What changes could be made to the Electoral College for the 2012 Presidential elections?
Sadly, it is virtually impossible to abolish or make substantial changes in the Electoral College system at the federal level for the 2012 election. The Electoral College is pursuant to Article II Section I:
Each State shall appoint, in such Manner as the Legislature thereof may direct, a Number of Electors, equal to the whole Number of Senators and Representatives to which the State may be entitled in the Congress: but no Senator or Representative, or Person holding an Office of Trust or Profit under the United States, shall be appointed an Elector.
This provision was modified by the Twelfth Amendment:
The Electors shall meet in their respective states, and vote by ballot for President and Vice-President, one of whom, at least, shall not be an inhabitant of the same state with themselves; they shall name in their ballots the person voted for as President, and in distinct ballots the person voted for as Vice-President, and they shall make distinct lists of all persons voted for as President, and of all persons voted for as Vice-President and of the number of votes for each, which lists they shall sign and certify, and transmit sealed to the seat of the government of the United States, directed to the President of the Senate.
Since the Electoral College is constitutionally mandated, it cannot be abolished or substantially altered without amending the Constitution, a time consuming process. Accordingly for better or worse, it will be operational for the next election.
However, the Constitution is silent on two points (1) how Electors are chosen, and (2) whether electors must all vote for the same candidate. In at least two states, electors are apportioned according to the apportionment of the popular vote. Thus, the Electoral College system could be modified by the individual states by either allowing electors some individual freedom in their choice of candidates; or by allowing a per capita allotment of electors based on the popular vote. This could be done by action within the state and without concern for federal constitutional scruples. This latter method might more nearly reflect the will of the people of an individual state, and avoid the abuses of the "winner take all" system.
Changes which should be made to the Electoral College for the 2012 Presidential elections should be the complete removal of the college. I do not agree with the Electoral College. Since learning about it in school, when I was much younger, I never truly understood how a person's vote did not really count as a true vote. Instead, the vote simply told the Electoral college how you wanted them to vote.
I believe that the Electoral College should be abolished so that the election of the President is a true election of the people. There have been four elections won based upon the vote of the Electoral College and not the popular vote. John Quincy Adams, Rutherford B. Hayes, Benjamin Harrison, and George W. Bush all lost the popular vote, but were named to office based upon the Electoral College (with the exception of John Quincy Adams whose vote tied in the Electoral College and went to the House of Representatives).