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ELECTORAL COLLEGE SYSTEM Is it time for a change The recent presidential election brought to the forefront of the American publics mind the question of whether the Electoral College remains an appropriate method of electing the nations highest-ranking public official Although the closeness of this race reminded the general public that they did not have the right to directly elect the president the debate as to the value of this system or the question of what is the best method is not new In fact the shortcomings of the Electoral College system have for some time been the subject of academic debate Abbott Over the years the favor and disfavor of the Electoral College system has ebbed and flowed with the possibility of an election resulting in no majority winner due to a viable third party candidate or the possibility of a president being elected without winning the popular vote Thus with the recent election of president Bush who failed to win the popular vote yet garnered the 270 Electoral Votes necessary to attain a majority the debate has again gained momentum as not a purely academic question Wildvasky While the Electoral College system does serve several arguably desirable objectives it also limits the personal power of the voter This paper will look at both sides of the debate and then draw a conclusion as to whether or not the value of the Electoral College system outweighs the costs However before looking at the pros and cons of our present system it is best to begin with an explanation of how the Electoral College system came about and its original intended purposes By understanding this the foundation of the Electoral College system can be applied to the 21st century and examined for its relevance Finally this paper will conclude that the Electoral College system does not fit with the realities of 21st century elections nor is it even being used as it was intended when
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