The Importance of the Electoral College Essay

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The Importance of the Electoral College


Though our founding fathers created the Electoral College over 200 years ago, it has been changed with time to accommodate modern needs and is still an important and necessary part of our electoral system. The Electoral College ensures political stability in our nation by encouraging the two-party system and also protects the interests of minorities. Furthermore, the Electoral College helps maintain a united country by requiring widespread popular support of a candidate in order for him or her to become president.

The Electoral College was first introduced to America at the Constitutional Convention of 1787, However, the idea behind the Electoral College can be traced back to the Roman
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According to the first draft of the Constitution, electors voted for two presidents, at least one of which was from a different state than the elector was representing. Whichever candidate received the most votes would become president and the runner-up would be vice-president. This method worked for several years until, in 1800, the unforeseen effect of political parties resulted in a tie for the presidency between Aaron Burr and Thomas Jefferson, both of the same party. The resulting dispute over who the president would be led to the 12th Amendment to the Constitution.

The 12th Amendment changed the rules of the electoral process by having electors make separate votes for president and vice president. It goes on to say that if no candidate wins a majority of electoral votes, the House of Representatives would select a president from the top three candidates. The Amendment also stipulates that the Senate would choose a vice-president from the top two candidates in the event of a tie for that office. This second design of the Electoral College provides for the workings of a two-party system in America and is still in effect today.

“From their vast knowledge of history, the American Founding Fathers knew that unlimited political power cannot safely be trusted to anyone - not to appointed officials of government, not to elected representatives of the people, not to the people themselves,” says…