Electoral College and Its Role in Electing the President

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Explanatory Synthesis As the United States was formed and its government set in place, a compromise had to be reached in the method of electing a president. The Electoral College was the child born of this concession. As with most compromises, debate has always surrounded the Electoral College and its role in electing the president. The voice opposing the Electoral College is heard from Carolyn Jefferson-Jenkins, president of the League of Women Voters of the United States. Her essay titled “Who Should Elect the President” focuses on the importance of one person, one vote. The other side of the debate is heard from Norman J Ornstein, a resident scholar at the American Enterprise Institute for Public Policy Research. His paper “No Need to Repeal the Electoral College” discusses how the Electoral College is needed in this country and what needs to be done to improve the election system. The entire debate circles around this fulcrum; should the Electoral College be abolished and a popular vote used to elect the President of the United States. Due to the recent election issues in Florida, one very important main point in this issue becomes; do the number of election crises warrant elimination the Electoral College in favor of a popular vote. Carolyn Jefferson-Jenkins believes there have been far too many instances of these near disasters. The author states, “In the Twentieth century, we only narrowly avoided a series of constitutional crises in which the electoral college system—or the House of Representatives—could have overruled the popular vote” (Jefferson-Jenkins 173). She goes on to site 5 examples where a small shift in the popular vote of a few states could have changed the out come of the election. One such example, “in the 1916 presidential election, a shift of only 2,000 votes in California would have given Charles Evans Hughes the necessary electoral

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