Thursday, November 26, 2020

People power

Technology would allow for removal of Electoral College

The Electoral College should be abolished, but not before the nation’s election process is more accurate.

The Electoral College consists of electors from each state, based on the number of representatives and senators the state has in Congress. People vote for a slate of electors for each party on the presidential ballot. Whichever party’s electors receive the most votes in that state go on to vote for president. Electors usually vote for candidates in their party with very few exceptions.

Only three times in history has a candidate won the election without being the winner of the nation’s popular vote.

The framers of the Constitution created the Electoral College because it was impossible for everyone in the country to make an informed decision about a candidate. Representatives from each state were supposed to vote for the state’s best interests.

However, because of advances in transportation and the media, a candidate can easily reach the majority of the American public. Regional differences are also less pronounced than they once were; candidates mainly target demographic groups instead of states.

Without the Electoral College, states across the country would be demanding recounts during this close election. Most disputes are eliminated because the Electoral College makes individual votes in some states less crucial.

But no matter the future of the Electoral College, the accuracy of the electoral process must be improved. With more accurate methods of voting, results will not be subject to question, and it will be feasible for only these results to determine the outcome.

The abandonment of the Electoral College is consistent with the direction in which the country is heading. Senators were appointed by state legislators until the passage of the 17th Amendment to the Constitution. History favors putting more power in the hands of the people.

In the upcoming years, Congress will not only be examining the rationale behind the Electoral College, but voting methods and technology. This year’s election put the process under a microscope and pointed out flaws that have gone unnoticed in previous elections.

Congress should put effort and money into developing technology that will make voting more convenient and accurate, and should analyze new forms of voting, such as mail-in balloting, weekend voting, and voting via the Internet. Reform will help prevent the confusion that has defined this election.

While standards should be upheld to ensure that ballots are fair, individual states should retain control of the election process. States should be allowed to tailor voting methods. Numerous local issues are decided in each election as well, which makes a nationwide ballot impractical.

The country should not keep the Electoral College only because it allows inaccuracies to go unnoticed; instead, these inaccuracies should be improved. A system that allows the candidate who did not receive the most votes to be elected is unfair and undemocratic.

The country has paid little attention to the election process in the past, taking the mentality of “if it isn’t broke, don’t fix it.” But now is the time to reform the election process to ensure that the nation’s leaders truly are chosen by the people.

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