Should proportional voting be mandated nationwide instead of just the two states that currently do it? (250 word minimum, 2 citations of your choosing, should be in line with statements of below post).
The Electoral college is the process of selecting all the electors, and this is the meeting held by the electors. These electors vote for the President and the Vice President. The electoral votes are counted by Congress, which is contrary to other elections in the US, where candidates are elected by popular vote (Bugh, 2016). It is not direct to be selected for the vice president and president post, and citizens do not directly elect them. This when the electors choose them in this process called the Electoral College. This process that involves electors is part of the Constitution. The decision was a concession between votes from citizens, which is the popular vote and a vote from the Congress.
In the United States’ election process, it commences with primary elections and finally caucuses. These two methods are used to select a presidential nominee. Primary elections frequently involve the use of secret ballots to vote. Caucuses, on the other hand, involves a group of local voters who gather together to vote at the end of a meeting (Bugh, 2016). It then proceeds to the nomination conventions, and in this stage, a unity is formed by political parties who each select a nominee through an agreement. In a political party convention, a presidential candidate nominated is mandated to announce their vice presidential running mate. This follows up with campaigns around the country where the manifestos are announced, and debates held.
Americans are mandated to go to their polling stations to cast their votes and choose their leader. However, it is essential to note that the tally of the popular votes does not get to determine the winner. It is in the Electoral College where the winner is determined. For a candidate to win, they must be able to leverage a majority of the electoral votes. At rare events, a candidate might fail to receive a majority of the votes (Bugh, 2016). The house of representatives is allowed to choose the president while the house of the Senate gets to select the vice president. It is imperative to note that the electoral college is the biggest determiner when it comes to choosing the president.
In the electoral college, several rules or procedures are followed for one to win the presidency. For starters, to win the presidency, a candidate must receive about 270 electoral votes from a total of 538 electoral votes. This is slightly more than half of total votes, and thus, it clearly shows that a candidate should be supported by more than half of the Congress. Another important factor to note in the electoral college is that each state gets to have at least three electoral votes. It is because the number of representatives in Congress, as well as senators, is similar to the number of electors in every state. However, as things stand, there are states which have more electoral votes than others. For instance, Texas has 38, California has 55, and New York has 29. However, every state is represented in an electoral college.
Do you agree with the concept of electoral votes?
The idea of electoral votes is long, crucial and utterly controversial, and I can’t entirely agree with it. Firstly, electoral votes are done by a few groups of people. It is important to note that the electoral college votes do not include the American citizens as a whole, and this could have a significant impact on the shift of the American political view (Bugh, 2016). Historically the presidents who have held a sit based on the Electoral college votes have had a hard time with citizens. The citizens who get to choose the president, especially those who are not well informed of the process, may feel mislead when a minority leader is declared president.
Secondly, it creates the possibility of a minority leader being elected as president. In the past decade, America has had two presidents in the minority, thanks to the electoral college. One of them being President Bill Clinton, who, after receiving 50% less than the total votes from the popular votes, was still given a chance (Bugh, 2016). This could harm the process in government proceedings. The people will, at most times, feel betrayed, and this may lead to a lack of trust since the voters are invested in choosing a president who reflects their dreams and hopes. The minority president may fail to deliver on what is expected by the citizens.
Thirdly, the electoral process creates risk on of faithless electors while casting the votes. There has been no change in the election when electors failed to give an honest vote that the individual voters wanted, however, the whole process and the system of the electoral college provides a chance to faithlessness. In recent studies and findings, 167 faithless electors have been counted in the history of the process, although 81 of the votes changed their votes based on the loss of a candidate through death. In the 2016 elections, ten faithless electors were observed (Sides et al, 2017). This could lead to a lack of confidence in this process as people keep finding such cases in the process.
This process can affect the voter turnout; a recent example is the 2016 presidential election. During the polling reviews, candidate Hillary Clinton maintained a consistent lead over Donald Trump in with a 15 to 20 margin for several weeks before the election. In the outcome, a reported difference of 16.2% was reported (Sides et al, 2017). This has a high effect on the electoral college process, on the side of the republicans, there was an already conceived feeling of defeat as they already felt the loss. However, the electoral college decided to vote for Donald Trump, and this has a massive effect on voter mentality and can reduce the number of voters who turn up to vote. This can lower the chances of popular votes being counted.
