The who must secure at least 270 electoral

The Electoral College determines who will be the next President and Vice President.  Many people mistake the Electoral College to be a place. However, it is simply a process.The founding fathers established the Electoral College by  Article 2, Section 1, Clause 2 of the U.S. Constitution, then later modified by the 12th and 23rd Amendments. The Electoral college consists of 538 electors who help decide who becomes the next President and Vice President, who must secure at least 270 electoral votes to win. The number 538 comes from the United States 435 Representatives, 100 Senators, and 3 electors. Each U.S. Senator and Representative and 3 electors that represent the District of Columbia, make up the number 538. In addition, the Electoral College is very distinct from other systems. In this system, whomever achieves the highest amount of votes, wins the Presidency. This has caused some disagreements because not everyone thinks that presidential candidates should win solely on how many votes the collected.  The Electoral College is commonly referred to as an indirect election, which is intended to balance the votes between low and high populated states. This system weights the smaller states, giving them more say in the presidential election. Since the majority of the smaller states do not receive much recognition, some people have argued that Americans that are in smaller, less informed states, would lack sufficient information to make a wise choice about our president. The process of the Electoral college is quite an easy concept to understand. Every four years, a new president and vice president is elected. In every state, except Nebraska and Maine, the candidate who claims the most amount of votes, wins that state’s electoral votes. Nebraska and Maine are special because “electoral votes are assigned by proportional representation, meaning that the top vote-getter in those states wins two electoral votes (for the two Senators) while the remaining electoral votes are allocated congressional district by congressional district. These rules make it possible for both candidates to receive electoral votes from Nebraska and Maine, unlike the winner-take-all system in the other 48 states (Soni).” The electors in each state are normally nominated by political parties. The electors are commonly people who are “state-elected officials, party leaders, or people with a strong affiliation with the Presidential candidates (Soni).” The electors do not have to vote for their party’s candidate, however, it is rare that they vote for someone in the opposing party. With that being said, twenty-seven out of the fifty states, require their electors to vote for their party’s candidate, if that candidate receives the majority of that state’s popular vote. It is possible for a candidate to lose the popular vote but still win the electoral college vote, however, that is rare. For example, George W. Bush lost the popular vote Al Gore in 2000 by .51%, but still secured 271 electoral votes while Al Gore only received 266. Another issue is that sometimes neither candidate will get the majority of electoral votes. In that case, the election is then casted off to the U.S. House of Representatives. Once the election is given to the House of Representatives, “the top three contenders face off with each state casting one vote. Whoever wins a majority of states wins the election. The process is the same for the Vice Presidency, except that the U.S. Senate makes that selection (Soni).” Reforming the Electoral college is a recurring subject in the political world. Some like the way the College is and some disagree with the system and are ready for a change. People feel a sense of inequality because some votes are worth more than others. A couple of examples include that, “One vote in Wyoming, is worth about 3.6 votes in California and one vote in Vermont is worth 3.5 votes in Texas (Lessig).” States are given their electors based upon the number of members they hold in Congress. Every state, despite their population, receives the same amount of Senators.  The citizens of the nation believe that the “inequality?—?between states?—?is baked into our Constitution. The framers crafted an indirect method for electing the President (Lessig).” In contrast, others do not seek a reformation of the Electoral College. When an individual votes for their candidate in the presidential election, they are actually voting for a slate of electors. The electors are the ones who make the ultimate decision of who the state votes for, not the people. To ensure that the people’s vote will count, “each party selects a slate of electors trusted to vote for the party’s nominee (and that trust is rarely betrayed). Because virtually all states award all their electoral votes to the winner of the popular vote in the state, and because the Electoral College weighs the less populous states more heavily along the lines of the Senate (two Senators and two Electoral College votes for every state, and then more electoral votes added for each state based on population), it is entirely possible that the winner of the electoral vote will not win the national popular vote (Posner).” There are benefits and non benefits to the Electoral College system. At times it may seemed rigged, but for the most part, it is very consistent and rarely has an issue with the final election results.


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