Your SlideShare is downloading. ×
US politics - The Electoral College
US politics - The Electoral College
US politics - The Electoral College
US politics - The Electoral College
US politics - The Electoral College
US politics - The Electoral College
US politics - The Electoral College
US politics - The Electoral College
US politics - The Electoral College
US politics - The Electoral College
US politics - The Electoral College
US politics - The Electoral College
US politics - The Electoral College
US politics - The Electoral College
US politics - The Electoral College
US politics - The Electoral College
US politics - The Electoral College
US politics - The Electoral College
US politics - The Electoral College
US politics - The Electoral College
US politics - The Electoral College
US politics - The Electoral College
US politics - The Electoral College
US politics - The Electoral College
US politics - The Electoral College
US politics - The Electoral College
Upcoming SlideShare
Loading in...5
×

Thanks for flagging this SlideShare!

Oops! An error has occurred.

×
Saving this for later? Get the SlideShare app to save on your phone or tablet. Read anywhere, anytime – even offline.
Text the download link to your phone
Standard text messaging rates apply

US politics - The Electoral College

6,123

Published on

A2 US politics presentation on the electoral college strengths, weaknesses and possible reforms. By Chris Wardle and James Fitzmaurice

A2 US politics presentation on the electoral college strengths, weaknesses and possible reforms. By Chris Wardle and James Fitzmaurice

Published in: News & Politics
0 Comments
3 Likes
Statistics
Notes
  • Be the first to comment

No Downloads
Views
Total Views
6,123
On Slideshare
0
From Embeds
0
Number of Embeds
1
Actions
Shares
0
Downloads
0
Comments
0
Likes
3
Embeds 0
No embeds

Report content
Flagged as inappropriate Flag as inappropriate
Flag as inappropriate

Select your reason for flagging this presentation as inappropriate.

