Liam L. Michigan

Problems With the Electoral College

The electoral college has many problems such as inequality between states and corruption, which this letter focuses on and offers solutions for.

 The Electoral College

Dear future President,

229 years may sound like a lot of time and that’s because it is, but that is how long America has used the electoral college system to elect presidents. The electoral college system is supposed to give Americans the choice of who the next president is, but has instead diminished Americans’ influence over the decision.

The electoral college has rarely been an issue large enough to be debated for reform. However, with the unpopular election of George W. Bush in 2000, electoral college reformists and abolitionists have jumped into action. The most supported of these groups is for America to use direct election to choose presidents.

Direct election would solve many of the electoral college’s problems, the largest being the possibility of an unpopular president being elected. However making such a change would mean altering the Constitution. Instead, the National Vote Plan was created. In the article ¨The Electoral College Weakens Federalism¨ It is stated that: “The compact would allow long-ignored states to get attention again in presidential campaigns. The current system has ‘just taken a lot off of the presidential map’, complains Rob Richie, executive director of FairVote, a nonpartisan organization based in Maryland, which supports the compact.” The “compact” being the National Vote Plan. The plan would have states with an overall electoral vote count of 270 or more, give their votes to the winner of the popular vote no matter what. This would ensure that the winner of the popular vote would win the presidency. This plan would make sure that the more popular candidate always wins, but doesn't eliminate the chance of corruption, which is another one of the electoral college’s big downfalls.

Some who support the electoral college say: “ provides presidents with a special federative majority and a broad national mandate for governing, unifying the two major parties across the country and requiring broad geographic support to win the presidency. In addition… the electoral college protects the interests of small states and sparsely populated states, which… would be ignored if the president were directly elected.” as stated by Britannica in “The Electoral College”. These supporters also claim that the National Popular Vote Plan is a way of amending the constitution without amending it. They also claim that direct election would, instead of making candidates campaign in “battleground” states, they would have to campaign mainly in highly populated areas.

A third idea is that the electoral college system and popular vote should be combined. This way, known as the “Proportional Plan,” would have states give their electoral votes away proportionally to the results of that state’s popular vote. Chuck Devore, GOP Assemblyman, states that he “supports a system that would allocate some of a state’s electoral votes based on the popular vote in congressional districts, an approach that exists in Nebraska and Maine. All other states and the District of Columbia award all their electoral votes to the presidential candidate who gets the most votes in their state.” It’s an idea that’s less popular than the National Vote Plan or just keeping the current system, but I believe that this plan would be the best for America and would satisfy the most people.

So, future president, it’s now your choice about what to do. You can support the National Vote Plan, Proportional Plan, or one of the many other plans to reform or abolish the electoral college, or you can make your own plan to solve the problem. You can even choose to ignore the issues of the current system entirely, seeing as how it was the system you were elected with. However, future president, just know that no electoral system can please everyone, and all systems will have their fair share of problems. Thank you for reading my letter, and good luck with your presidency.


Liam L.


"Electoral college." Britannica School, Encyclopædia Britannica, 2 Nov. 2012.

Madonna, G. Terry. "Why the Electoral College Is Bad for America." Presidential Studies Quarterly, vol. 35, no. 2, 2005, p. 411+. Student Edition.

Dotinga, Randy. "The Electoral College Weakens Federalism." The Presidential Election Process, edited by Tom Lansford, Greenhaven Press, 2008. 

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