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Is our method of selecting a President democratic?

The President of the United States is the most powerful man in the world. No man can marshal the forces he can. The President represents the United States of America, the most powerful democracy in the world. Yet some have argued that the President is not elected in a democratic manner. Today we will examine the method by which we elect our president and evaluate how democratic the method is.

The Electoral College

Sometimes when people say, "hey why should I vote, my vote doesn't really count!" they are actually right! What, a social studies teacher agreeing that voting might actually be a waste of time??? If you live in Montana or North Dakota you might understand why.

When we all gather on the first Tuesday in November to cast or votes for President the world is watching. The candidates watch, we watch but a group of political big wigs called the Electoral College watch as well. You see they are the ones that actually vote for President...not you and I.

Conceived as a compromise to Alexander Hamilton who didn't trust the masses to vote at all, Jefferson's electoral college was supposed to be a buffer between the ignorant commoners and the educated elite. In the original system electors (with the amount per state based upon the population of that state) cast their ballots for President. The victor became the President and the loser Vice President. Soon the founding fathers saw the mistake in such a system as the President and Vice President came form different political parties.

The system was then changed so that the President and the Vice President ran as a ticket. In the event of a tie the House of Representatives voted. In order to make the election more democratic the electors promise to vote based upon the majority of the popular of their state. If candidate A received 1,000,0001 to candidate B's 1,000,000 then candidate A would get ALL of the electoral votes for that state. What this means is that the more heavily populated states get more electoral votes, and thus more of a say in an election. It also means that a candidate could win the popular vote but lose an election.

Seem unfair, just ask Grover Cleveland who in 1888 received about 100,000 more popular votes but lost in hibid for reelection to Benjamin Harrison.

Electoral Votes By State

Alabama 9

Alaska 3

Arizona 8

Arkansas 6

California 54

Colorado 8

Connecticut 8

Delaware 3

District of Colombia 3

Florida 25

Georgia 13

Hawaii 4

Idaho 4

Illinois 22

Indiana 12

Iowa 7

Kansas 6

Kentucky 8

Louisiana 9

Maine 4

Maryland 10

Massachusetts 12

Michigan 18

Minnesota 10

Mississippi 7

Missouri 11

Montana 3

Nebraska 5

Nevada 4

New Hampshire 4

New Jersey 15

New Mexico 5

New York 33

North Carolina 14

North Dakota 3

Ohio 21

Oklahoma 8

Oregon 7

Pennsylvania 23

Rhode Island 4

South Carolina 8

Tennessee 3

Texas 32

Utah 5

Vermont 3

Virginia 13

Washington 11

West Virginia 5

Wisconsin 11

Wyoming 3


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