In the United States, election contenders are nominated directly through popular votes. But for the vice president and the president are not directly chosen by the people. Instead, they are selected through a process referred to as Electoral College by ‘elector’. The United States constitution dictates the procedure of using electors. The process was a negotiation between a vote in congress and a popular vote by taxpayers.
Over the years, scholars and activities have emerged, arguing that in a democratic system, the government should be chosen by the majority. Therefore, presidential elections should be won by the contender who obtains the majority of popular votes. As a result, a proposal has been developed advocating for Electoral College to be bypassed without amending the constitution (“Agreement Among the States to Elect the President by National Popular Vote”). This paper will be examining the strategy of the national popular vote movement and the superior voting method between the proposed and the current system.
The National Popular Vote strategy or compact is intended to guarantee victory to the presidential applicant who attains the most significant number of popular votes. The design will ensure every vote across all the fifty states in the US, including the District of Columbia, matters in all presidential elections. The compact is a government-based tactic that aids in preserving state control of elections, the Electoral College, and the authority that the state has in controlling the process of electing a president. The proposal of the National Popular Vote (NPV) act has been passed by sixteen, which possess a hundred and ninety-five electoral votes.
The bill will be effective when enacted by states with seventy-five or more electoral votes (“Agreement Among the States to Elect the President by National Popular Vote”). The act has passed one chamber in nine additional states that comprise eighty-eight more electoral votes. In addition, the bill has been endorsed by three thousand five hundred and twenty-two legislators from all fifty states.
The significant shortcomings for the current presidential electoral system are the “winner-take-all” decrees endorsed by state legislators in forty-eight states. The laws grant all electoral votes to the candidate who garnered a majority of the popular votes from every state. As a result of these statutes, presidential aspirants have no reason to consider the issues of concern to electorates in states where outcomes have already been concluded. For instance, in 2012, all the two hundred and fifty-three general-election campaigns events only occurred in twelve states, where two-thirds were in four states (“Agreement Among the States to Elect the President by National Popular Vote”). A similar case was witnessed during 2016; ninety-four percent of the voting campaign events only occurred in twelve states where Donald Trump’s supporters were forty-three to fifty-one percent.
The statutes on the ‘winner-take-all’ have enabled five of the forty-five US presidents to assume power without winning a significant number of popular votes countrywide. For instance, the 2000 and the 2016 general elections enabled candidates in the second place to take control based on the Electoral College results. The NPV strategy is designed in a way that helps any presidential candidate who attains the most popular votes to win the presidential race.
The NPV will be implemented when it becomes fully enacted by states with significant electoral votes- precisely two hundred and seventy out of five hundred and thirty-eight (“Presidential Election Process | Usagov”). The NPV bill will ensure that every voter in the United States has acquired a straight vote for a team of two hundred and seventy presidential electors supporting the voters’ option for president. All the two hundred and seventy presidential electors will support the presidential aspirant who acquired the substantial number of popular votes in all the fifty states in the US. Thus, the candidate will become the president.
The current presidential electoral system focuses on electing a president based on Electoral College votes. The current system has proved undemocratic because it was introduced in the constitution to frustrate direct democracy. A vital number of framers within the constitution were not comfortable equipping the power of electing the United States president to people (“Presidential Election Process | Usagov”). On the contrary, the National Popular Vote (NPV) system aims at returning the power to elect the US president to the United States citizens, thus making the act superior.
The Electoral College is a tool devised to bypass democracy in the US by denying its citizens the power to choose the leader they want. The current presidential electorate system in the US efficiently marginalizes millions of taxpayers that live in small and medium states. In a system that glorifies the “winner-take-all” approach, any votes that are considered to be above the fifty percent margin are wasted votes. The method indicates that voters in areas with heavy fanatic lean on a specific party have less impact on an election, which in return leads to lower voter turnout (“Presidential Election Process | Usagov”). In the case of NPV, the voter impact can be felt no matter the state they are in, and hence this can influence the voter turn out positively.
Those who advocate for the Electoral College argue that it magnifies the voices of individuals in small states. But that is not the case since it only gives most attention to swing states or a handful of battlegrounds. For instance, according to the NVP movement, during the 2016 presidential election, two hundred and seventy-three out of three hundred and ninety-nine campaign events only occurred within six states (North Carolina, Michigan, Ohio, Pennsylvania, Virginia, and Florida).
Small states were significantly ignored, and populous states such as California, New York, and Texas were seen as either democrat or republican supporters (“Presidential Election Process | Usagov”). Consequently, the 2020 presidential race had a similar trend despite the heavy impact that the Covid-19 pandemic had on physical campaign proceedings. The implementation of the NPV bill will ensure that presidential campaigns events will occur in every state regardless of its size or population. Moreover, no state will be side-lined because every vote will be crucial in presidential races.
In a democratic nation, the citizens have the right to choose the leader they want without any hindrance. The United States is a democratic country, but its presidential election laws prevent US citizens from electing the president and vice president they want. The Electoral College is the body that decides who has won the elections depending on the college votes they attain. The current electoral system does not promote democracy; but instead, it suppresses it. The NVP is a strategy that is developed to ensure that democracy is upheld. The system is geared towards ensuring that every taxpayer’s vote impacts who will lead the United States. When enacted, the method will help ensure that all the states are included in the electoral process. None of the states will be ignored since candidates will have a purpose for campaigning in all states, and thus it is better than the Electoral College scheme.
“Agreement Among the States to Elect the President by National Popular Vote“. National Popular Vote, 2021. Web.
“Presidential Election Process | Usagov”. Usa.Gov, 2021. Web.