Adoption Of Electoral College Reforms
The Electoral College comprises of popularly elected representatives who elect the president and vice [president in the United States of America. There have been a constant number of representatives since 1964 such that 538 electors are chose to participate in each presidential election. Each state ha sits own legislature used in deciding how many electors will be chosen per state and the criteria used in the selection. The representatives are responsible for electing the most preferred candidate such that voting at the presidential and vice-presidential level in the United States is carried out indirectly. The candidate with the most popular votes and fewer majority votes is elected and regarded as the winner.
However, cases of candidates garnering more majority and less popular votes being regarded as winners is a common scenario and this led to conflicts as to when a candidate should be considered as a winner. The other issue was on the votes which were to be considered influential in the elections and establishment of clear guidelines on when the majority votes or popular votes could be used to identify the winner. According to the rules of the Electoral College, the popular vote bears little significance in winning an election. Thus, the popular vote becomes irrelevant and candidates base their campaign strategies on maximizing the majority votes. This new development led to many political activists attempting to change the Electoral College and its method of handling the presidential elections. A number of amendments and reforms have been proposed as a way of improving the institution.
Significance of reforms on the Electoral College
A major reform on the Electoral College is the proportional allocation of electoral votes in al states so as to ensure equal numbers individuals are allowed to vote. Colorado has been the most recent state to employ this proposal such that a candidate who garners a second position in a state with 45% popular votes receives an equivalent amount of electoral votes other than the usual zero. The best part of this system is that it greatly increases voter turn-out and all parties receive equal presentation in a state. This method of voting also allows the potential candidates to campaign in all states rather than concentrating on states with large numbers of voters.
However, this system may fail to achieve significant changes as the majority will always emerge on top. This increases the political stability of a country especially with recent heated political environment. This is enhanced by employment of nationwide campaigns such that the candidates are able to transverse all over the country (Lublin, 2008).Establishment of the reform in only some states is seen as a way of skewing the presidential election results thus, it would not create any impact on the whole election process as compared to if it was applied to the whole country. This requires that states should be have equal numbers of voters so that candidates who acquire majority vote sin one state are able to garner a similar number of electoral votes even if it is in the same state.
By so doing the Electoral College will be practicing its roles all over the federal country and not in individual states as it is a federal institution (Ross, 2007).Alternatively, the percentages may prove quite difficult to assign them equally in al states especially after proportioning. Similarly, a single elector may be forced to support only one candidate especially where a state presents an uneven number of electors. This way the total vote count is rounded off to the next whole number to minimize errors of working with odd numbers. Candidates who originate from states that vote for a single majority party are more likely to win as there will be no division of electors and votes. Thus, the popular vote will increase the chances of such a candidate wining to their advantage (Knight, 2000)
.Alternatively, some people have proposed the abolishment of indirect voting and in its place establish direct runoff voting. The direct runoff voting system involves voters ranking their most preferred candidates rather than having other people to make the decision on their behalf. During the counting of votes the candidate with the least number of votes is eliminated until a candidate who has a majority votes is identified. This proposal is aimed at reducing resources spent during elections in terms of money and time as the voting and counting is more direct. The spoiler dynamic is aimed at been eliminated by this system such that when the voters cast their votes for the most favorite candidate, the rival or least preferred candidate gains no benefits from that vote (Neale, 2009)
.Direct voting increase the participation of voters in the elections as the will be assured of voting for their favorite candidate. Research has shown that most citizens vote only when they realize that their contribution would affect the final total which will determine the winner. This eliminates potential voters who are not willing to cast votes as a result of influence by electors who betray their pledges (Neale, 2009).The other advantage of adopting the instant runoff voting system is that the states which embrace the method will have an advantage of attaining a winner with a majority vote. Alternatively, the candidate enjoys a majority vote throughout the country as well. The electors in that state will be appointed in a winner-take-all method hence they will be allowed to vote at the national level to the advantage of their preferred candidate (Ross, 2007).
The United States Electoral College Reforms has been operational for quiet long time although it has been faced by a series of controversial issues regarding its conduct especially in presidential elections. The American congress has come up with a number of amendments which should be incorporated in the final rules and laws of the Electoral College as a way of minimizing the flaws and shot comings which engulf elections.A number of the proposed reforms are applicable at state level and quite a number at national level. Thus, the efficient of the College is determined by the nature of reform and the way in which they are implemented. Some reforms are bound to increase the transparency and equal representation of Americans in presidential elections as well as reducing the expenses incurred during the Election Day.
Knight, Dan. (2000), reforming the Electoral College part two. Retrieved from: www.rossde.com/editorials/edtl_electcollege.htm
Lublin,David,(2008), electoral college reforms? Not easy. Retrieved from: ww.american.gov
Neale, T.H. (2009), Electoral College reforms: 111th congress proposals and other current developments. Congressional research service
Ross, David, E. (2007), the Electoral College: abolish it or leave it alone? Los Angeles times.