Every time as the presidential election approaches, there are doubts about the accuracy of results of the Electoral College in relation to the election of the president. Public opinion poll over the years has confirmed that more and more of Americans hesitate about the accuracy of the Electoral College, especially after 2000. In 2000, the person who won nationally of a majority of votes was refused the presidency because of the Electoral College. Such incidents periodically occur in the history of United States. In 1876, the election situation was so controversial that a national cost's commission was involved. Why there is a doubt about the Electoral College and what effects the Electoral College have on election of the President.
The first reason of concern is about the role of Electoral College in decreasing voter turnout. Each state of the U.S. is authorized to have uniform number of votes despite state's elector’s turnout; therefore, there is no stimulus for voters to participate in the election. Moreover, the Electoral College is an inducement to discourage the participation of the voters in the election, because actually the minority has a right to decide for the whole State.
The second reason of doubts concerns a risk of “faithless” electors. A “Faithless Elector” is someone who promised to give his vote to one candidate and votes for another one. The history of the U.S. knows seven such cases only in this century. Frankly speaking, no one of “Faithless Electors” did not change the results of an election, because, the goal, apparently, was to make a statement rather than change the outcome of the election.
The one more reason of doubts is the failure of the Electoral College to represent accurately the interests of the national population in some important respects. First of all, the number of Electoral votes in the College is overrepresented by rural States. It is due to the authorized number of voters for each State. It consists of the number of House's members plus two votes, which equal the number of Senate's members for each State regardless of population. In 1988, for instance, the amalgamated population of voting age of the seven least populated areas of Wyoming, Alaska, the District of Columbia, Vermont, South Dakota, North Dakota, and Delaware that constitute 3,119,000 had the same voting influence in the Electoral College as the 9,614,000 votes in Florida. The Electoral College fails also accurately represent the interests of the national population due to the winner-take-all mechanism, which allows the presidential candidate with most votes to gain all the Electoral votes of that State.
The Electoral College is a compromise that the framers of the Constitution came to. The reason of this is because some of them considered that the president should be appointed by the Congress, and the majority of them considered that the public did not capable to elect the adequate person as the chief executive. Therefore, the Americans who give their votes to the president practically delegate their voting right to 538 authorized electors. Such delegation of the votes generates discrepancies and inconsistencies that diminish and misrepresents the interests of the national population. Florida is the bright example of how the system could neglect by individual votes. In 2008, Obama got 51 percent of the more than eight million votes of Florida, whereas John McCain got 48 percent. However, as a result, John McCain got a zero from Florida according to Electoral College, whereas Obama got all one hundred percent. It is possible due to the law “winner-take-all”. The history repeat itself, in 2000 the Florida’s electors did the same for another president of U.S. George W. Bush. George Bush received 100 percent of Florida’s electoral votes; despite he defeated his opponent Al Gore only by 537 votes. Moreover, George Bush became the president of the U.S. owing to this victory in Florida and the Electoral College while Al Gore got a half-million more individual popular votes nationwide.
A matter of fact, the distortion in percentages is not the only negative effect of the Electoral College. The significant consequence may be the fact that the system gives the opportunity to a candidate with fewer nationwide votes to gain the presidency by manipulating with electoral votes due to the Electoral College in the big states. For the time being, the history of the U.S. knows four incidents when the Electoral College has elected as the president a person who did not obtain the most popular votes nationwide. Nevertheless, the window of an opportunity is considerable, and it is opened, as the election of George Bush demonstrated. Moreover, four years later, John Kerry could have had an opportunity to gain the presidency in the Electoral College if he had won Ohio, whereas George Bush obtained 31 million against 2 John Kerry's millions votes of the popular election nationwide. Thus, the winner-take-all formula that applied in all states of U.S. except Maine and Nebraska and the Electoral College sometimes dramatically change the outcome of the popular vote.
The Electoral College has fulfilled its mission for over 200 years, which includes over 50 presidential elections. It safeguards that the selected President obtains both nationwide popular support and approval of the trusted members of the government. Popular support gives him the right to govern, whereas, the approval of the trusted members makes him the appropriate person to govern. Proposals to abolish the Electoral College sounds more and more often, and it is conditioned by course of time and change of mores; however, before abolish the Electoral College the more advanced and accurate alternative should be found.