All About the American Electoral!

All About the American Electoral!

Feb 14, 2017, 7:44:53 PM News

The Electoral College has become a lot more well known, and I do dare say relevant, after this 2016 Presidential Election. 

Below is a bullet point summary on the history and initial reasoning for this system…

– It was decreed within the 12th Amendment of the United States Constitution.

– Alexander Hamilton came up with the Electoral College system.  His principle thinking on this matter was that the electors, who are made up of elected Senators and Representatives of each state, would actually be better suited to make the official decision about whom the leader of the Country should be. 

–  Hamilton seemed to authentically believe the Electoral College was a measure to keep hard party line politics from forming and reduce the possibility for political corruption.  Hamilton believed and expected that the elected officials would behave as independent, free-thinkers who would “deliberate” about which candidate would indeed be best suited to be the next President of the United States, instead of just falling into a party line of autopilot politics. 

–  Hamilton realized the misuses this system was already starting to form shortly after it was put into practice.  He drafted an amendment to correct for the problems he saw arising within the system, but this was rejected by the powers to be at that time. 

Pitfalls to the Electoral College in our Modern Day…

– The American population has grown tremendously since the Constitution was written.  During the original planning of the Constitution, each state was given a certain number of Senators and allowed for another amount of Representatives for their State.  The Representatives were to be based on the population within that state.  However, there is a limit to how many seats are available within these two elected branches of office.  The cap for Senators is 100, and the limit for Representatives is 435.  Even though a census is done every 10 years within the United States to determine the population within each state (and Country as a whole), the representation for the states within the House and Senate does not really fluctuate because they are already at their maximum. In this way, it makes the elected representation for many states disproportionate to the voice of the people held within that state.

I am not including the breakdown of Electoral Votes vs. State Population in this post.  However, a simple Google search will generate many sites that have this breakdown for you.

– The argument then becomes…the voice of the people is not adequately or accurately represented when making this final determination of who will be the next president of the United States of America.

What can be done to modify this arguably outdated and misrepresented system for the people?…

– There is an agreement called the National Popular Vote Interstate Compact (NPVIC) between a group of states and Washington, D.C.  This agreement says that the Electors of the states within this compact will cast their vote for the next American President to go to whomever the majority of all of the people of the United States of America voted for.  This is different in that the Electors of these compact states do not vote for whomever their state won majority over, but who the nation as a whole cast the majority of their votes for. 

Facts about the NPVIC States (according to the Status of National Popular Vote website)…

 These are the states who currently hold legislation enacting the NPVIC – California, Washington, New York, Maryland, Vermont, Massachusetts, Rhode Island, District of Columbia, Hawaii, Illinois, and New Jersey. 

These are the States where legislation has passed 1 legislative chamber to enact the NPVIC – Arizona, New Mexico, Maine, Oregon, Nevada, Michigan, and Arkansas

These are the States where there is a hearing by at least 1 legislative committee on the NPVIC matter – Missouri, Alaska, Montana, North Dakota, South Dakota, Kentucky, Nebraska, Wisconsin, Oklahoma, Tennessee, Pennsylvania, Delaware, North Carolina, West Virginia, Georgia, Alabama, New Hampshire, Connecticut, Minnesota, and Louisiana.

These are the States that have no legislation on the NPVIC pending, or any hearings about this compact – Texas, Kansas, Virginia, South Carolina, Florida, Idaho, Wyoming, Utah, Colorado, Iowa, Ohio, and Mississippi.

*The Constitution is the document that has America’s fundamental laws and principles that we are held to order by.  So, this is the document, along with the Bill of Rights (or the first 10 Amendments of the Constitution) that all of our laws are measured by. 

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