7 Compelling Advantages and Disadvantages of the Electoral College
The Electoral College. A term I’m sure most Americans have heard at least once or twice, but very few actually understand all that it does or the reasons that we have it. The Electoral College is the way that we elect a new president and vice president every four year. There are a total of 538 electoral votes that can be received, and they are given by each individual state’s electors. When the voters go to the polls and place their vote for president, they are telling their state’s electors who to place their vote for. Whoever receives the majority of the votes in the state gets the electoral votes for that area. It can be hard to understand why the election process runs in this way, but knowing the good and bad things that come from it can surely help you.
Advantages of the Electoral College
1. Helps Prevent a Recount
By using the Electoral College you are ensuring that the results of the election are certain, for the most part. Recounts of millions of votes can take a very long time and cost a large amount of money. The Electoral College greatly helps to prevent this.
2. Distributes The Power
If the president and vice president was determined solely on the amount of votes that they receive, than the larger states could pretty much just choose who will win. Smaller states would have no voice in the matter, and the representation of the country would be skewed. The Electoral College gives the states with a smaller population an equal voice in the election process.
3. Candidates Must Have Wider Focus
Without the Electoral College, small states would rarely be visited by politicians that are running for office. Everyone would only focus on the states and areas that have the largest amount potential voters.
4. Checks and Balances At Work
By making the voting process a bit more involved, it ensures that people cannot bribe or overly influence voters to vote for them. They must focus on all issues and take even minority problems into account.
Disadvantages of the Electoral College
1. “Swing” States Get Most Attention
Some states have more vote in the Electoral College than others. These states are considered swing states because they could completely change the path of the election. These areas often get the most attention by candidates, which defeats the purpose of the Electoral College in the first place.
2. Lower Voter Turnout
The biggest issue that critics have with the Electoral College is that it gives the impression that the people’s votes truly do not matter. Your vote doesn’t go towards some huge number that is being tallied for each vote. Instead, it simply goes towards a single vote that an elector gives.
3. Favors Smaller States
The system of the Electoral College gives more pull to states with smaller populations, which doesn’t make a whole lot of sense. This causes an unfair shift in different parties powers because states with small populations are usually rural and favor the republican party greatly.