There are apparent flaws in every possible system of deciding who should lead the office of the President. There are numerous channels available for voter education; however, many have differing opinions. The designs are affected by voter apathy and political misinformation. The most viable alternative for the electoral college is the direct popular vote. This option is the closest to true democracy. The system works to ensure that every vote counts when determining the presidency.
The electoral college has always faced stiff opposition from proponents of the direct popular vote. This governance election system allows the citizens to vote, and the elected official is chosen based on their ballots. The aspiring presidential candidate with the most votes wins the right to serve in the office of the President. Those who support this alternative argument that the voters are politically informed or active. Citizens choosing to exercise their civic rights is believed to mean they have some interest in politics. The core argument for this method states that the citizens’ votes are what should decide the election.
The electoral college system reduces the overall impact voters can make. States such as Pennsylvania often get to place only 20 votes. This factor means that the citizens won’t feel like their vote matters regardless of if a popular vote is used. Lawmakers of the non-dominant parties in a state such as California and Texas understand that they will likely not impact the election. The electoral college is primarily designed to prioritize the swing states. A popular vote will work to restore these challenges as currently, no matter if 10% or 100% of eligible voters win, there will be no impact.
The main challenges with a popular vote system are common worldwide. The Founding Fathers are responsible for the creation of the Electoral College. These politicians argued that candidates could easily charm the citizenry for votes with unrealistic claims. There is no transparent way to validate a candidate’s ambitions. The Founding Fathers argued that politicians would know best what is true and false during a campaign period. Citizens are led by a growing mob of people, which goes against the principles of indirect democracy. It is important to note that the U.S. is not a direct democracy. True democracy is often believed to be flawed; therefore, the Electoral College offers an opportunity to be an intermediary.
States such as Maine and Nebraska are currently utilizing a congressional district system. These states have often complained that they cannot directly impact the President’s election.
This electoral system functions by only allowing a certain number of votes. When a candidate achieves this, they are given an extra two votes. This action occurs because the candidate has won the popular vote in that state. This statistic helps prevent these states from dictating the popular vote because of the size of their state. It was introduced as a method of reducing the problem of larger cities deciding the election. The system’s merits lie in districts not being as densely populated. During the election in Pennsylvania, Philadelphia and Pittsburgh were enough to swing the election towards the Democrats.
This leadership selection process is like the one used in the electoral college; however, it is more rigid. The electoral college receives its votes through states, while the congressional district method is the same; the voting blocks are more diminutive. The opponents of congressional districts often argue that the electoral college is a better system. It works by dividing the country into smaller voting groups. The key characteristics these options have in common involve candidates funneling all their campaigning into swing states or a single congressional district.
Ranked Choice Voting
Some countries worldwide use ranked-choice voting, such as Australia, Ireland, Malta, and the United Kingdom (Scottish and Welsh Parliaments). This method of leadership selection functions by allowing voters to list candidates in order of their preference. This system will enable citizens to vote for more than one candidate. This method allows candidates to choose a second option if the popular vote does not elect the first. From the multiple candidates on the ballot paper, the candidate who wins at least 50% of the votes assumes the office of the presidency.
The selection can become more complicated if no candidate wins with a majority vote. This sequence of events will mean the ballots need to be tallied again for round two. During the second counting, a candidate who received the least amount of first-choice votes is removed from the election. The ballots for these eliminated candidates are then transferred to the second-choice pick. The electoral commission will repeat this process until all candidates have been elected and one receives the majority of votes.
Ranked Choice Voting often guarantees that the candidate with the majority of support from the people wins the presidency. The system does not reward candidates with a minor amount of plural votes. It works to prevent citizens from voting against candidates. The citizens are encouraged to vote for the option on the ballot they prefer the most. The argument against this system is that many voters already practice strategic voting somehow. This method is therefore considered confusing and time-consuming. RCV ballots are challenging to understand for citizens who are not politically active. With systems such as this, high levels of voter education are required. If not, this method can lead to numerous ballots being filled out incorrectly. A vote that is not filled out correctly will be considered spoiled and therefore discarded.