Q:

What are advantages and disadvantages of the electoral college?

A:

Quick Answer

The primary advantage of the electoral college is its ability to simplify elections; its primary disadvantage is inequalities among different states. Despite its waning popularity, states are unlikely to ever support a constitutional amendment abolishing the electoral college.

Continue Reading

Full Answer

The framers of the United States Constitution were wary of direct elections. Senators were originally chosen by state legislatures, and many of the authors of the Constitution did not want citizens to directly decide the presidential election. Much of their fear was based on a lack of trust in voters. With an electoral college, educated representatives could vote for a preferred candidate if someone they did not approve of was chosen. Through the years, however, most states have passed laws requiring electoral voters to cast their votes in accordance with who the states' citizens voted for.

Most voters now support eliminating the electoral college due to its antiquated nature. In addition, many voters dislike that fact that a vote in Florida, where elections tend to be close, matters more than a vote in a state where the race is not close. George W. Bush famously won the 2000 election despite losing the popular vote, and he almost lost the 2004 election despite having a fairly large national lead. Had John Kerry received just 30,000 more votes in Ohio, he would have been elected president.

Learn more about Branches of Government

Related Questions

  • Q:

    Should the electoral college be abolished?

    A:

    The electoral college has always had strong opponents who have argued that it should be abolished. Their reasons include the fact that, under certain circumstances, a president can be elected without winning the majority of electoral votes. They also point out that electors are free to vote however they wish and claim that the electoral college makes it impossible for third-party and independent candidates to be elected.

    Full Answer >
    Filed Under:
  • Q:

    Why was the Electoral College created?

    A:

    The electoral college was created as a compromise between those at the Constitutional Convention who wanted the U.S. president elected by popular vote and those who wanted Congress to select the president. Instead, electors corresponding to the number of representatives each state had in Congress would elect the president.

    Full Answer >
    Filed Under:
  • Q:

    What are the special duties of the United States House of Representatives?

    A:

    The special duties of the U.S. House of Representatives include the power to initiate bills to collect tax money and other revenue, the ability to impeach federal officials and the duty to elect the president if there is a tie in the electoral college. In addition to these special duties, the U.S. House of Representatives, along with the U.S. Senate, proposes, studies and votes on legislation that affects the United States at the federal level. In order for a bill to be sent to the president for approval, it must pass both the U.S. House and the U.S. Senate.

    Full Answer >
    Filed Under:
  • Q:

    What are the differences between the popular vote vs. the electoral vote in an electoral college?

    A:

    The primary difference between the popular vote and the electoral college is that one represents the actual votes received by a candidate and the other represents the votes cast by a state. How a state casts its electoral votes is directly influenced by the popular vote.

    Full Answer >
    Filed Under:

Explore