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Electoral College?Should we keep or get rid of the Electoral College? Think about the...

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alohaspirit | Middle School Teacher | (Level 2) Assistant Educator

Posted November 8, 2008 at 1:56 PM via web

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Electoral College?

Should we keep or get rid of the Electoral College? Think about the issues we have had in elections, and why recently the Electoral College has become an issue.

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alohaspirit | Middle School Teacher | (Level 2) Assistant Educator

Posted November 8, 2008 at 1:49 PM (Answer #2)

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I say get rid of it!  It does not serve much of a purpose anymore since we have public education and media so that every citizen has access to elections and Washington D.C.  The Electoral College was originally created as part of the Presidency Compromise of the Constitutional Convention.  The founding fathers created this because they did not trust the judgement of the citizen body.  Back then, I can see their point, there was no public education system and unless you lived in the Northeast citizens did not have access to political/governmental information.  Electoral College served its purpose then, but not today.  If we were truly a democracy then we would only count the popular vote, and if we only counted the popular vote Mr. Al Gore would have won in 2000, think about that!

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kwoo1213 | College Teacher | (Level 2) Educator

Posted November 8, 2008 at 9:56 PM (Answer #3)

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I have mixed feelings about the electoral college.  Perhaps the thing to do would be to get rid of the electoral college and base the voting on the popular vote. This year, it would not have made a difference because Obama won the popular vote and the electoral vote, but yes, it would have made a difference in 2000 with Gore and Bush.

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lynn30k | High School Teacher | (Level 3) Associate Educator

Posted November 9, 2008 at 5:22 PM (Answer #4)

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Get rid of it! It has the effect of making votes count differently depending on who the state you live in votes for. I understand why it was instituted long ago, but these days, every vote needs to count equally. I have heard no plausible arguments for keeping it in effect. Every election, people talk about the need to eliminate it, and then everybody seems to forget about the issue until it is too late to do anything before the next presidential election.

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cburr | Middle School Teacher | (Level 2) Associate Educator

Posted November 9, 2008 at 9:27 PM (Answer #5)

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I also have mixed feelings.

I found it very difficult to swallow in 2000 when the winner of the popular vote wasn't elected.

However, there may be some advantages to the Electoral College even today.  If the popular vote were the only consideration, it would be that much easier to slice and dice the electorate and campaign only to your best audience. For example, with the electoral college system it is more difficult to focus only on urban, populous areas.

It may be that this theory doesn't really hold up, but I'd be interested to see an analysis.

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linda-allen | High School Teacher | (Level 3) Senior Educator

Posted November 10, 2008 at 6:24 AM (Answer #6)

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Getting rid of the electoral college, in my opinion, would be the very definition of voter disenfranchisement. If we elected our president based solely on the popular vote, then the voters of California and New York and Massachusetts would always determine who the president would be. There would be no reason for people in Montana or North Dakota to vote.

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amy-lepore | High School Teacher | (Level 1) Educator Emeritus

Posted November 10, 2008 at 7:31 AM (Answer #7)

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I agree with Linda in reply #6.  Getting rid of the electoral college may just encourage voter fraud as well.  All states should have equal say in who becomes president regardless of the number of people who live in that state.  The more populated states should not have sole control.  In addition, wouldn't that prompt states without as many people living in them (or elsewhere) to "create" votes in order to assure their choice is elected?  It's good to have a checks and balances system...and although we are more "educated" as suggested by several previous replies, are we sure that much thought goes into the vote?  Many people this time around voted by race along--in elections past, many voted by how the candidates looked.  I'm not so sure those are educated choices.

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alexb2 | eNotes Employee

Posted November 12, 2008 at 8:03 PM (Answer #8)

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I believe there was wisdom in the way the founders set up the Electoral College and indeed the entire system of government and when in doubt, one should defer to the constitution as it has served the nation well for most of its history.

Of course, there is much that the founders could not have imagined about the way the country has grown and evolved, and the electoral college does seem to be a relic of the age of both governmental paternalism (making the actual vote come from electors and not the actual voting public) and the need to pacify all states of a growing union. What better way to get the smaller states on board?

I think the country is strong enough to remove the Electoral College, but I don't think it would necessarily gain much by doing so.

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dchbowen4life | Student, Grade 11 | eNotes Newbie

Posted December 2, 2008 at 1:07 PM (Answer #10)

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I have mixed feelings about the electoral college.  Perhaps the thing to do would be to get rid of the electoral college and base the voting on the popular vote. This year, it would not have made a difference because Obama won the popular vote and the electoral vote, but yes, it would have made a difference in 2000 with Gore and Bush.

Yes in 2000 the election would have went totally another way and if the electoral college was abolished we wouldn't be in Iraq right now!!!

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dchbowen4life | Student, Grade 11 | eNotes Newbie

Posted December 2, 2008 at 1:18 PM (Answer #9)

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I think we should abolish the electoral college b/c it serves no purpose at all and it is just a waste of time. The electoral college just gives a bias view of the real election results. The U.S. Constitution states that the people should decide who govern them and in the Electoral college the people don't decide the governor appoints officials called electors and they decide. The problem with that is that the governor could choose people that are bias to a particular candidate or party and sway the vote. So in conclusion I think the electoral college should be abolished completely and the Popular vote should decide it all. Let the People Govern Themselves and Let your voice be heard vote.

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litteacher8 | Middle School Teacher | (Level 1) Distinguished Educator

Posted February 20, 2011 at 11:46 AM (Answer #11)

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The electoral college was a response to an imperfect system.  It is antiquated because we have the technology now to do what they couldn't.  When our country was founded, it was not possible to collect a vote from each person.  Now, there is no reason why we can't collect and count them all.  The electoral college is America's dirty little secret in many ways.  Few know how it works or even realize it exists, even in America.  We can take advantage of the chance at real democracy that technology can bring.

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brettd | High School Teacher | (Level 2) Educator Emeritus

Posted August 28, 2011 at 4:03 AM (Answer #12)

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I would love to add the 28th Amendment and get rid of the Electoral College.  It is not only undemocratic and misrepresentative, but it undermines the belief Americans have in the democratic process, and this is tenuous enough as it is.  In the modern day, it serves no practical purpose, even for smaller states.

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