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Discuss the view that the Electoral College should be reformed.

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´╗┐Kitty McCargo-Walklate Exam paper practice ? January 2012 Morning Exam Section A: 1. Outline how the Electoral College works. [10] The Electoral College is the institutions used within the Unites States to elect the President. The process, established by the founding fathers, uses an indirect technique in order to do so. Meaning that the US uses a system ?by which the president [is] not elected by the ordinary votes? as states in the source. This is primarily to help the lesser populated states become more relevant during an election because of the slightly inflated number of votes that the lesser populated states have (minimum of 3) in the Electoral College, as compared to their actual percentage of the nation's population. Each State is given a certain number of Electoral College votes, which determines the States representation in Congress. However, unlike the number of Senators given to a State, the number of Representatives varies. Each state is given 2 Senators, however the number of Representative is proportionate to population size. For example in the most recent 2012 election, California were given 55 (2+53) Electoral votes, whereas Montana were given 3 (2+1). Overall, there is a total of 538 Electoral College votes to win, however to win the presidency, a candidate much attain an absolute majority ? 270 votes. ...read more.


Although distortion did not occur in the 2000 it is still common, having had effect in 11 elections between 1968 and 2008. For example in 2008, Obamas 52.7% of the popular vote was translated into 67.8% of the Electoral College vote. Although this distortion was not crucial in the outcome of the election, there have been cases, such as Bush?s loss of the popular vote but winning of the Electoral College vote in 2000 that have potentially altered the precedency outcome. Alongside the actual votes there is the issue of campaigning when assessing whether the Electoral College should be reformed. Campaigning is a huge part of the US presidential election. With the primaries starting as early as the January prior to the election they consume not only a lot of America?s time, but also money. With Romney spending a total of $992million in the recent election. However, similar to the UKs issue of ?safe seats?, some American state are often ignored during this protest due to their guaranteed vote for a particular party. The campaigns, knowing this, usually focus most of their time, effort, and money in relatively few states, virtually ignoring a majority of the country?s voters. ...read more.


However it had now been adopted by Nebraska as well. Under this system the states divide themselves into a number of districts, allocating one of its state-wide electoral votes to each district. The winner of each district is awarded that district?s electoral vote, and the winner of the state-wide vote is then awarded the state?s remaining two electoral votes. Although this system does not completely fulfil the idea of ?one man, one vote.? It does allow a level of popular representation. Another possible reform is to allocate Electoral College votes to state so that they are in proportion to the popular vote. Such a system would be much fairer to national third parties and would deliver a more equable allocation of Electoral Votes. However, this is a more extreme reform than the ?Main system? and seems to go against the Founding Father original intent. Meaning it is highly unlikely to come in to practice in the near future. With this in mind, there is a possibility that we will see more subtle reforms, such as ?The Automatic Plan? which looks at eliminating ?rogue? Electors through legislation. With its primary aim to ?fix? the Electoral College rather than change it, it seems a more realistic approach to dealing the problems and disenchantment over the Electoral System. ...read more.

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