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Justin Adie

Mr Hawkins
American Government
10 March 2016
The Abolishment of the Electoral College
The Electoral College is a system where the President of the United States is not
chosen directly by the citizens of the United States as a whole, but rather by a select
group of presidential electors. Many states have a winner-take-all system, where the
candidate with even the slightest majority of electoral votes, wins all of them from that
state. This system as a whole, created by the framers of the Constitution back in the
late 1700s, is outdated and needs to be abolished. It needs to be abolished because it
is undemocratic, the small states are overrepresented, and it hurts third party
The Electoral College is undemocratic. The Electoral College is undemocratic
because it doesnt represent states proportionally. For example, according to Document
D, the twelve states represented have a smaller total population than the single state of
Illinois, but yet they have over twice the amount of electoral votes. This is due to the
minimum of three electoral votes granted to each state (One for each senator, and one
for each representative). This is undemocratic because the majority, the people of
Illinois, have less power than the minority that makes up the other twelve states. This is
not the only reason the Electoral College is undemocratic. According to Document F,
each state casts only a single vote. This means that the single Wyoming representative,
who represents about 500,000 people, has the same influence as the 55 California

representatives, who represent 35 million people. Lastly, according to Document G, one

does not need to have the majority of popular votes to win the presidency. For example,
in the election of 2000, George W Bush beat Al Gore even though he had about
500,000 fewer popular votes than Gore. He was able to win because he had 5 more
electoral votes than Gore. This is undemocratic because in this situation, the popular
vote didnt necessarily matter. While the Electoral College system is undemocratic, it
also gives small states too much representation.
The Electoral College overrepresents small states. For example, according to
Document A, a state can never have fewer than three electors. This means that,
proportionally, small states such as Wyoming and Montana have greater electoral power
than say, California. Secondly, due to the minimum-of-three rule, small states whose
populations combined dont equal that of a larger one, can have more electoral power
than that of the large state. This is evident in Document D, where the 12 states plus the
District of Columbias population is less than that of Illinois, but they have more than
twice the electoral votes as Illinois, due to the minimum-of-three policy. While over
representing small states, the Electoral College also drastically diminishes the chances
of third party candidates.
The Electoral College damages the chances for third party candidates. For
example, in Document E, George Will from The Baltimore Sun explains how the
Electoral College helps bolster the two-party system, and mitigates the effects of other
splinter parties. This is unfair to those who do not identify directly with one party or
another. Even if the candidate is qualified for the position, just because they affiliate with
neither party essentially dooms them from the start. Case in point, in Document B,

candidates John B Anderson and Ross Perot had a sizable amount of popular vote, but
neither one of them had even a single electoral vote. This is unlike Ronald Reagan, who
had only 50.7% of the popular vote, but had a whopping 91% of the electoral vote. This
system is outrageous, as it single-handedly destroys any chance a third-party
candidates chance for success. In relevance to the current 2016 election, if Donald
Trump were to run as an Independent, many analysts believe that he could also never
win, and in turn give the win to the Democratic Partys nominee. While the Electoral
College harms third parties, there are also some valid points to keeping the electoral
There are some valid counterarguments to keeping the Electoral College. For
example, in Document C, John Samples states that ...the Electoral College makes sure
that the states count in presidential elections. This is true, as evident by the fact that
each state is apportioned at least three electors, and then more for their respective
populations. Secondly, one may argue that the Electoral Colleges hurting of third
parties is actually a good thing. With regards to this, Document E argues that the
abolishment of the Electoral College would ...encourage single-issue idealogues and
eccentric millionaires to jump into presidential contests. The multiplication of splinter
parties would make it hard for major-party candidates to win popular-vote majorities.
This argument is valid because people who are running for only one cause would
spread the votes away from those who are running with a broader mindset. People
need to have clear options, not a wide variety of random people to vote for in a
presidential election. It needs to be very defined.

The Electoral College is an outdated system that has stayed for far too long. As
such, it needs to be removed. Also, it is undemocratic, overrepresents small states, and
hurts third-party candidates chances. There are many more reasons as to why the
Electoral College is a bad system for the 21st century and beyond, but these three are
the most prevalent.