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Our Constitution is in actual operation everything appears to promise that it will last but in this world nothing is certain but death and taxes Benjamin Franklin Letter to M Leroy 1789 Electoral College Reform Essay The Electoral College was designed to provide a method of presidential selection for a form of government that combined a fragile federal union with republican principles Congressional Quarterly Inc This was a time of considerable rivalry and distrust among the states a lack of a national communication system and bad memories of abuse of executive power The Electoral College was the result of a compromise between large and small states and the nationalists and federalists This plan was brought about to ensure that the most qualified person not necessarily the most popular would be selected by groups of electors representing their states but also expressing their personal convictions However the development of the party system which led to the direct election of states of partisan electors permanently altered the original plan and created a party-based plurality-rule system in which electoral votes were allocated by states on a winner-take-all basis The major consequences of such an allocation were to create incentives for major party candidates to focus on the most competitive states in order of size of population and to prevent third party and independent candidates from having any reasonable chance to win In addition it also created the potential for a discrepancy between the electoral and popular vote as witnessed in 1824 1876 1888 and 2000 The Electoral College stands in the way of a democratic presidential election In a democracy all votes are equal but in the Electoral College all voters are not equally represented In a democracy the plurality rules but in the Electoral College it may not The larger the turnout the greater the directive and the more likely elected officials will be responsive to a broader diversity of electorate Not only does the Electoral
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