Resolved, that the U.S. President be elected by the national popular vote, not the Electoral College.
Brief: When drafting the United States Constitution, the Framers of our government developed the Electoral College, the system by which we elect our Presidents. The Electoral College assigns each state a number of electoral votes based on its number of representatives and senators in Congress, and the Twenty-Third Amendment granted three to the District of Columbia. The electors are chosen by their respective state party and will only vote should their party’s candidate win their state. All but two states assign their votes on a winner-take-all basis to the candidate who received the most votes in their state. A candidate must receive at least 270 electoral votes to win a majority in the electoral college and be officially elected President. This system was designed to give each state an individual voice in the selection of the President but it does not consider who receives the most votes at a national level. Five separate times in America’s history, including in the most recent election, has the President won a majority of the Electoral College without winning the national popular vote, leading some some to argue the system by which we elect presidents should be more reflective of the voice of the American people as a whole, not as separated by the states. Is the Electoral College system too undemocratic for our current elections, or is it a necessary institution for the preservation of our republican system of governance?
- The President serves as President for the entire country, not the individual states or just those that voted for them, if we really live in a democracy then the President should be selected by the will of all of America’s voters.
- By giving each state at least three votes, the Electoral College unfairly makes some people’s votes count more than others depending on the state they live in.
- The Electoral College causes candidates to focus all of their attention to just a few “battleground states,” essentially rewarding candidates for ignoring most of the country and the issues important to them.
- We are the Untied States of America, not the United State of America, the Electoral College recognizes our federalist system of governance and gives each state an individual voice.
- Under a national popular vote candidates would only campaign in major population centers and ignore the issues important to Americans living in suburban and rural areas.
- The Framers instituted the Electoral College because they understood the dangers of direct democracy, the electoral college prevents a “tyranny by the majority” from any one region or population of the country.
For more background on the formation and functions of the Electoral College click here. For more arguments in favor of this resolution click here. For more arguments against this resolution click here.