As you are standing at the polls on that important Tuesday in November, every four years, most Americanr’s believe they are voting for the next presidential candidate but they are voting for your slate of electors for your state. The electors who are appointed, are the ones who cast their ballots for the next presidential candidate. This process is called the Electoral College.
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The electoral college dates back to the founders who drew up the Constitution in 1787, the Founding Fathers seen this process as a compromise. Over the years, the process has not changed much. Many Americar’s feel that this process is unfair and changes are needed. Currently, there is a debate on whether the Electoral College is fair and if reform needs to happen.
As Thomas Jefferson stated A democracy is nothing more than mob rule, where fifty-one percent of the people may take away the rights of the other forty-nine. Going back in time, the Founding Fathers were not willing to allow ordinary citizens to vote for their president directly. They were afraid that the people would not be able to make a well-informed choice. They feared that the people would vote for the candidate from their own state, only. They decided that a selected group of people should select the president. The parties nominated candidates for president and vice president and then picked electors to vote for them. The person who received the most votes would become president and the second-place person would become vice president. This system lasted until the 1800s. That year it was decided that the system needed changing as there was a tie between two candidates. The Twelfth Amendment to the Constitution (ratified in 1804) clarified the Electoral College procedure. It stated that each elector would vote for one person for president and one vote for vice president. Before deciding on the Electoral College, the founders considered other solutions. They thought maybe Congress elects the president or just the State Legislature, or just to have a direct vote. The Founders believed this would solve the political issues and the best option would be creating the Electoral College, they stated it would balance the high-populated and low populated states and give compromise.
Selecting the electors is a two-step process. Each Political party, Democratic and Republican, nominate electors at their state convention or congressional district. The electors are usually state elected officials, party leaders or people with a strong affiliation with the presidential candidates (National Archives and Records Administration Website, n.d.). In some states, they are picked by party leadership, leading to a more controlled process. State law determines how the electors are picked from each state. These potential electors are picked before the November General Election and the electors are not officially picked until election day (General Election).
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