages
– Smaller states likely oppose
– Key groups in some states might not like it
– Could weaken fed system
– Might put too great load on election process b/c candidates have to campaign strenuously everywhere
– Might spur voter fraud/lengthy post-election challenges
– Unknown process/hidden defects
Electoral College: Constitutional Debate
Framers debated whther to have pres chosen by Cong or pop vote of people
– Opponents of Cong selection felt it would upset sep of powers between exec/leg
– Opponents of pop vote felt the people wouldn’t know enough abt candidates to make wise choices
Electoral College: Conception
– Framers agree on plan put forth by Hamilton
– Created electoral college, special body of presidential electors representing each state
>> Each state have as many electors as senators & reps in Cong
>> State legislatures decide
– Each elector would cast 2 electoral votes, each for diff candidate
>> Candidate w/ most electoral votes –> pres
>> Candidate w/ 2nd most votes –> VP
– Framers didn’t anticipate rise of political parties competing for presidency
Election of 1796
– In 1796, Dem-Rep candidate Jefferson finished close 2nd to Fed Adams
– Jeff became Adams’s VP, even though political rivals
Election of 1800
– Feds vs. Dem-Reps
– For 1st time, each party nominated 2 candidates, 1 for pres, 1 for VP (Fed Adams/Pinckney, D-R Jeff/Burr)
– Each party also nom’d electors, who, if chosen, swore to vote for party’s pres & VP noms