Cancel
No notes for slide

Transcript

  • 1. The Electoral College By Chris & James
  • 2.  
  • 3. Strengths of the electoral college
  • 4. It Preserves the voice of less populated states
    • If the system was to be abolish the voice of less populated states would be worthless
      • E.g.
    Year Smallest states (vote no.) Largest State (vote no.) Difference 1789 3 votes (Delaware) 10 votes (3 states) 8 votes 1981-1990 3 votes (in 7 states) 47 votes (California) 44 votes 1991-2000 3 votes (in 8 states) 54 votes (California) 51 votes 2001-2010 3 votes (in 8 states) 55 votes (California) 52 votes
  • 5. It Preserves the voice of less populated states
  • 6. It Preserves the voice of less populated states
  • 7. It promotes a 2 horse race
    • In a 2 horse race the winner tends to receive 50+% of the popular vote, an aid to uniting the nation
      • In 23 out of the 35 elections held between 1864 and 2000 the winner gained more than 50% of the popular vote.
      • This did not occur in 1992, 1996 and 2000.
  • 8. Maintains federalism
    • The system allows each state the freedom to design its own laws on voting and enfranchising without an undue incentive to maximise the number of votes cast.
  • 9. Isolation of election problems
    • It isolates the impact of potential electoral fraud or other problems to the state where it occurs
      • The College prevents situations where a party dominant in one state may inflate the votes for a candidate and affect the election outcome.
      • It isolates malicious election problems to the state in which they occur.
  • 10. Neutralizes turnout differences between states
    • When a state has a high profile contest, turnout in that state can be affected.
    • Because the allocation of electoral votes is independent of each state’s turnout, the Electoral College neutralizes the effect of all such turnout differences between states.
  • 11. Other strengths
    • It prevents candidates from winning the presidency just by winning in heavily populated urban areas.
    • The winner-takes-all system means minority groups can provide an edge to allow candidates to win.
  • 12. Criticisms of the Electoral College
  • 13. Small states are over-represented
    • California has 55 electoral college votes for its 34 million inhabitants – 1:617,000.
    • Wyoming has 3 electoral college votes for 500,000 inhabitants – 1:165,000.
    • If California was to receive electoral college votes on the same basis as Wyoming they would have 205 Electoral College votes.
  • 14. Winner-takes-all system distorts the results
    • 1996 – Clinton won 49% of the popular vote but just over 70% of the electoral college votes.
    • 1960-2000 – there were7 occasions of which this has happened.
    • It’s possible to lose the public vote but lose the electoral college votes – has happened on 3 occasions
      • E.g. Gore in 2000.
  • 15. Unfair to third parties
    • 1992 – Ross Perot (independent) – 18.9% of the popular vote.
    • 1996 – Ross Perot (Reform party) – 8.5% of the popular vote.
    • Neither Green party nor Reform party won an electoral college vote in 2000.
    • Regional third party candidates tend to fare better
      • 1968 – Independent George Wallace won 13.5% of the vote but because his support was concentrated in the Deep South, he managed to win 5 states with 45 Electoral College votes.
  • 16. President & Vice-president of different parties
    • At the beginning of the republic it didn’t matter and it was used as a in the case of an Electoral College deadlock.
    • However, party identification is stronger in today's America.
    • In 2000 it was close to this situation, if it was a deadlock their it would have been probable that Bush be elected President by Lieberman Vice-president
  • 17. ‘ Rogue’ Electors
    • Many states have laws requiring Electors to cast their ballots for the state-wide popular vote winner.
    • However, others do not, leaving open the possibility that ‘rogue’ or ‘faithless’ Electors will cast their ballots some other way.
    • 6 out of 11 elections between 1960-2000 have seen this occur.
    • In 2000, a Washington DC elector refused to vote for Gore in protest at the city’s lack of congressional representation.
    • In 1972 a Virginia Republican voted for John Hospers rather than Nixon.
    • However, no one has been prosecuted for failing to honour this commitment.
  • 18. Discourages turnout
    • As it doesn’t matter how many people turnout in a given state, the Electoral College eliminates any advantage to a political party to encourage the electorate to vote.
    • If the president was directly elected then parties would have an incentive to work to increase turnout.
  • 19. Allows states to disenfranchise without penalty
    • If a state legally disenfranchises some citizens or makes it hard to vote and turnout decreases as a result, the Electoral College stops them from being penalised.
    • Legal scholars Akhil Amar and Vikram Amar point out that the original compromise of the Electoral College was largely due to this fact.
      • If the president was directly elected the North would have been able to out vote the south as "the South would get no credit for its half-million slaves, none of whom...would be able to vote. The electoral college system that ultimately emerged gave the South partial...credit for its slaves”.
    • Thus the comprise allows states to disenfranchise large numbers of citizens while maintaining the same influence in the electoral college. The Electoral College system gives no incentives to the states to increase turnout.
    • This is still the same today!
  • 20. Possible Reforms
  • 21. The Maine system
    • Maine and Nebraska do not use the ‘winner-takes-all’ system.
    • The ‘Maine system’ awards one vote to a candidate for each congressional district they win and 2 votes to the candidate who is the state-wide winner.
    • This would only make results marginally different.
    • May lead to gerrymandering.
  • 22. Proportional vote
    • By allocating votes in each state proportional to the popular vote in that state there would be a more equal allocation.
    • This would encourage more voters to vote for third parties
      • E.g. If everyone used the system while voting the same way in 2000 it would have deprived Bush of an absolute majority of 270 but still would have given him more votes the Gore.
    • Other reforms would probably need to be made including setting a threshold and the abolition of the requirement of an absolute majority.
  • 23. The Automatic Plan
    • This seeks to deal with the ‘rogue’ or ‘faithless’ Electors.
    • 16 states + the District of Columbia already have state laws that require their Elector to cast their ballots for the state’s popular vote winner.
    • The problem is that these laws are unenforceable
      • 2000 – A District of Columbia Elector abstained instead of voting for Al Gore.
    • If this was adopted nationwide, it would mean getting rid of the Electors, making the allocation of Electoral College votes automatic.
  • 24. The Direct Election Plan
    • Robert Richie (director of the centre for voting and democracy)
      • ‘ Most Americans don’t think the Electoral College is as fair as a direct election would be’.
      • A Gallup poll conducted the weekend after the 2000 election showed that 61% favoured a direct election.
    • However, with a constitutional amendment needed this is unlikely.
    • Stephen Wayne (2001) pointed out that had the system been in place in 2000, America might have been faced with recounts in every state – ‘Florida times 50’.
  • 25. Attempts to abolish the electoral college
    • In 1969 the House of Representative encouraged by President Nixon, voted 338-70 to abolish the electoral college and replace it with a direct election.
    • The proposal died after a filibuster in the senate by Republicans and Southern Democrats.
    • Jimmy Carter threw his weight behind the reform movement by stating he would like to see the archaic system replaced by direct popular election.
    • Best-supported proposal:
      • Senator Birch Bayh of Indiana – direct elections of the President with a run off between the top 2 contenders if no one secured 40+% of the popular vote.
    • July 1979 – Senate passed a proposal for a constitutional amendment on these line by 51-48 votes but this was well short of the 2/3s majority needed.
  • 26. Thank you for watching our presentation

×