Should The Electoral College Be Abolished Dbq Essay

The founding fathers were not gods. Consequently, they were not perfect, and neither were the systems they set up to run the country. Nevertheless, they knew that things would change, and they set up ways to fix the government when needed. In the Declaration of Independence, Thomas Jefferson wrote that the American people have the right to alter or abolish the government if it does not fit their needs.

The Electoral College is flawed, and the American people need to replace it because this system does not fairly represent the people, it forces people to vote a certain way, and it does not always guarantee that the winner of the popular vote will win the election. These imperfections in the Electoral College make voters feel like their votes do not matter, and the result will always divide voters over the person holding office, but Americans could easily fix all these problems if they get rid of the Electoral College altogether and replaced it with a popular vote system.

Not all states are created equal. While some have large populations, others do not have a lot of people at all. If popular vote decided all elections, this would not really matter, but in the Electoral College system population matters a lot. Population decides electoral votes, so every state should have a proportionate number of votes. While good in theory, this is not how things actually turned out. Wyoming, a state with three electoral votes, gets one vote for every 187,875 people. (Document 2). Strangely enough, while Montana also has three electoral votes, it gets one vote for every 329,805 people. Document 2). This trend appears throughout Document 2, where states have uneven populations and people per vote, yet the same number of electoral votes. This system works out for smaller states, because it gives them a more equal say compared to the rest of the country. (Document 4).

But in a winner-take-all system like the Electoral College, this means that larger states might have more votes, while their people actually have less of an opinion. For example, California has 55 electoral votes, the largest amount in the country. But they get one vote for every 677,345 people. Document 2). If the votes were divied out the same way Wyoming’s are, (one vote per 187,875 people), California would actually have 198 electoral votes. (Document 2). It is not fair to the people to disregard this inequality in this system. If the popular vote decided the winner, there would be no inequality and the voters would have a direct say in the government. This would also solve the issue of voters feeling like their vote doesn’t matter, because the winner in their state wouldn’t actually get all of the votes and the minority votes would still get counted.

No one wants to vote with the minority because it means their candidate almost surely will not get elected. In the 2000 election, Al Gore and Ralph Nader split the left wing vote. (Document 5). While Nader only won 3% of the popular vote, the election was so close that 3% more of the popular vote would have put Gore in office. (Document 5). This also happened in the 1912 election, when the Republicans split the vote between the incumbent Roosevelt, and Taft, allowing Wilson to win. The voters know that this will always be the result, so they do not vote for the party that their beliefs align with the closest.

Instead, they vote Republican or Democrat to actually have a chance of winning the election. Third party candidates cannot win not only because of our two-party system, but because of our winner-take-all system. If two candidates split the liberal vote, the conservative party will win all the votes in that state. If this trend continues, the conservative party will win the entire election. (Document 6). If the United States based elections on the popular vote instead of the Electoral College, then people would be more likely to vote with the party they agree with most, not the party that is more likely to win.

This would make citizens actually want to vote because they have more options and they would feel like their vote actually mattered. Of course, of founding fathers created the Electoral College with good intentions. Alexander Hamilton said that a small group of elected men would, “be most likely to possess the information and discernment requisite to such complicated investigations. ” (Document 1). He was right back then, as most people were not highly educated and did not have access to all the information necessary to make an educated decision about who the leader of the country should be.

However, people now have access to widely-spread national newspapers, as well as the entirety of the world wide web. It is understandable that Hamilton would not have thought of this, seeing as he lived during the late 1700s. But today, it just makes more sense for the American citizens to elect the politician who wins the popular vote. Usually the candidate who wins the Electoral College also wins the popular vote. But this is not always the case. In 1824, the presidential race was split 4 ways and no one had a majority. (Document 3).

Andrew Jackson won the popular vote, but he only had 41% of the votes. (Document 3). The election went to the House of Representatives who picked the next president to be John Quincy Adams, even though he only had 31% of the vote. (Document 3). This set the precedent for any future election in which no candidate receives a majority. If something like this happens in the future, the House of Representatives does not have to obey the will of the people. They can choose whichever candidate they want, whether they won the popular vote or not.

This is not the only time that the winner of the popular vote lost the election. In the 2000 election, the popular vote was in Gore’s favor, but Bush still won. (Document 5). Even this most recent election year, Hillary Clinton won the popular vote while Donald Trump became president. In all of these controversial election years, the citizens spoke and the Electoral College did not listen. The Electoral College seems good in theory, and it has worked in some past elections. But the real issue is whether it truly represents the will of the people.

If the system does not represent voters equally, does not allow a true expression of beliefs, and does not elect the most favored candidate, then the citizens need to abolish it. The Electoral College has done all of these things, and it lets the American people down again and again. This system is convoluted and outdated, which is not what politics should be. The only way to fix this problem is to eradicate the Electoral College, along with the two party system it was made to benefit. While the government preserves this system, American elections will never truly be fair.