TheElectoral College is an institution under the American constitutionwidth the duty of electing the President of the United States ofAmerica. It consists of 538 members drawn from the 50 states in thecountry. Out of the 538 members, 435 are House representatives, 100are senators while the rest come from the District of Columbia (DC)(Markworth& Willox, 2012).During the elections, the citizens do not directly vote for theirpresident and vice president. They pass their powers through therepresentative democracy and allow the college members to vote otheir behalf. The votes cast in the college for the president are themostly the actual presentation of the citizens.
Thestates use two methods to arrive at the presidential votes. First,the majority of the states use the formula of “winner-takes-it-all.”That is the most popular candidate in every state and who gunnersmajority of the votes takes all the electoral votes. Secondly, thereare exceptions in Maine and Nebraska whereby they adopt thecongressional method. That is, they select voters from each districtaccording to the popularity in terms of votes. For a person to takethe presidential or the vice-presidential position, he or she mustgunner at least 270 votes(Miller, 2012).
Thecollege is beneficial in various ways. First, the college avoids asituation whereby a president can win the election by focusing onlyon the heavily populated areas. The urban areas have a lot of peoplebut the ratio of representation in the college compared with theother areas makes the candidates extend they campaigns. Althoughcandidates have their stronghold, they must reach out to the otherareas because their votes count too (Lombardo, 2015).
TheElectoral College strengthens the American value of federal autonomy. Each federal state can design fits rules regarding voting in thecollege. For example, Maine and Nebraska use a different formula fromthe other states. Although the approach differs from the widely usedone, it is consistent and acceptable because it is under thejurisdiction of the state.
TheElectoral College also maintains the division of powers. That is, thepresident cannot make a sole decision without the consultation of theprimary people who elected him. The value of the houserepresentatives becomes visible in the American community. It reduceschances if a tyrannical head of state due to the checks and balancesimplemented by the representatives.
Theinstitution also has several shortcomings. First, critics argue thatit does not reflect a true representation of the population. Smallstates have undue advantage over the highly populated states. Frexample, California has a ratio of one voter per 617 000 people.Wyoming has a ratio of one voter per 165 000 people. There is a hugedisparity in the representation (Lombardo, 2015).
Theprocess creates swing state in the country. That is, the approachtakes n by the majority of the states, that is, “winner-takes-it-all”encourages the formation of either democratic or republican states.The votes of those who vote for a less popular candidate do not countafter the election. Candidates can, therefore, intensify theircampaigns targeting the areas that have been branded according totheir party vehicle (Lombardo, 2015).
Inconclusion, the Electoral College plays a significant role in theUnited States of America presidential elections. It brings out thetrue value of representative democracy fin the country. It also givesthe house representatives, and the senators say in matters of thenational government, and this creates a lot of accountability andtransparency in the government.
Lombardo,C. (2015). Advantages and Disadvantages of the Electoral College. NetGalaxy.Retrieved fromhttp://thenextgalaxy.com/advantages-and-disadvantages-of-the-electoral-college/
Markworth,K. A., & Willox, L. M. (2012). . MathematicsTeaching in the Middle School,18(2),118-124.
Miller,N. R. (2012). Election inversions by the US Electoral College. InElectoralSystems(pp. 93-127). Springer: Berlin Heidelberg.