Essay: United States national elections

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  • Published on: January 23, 2019
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Notably, there are two frameworks that can be, and are embraced in United States national elections. These include the Electoral College and the National Popular vote. Both of the frameworks target presidential elections (Arrington & Brenner, 2014). The Electoral College will involve electors, who are nominated to represent their parties. A presidential candidate to win based on the Electoral College needs to win at the state level and national level. On the other hand, the National Popular vote is based on the popular votes. A presidential candidate wins under this framework in the case the candidate has the majority popular votes. Conquering the above mentioned, this paper takes the lane to formulate an extensively researched comparative-argumentative discussion which will prove both sides of the premise- electoral college should or not be abolished in favor of the National Popular vote. On the onset, the paper will first discuss the two frameworks before comparing them later to challenge the contextual premise on both ends.
National Popular Vote

The National popular vote is a framework that is embraced in conducting the national elections in the United States. As a framework, the National Popular vote will target the presidential elections (Brody, 2013). Based on the National popular vote, during presidential elections, all voters are valued equally. Such, in agreement with Brody (2013) accounts that, all the voters within the United States are treated equally during the presidential elections irrespective of the area where they live. As such, according to this election framework, it is therefore contrary to its terms and requirement for some of the voters to be discriminated in the presidential elections.

What is more, the National popular vote as an election framework is based on the premise that, the winner of the presidential election must hold the majority votes. It is worth noting that, for the National Popular vote as the contextual election framework, the majority votes will be based on the total participant’s votes. As such, and when seconding Brody (2013), based on the National popular vote, the winner of the presidential elections is determined by the most popular votes nationwide. Therefore, as per the National popular vote, for a presidential candidate to be the winner and hence elected as the president, the candidate must, therefore, win the popular votes specifically nationwide (Brody, 2013).

Further to mention, the National Popular vote is only applicable in the several states that embrace it. For a state to embrace the contextual election framework, then, the state needs to passes the legislation in joining the National Popular Vote Compact (Brody, 2013). Seconding Brody(2013), in the case where a state passes the legislation to specifically join the National Popular Vote Compact, it, therefore, pledges that its entire electoral votes will be offered to which the presidential candidate who not only wins the popular vote but nationwide. However, it is worth noting that, the above-mentioned bill only becomes applicable in the scenario when the state with the majority votes during the presidential elections will have passed the similar legislation. As such, in the case where the state with the majority votes has not passed the related legislation, such will account that the bill will hence not be applicable which consequently results to the invalidity of the contextual framework- National Popular Vote.

Electoral College

Just like the National Popular Vote, the Electoral College is also a framework embraced when conducting national elections in the United States. Electoral College as a framework also target the presidential elections. However, the framework will differ from the National Popular Vote in various ways. Concerning the above mentioned, this section seeks to bring to light the various unique aspects of the Electoral College.

Notably, the Electoral College comprises of 538 electors. All these electors cast votes in order to elect both the president as well as vice president of the United States. It is worth noting that, the 538 electors represents the total sum of three components- nation’s 435 Representatives, 100 Senators as well as three electors offered to the District of Columbia. Based on the electoral college as an election framework, the presidential candidate who wins the election is the one who has received the majority of the electoral votes – 270(Bayh, 2014).

What is more, the Electoral College as an election framework operates in a significant and unique way. With the framework targeting the election of the president and vice president, after four years in the United States, the voters will get to the polls in order to elect the two above mentioned officials. Under this framework, for a candidate win to the presidential elections, the candidate ought to win first at the state level. At the state level, it is worth noting that, the candidate must win the majority of the votes in a state (Bayh, 2014). Such will account for the candidate winning that state’s electoral vote. Worth noting is that, the above scenario will apply for all the states except two states –Maine and Nebraska. Bayh (2014) brings to light that, in the pre-stated exceptional states, the electoral votes in these states are assigned through proportional representation. Such means that, the candidate who has the most votes will get two electoral votes specifically for the two senators. At the same time, the other electoral votes are usually allocated congressional district particularly by the congressional district (Bayh, 2014). Through the above-mentioned mode of allocation of the electoral votes in the two exceptional states, that is Maine and Nebraska, it hence makes it possible for both presidential candidates and their vice president to receive the electoral votes from the two states, contrary to the scenario where the winner-take-it all system for the entire of the states- 48 states.

Additionally, the Electoral College as election framework in the presidential elections in the United States will have electors as a primary component. Worth noting is that these electors will usually be individuals such as state-elected officials, party leaders, or even individuals who have a strong affiliation with the presidential candidates(Bayh, 2014). Electors are selected, although the selection process will vary from one state to another. More often, as Bayh (2014) enlightens, the electors will be nominated by the political parties. Such will occur at the political party’s states conventions. However, there are some instances where the selection process of the electors will adopt voting of particularly a party’s central committee. Further to mention, Bayh (2014) brings to light that, electors are not forced by either the Federal election laws as well as the Federal Constitution to vote for their party candidate. For instance, in twenty-seven states, the laws require the electors to vote for their party candidate only in the case where that candidate gets a majority of specifically the states popular vote. In another scenario, for twenty-four states, the pre-stated laws are not applicable, and electors vote based on a common practice to their party nominee (Bayh, 2014).

Besides, the Electoral College as an election framework is based on various critical aspects. These aspects will act as the components of the framework. For instance, the electoral college has the aspect where there lacks one of the presidential candidates who gets the majority of the votes. Seconding the above, Bayh(214) brings to light that there is the possibility that in some instances there will lack a presidential candidate who has the majority vote. In such scenarios, based on the Electoral College, the election will be waived to the United States House of Representatives. During this scenario, the top three presidential candidates are presented. These presidential candidates are required to compete through each state casting one vote. The winner of the single votes cast by each state will hence be the winner of the presidential elections (Bayh, 2014). Similarly, the vice president will be subjected to such a process, although, the selection process is conducted by the United States Senate rather not the United States House of Representatives. Finally, it is worth noting that, under the Electoral College, the winning of a presidential candidate is not subject to winning of the popular vote. Supportively, Bayh (2014), brings to light that, a presidential candidate can lose the popular vote and still win the Electoral College vote. For instance, in 2000, George Bush lost the popular vote at Al Gore by 51% but still won the Electoral College at 271 to 266 votes which accounted for his winning and being elected as the president.

Electoral College versus the National Popular Vote

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