The electoral college process fails to factor in the will of the people in that it may not be so accurate. During the Republican primaries in the 2016 elections, the diligence in the polls was evident among the candidatures the determined winner in the election was mostly determined by fewer representatives, which is vital to note that the candidate may not have the voice of all the people (Sides et al, 2017). They may either fail to represent the minority or majority in the process of the college vote. With this, the security of the people’s right to choose is also tempered as minority leaders may rule with difficulty for, they may face opposition from the public and other leaders alike.
Electoral college votes fail to factor in the fact that most people are elected based on the popularity and their image presence to the people. This process has the chance of creating more significant problems in the new trends, especially when one factors that it was designed to address the population distribution in America (Bugh, 2016). Although many alternatives have tried being implemented, there is still a high chance that this system has the potential to be well-reviewed and created to favor what is the popular vote. The system could also be outdated as the population in America has increased, and the chances of imbalance in voter number turnouts in different areas can be low.
Do you agree with the ruling in Bush v Gore?
The Bush v. Gore case was a case involving United States president George Bush. The United States Supreme Court came to a decision that settled a recount dispute in the presidential election held in Florida in the year 2000. On 13th December 2000, the ruling was issued. The Supreme Court withheld the Florida recount, which was ongoing preliminarily on 9th December (Kang & Shepherd, 2016). In the decision, the Supreme Court stated that the use of different forms of vote counting was against the Equal Protection Clause. The court ruled on the basis that there was no substitute method that could be established in the time limits assigned by Title 3 of the United States Code.
In this case, the Supreme Court ruled out for the previous vote to stand. This was in accordance with Katherine Harris, the Florida secretary of state (Kang & Shepherd, 2016). George W. Bush was declared the winner in Florida’s 25 electoral votes. The win gave Bush the republican candidate 271 electoral votes exceeding his opponent democratic candidate Al Gore by five votes.
I fail to coincide with the Supreme Court’s decision in the ruling of Bush v Gore case in the year 2000. This is because the decision had so many flaws in it. The Supreme Court majority rulers set themselves up by having made violations on the ground of partisanship. This had a risk on the dignity of the court’s status on the idea of impartiality and independence. It was one of the worst decisions to fore gore the equal protection rights by the court when it ruled on the decision for all recount attempts to be ended. The ruling favored the need for timelessness but turned back on the accurate recording of the votes.
The Supreme Court may have also involved themselves in what would have been the decision of the Florida courts. In as much as the court was mandated to intervene, it had the potential to ruin the future decisions in the federal courts as it had the opportunity of creating such trends. This would render the federal courts useless and fails in practicing what is following the Constitution (Lowenstein et al, 2017). The court also violated the Fourteenth Amendment on equal protection in which the Florida court hard ordered the votes to be manually recounted. In the federal Constitution, it is stated that it is the full responsibility of the state legislatures to participate in the selection of presidential electors.
In this case, the court may have misused its powers to some extent, and this may have had a drift of how the ruling would be. The court also violated many rights and freedoms that are guaranteed by the Constitution. It highly displayed a lack of proper judgment and rushed decision-based on timeliness. This court ruling has the potential of having an adverse effect on future rulings, especially in this modern times (Lowenstein et al, 2017). The case of the Supreme Court exercising power over the federal court could cause confusion among people as they may fail to trust the system. In all sense, the Bush v Gore case might be the most polarizing decision in court all thanks in part to the power on independence the Supreme Court has been granted.
Bugh, G. (Ed.). (2016). Electoral College Reform: Challenges and Possibilities. Routledge.
Edwards III, G. C. (2019). Why the Electoral College is bad for America. Yale University Press.
Kang, M. S., & Shepherd, J. M. (2016). The long shadow of Bush v. Gore: judicial partisanship in election cases. Stan. L. Rev., 68, 1411.
Lowenstein, D. H., Hasen, R. L., Tokaji, D. P., & Stephanopoulos, N. (2017). Election Law: Cases & Materials.
Sides, J., Tesler, M., & Vavreck, L. (2017). The 2016 US election: How Trump lost and won. Journal of Democracy, 28(2), 34-44