Electoral College Pros and Cons

The American Electoral College purpose is to select a presidential candidate. The most popular vote does not technically elect the president but the electors in the Electoral College vote for their respective states wishes.

Electoral College elects the President and the Vice President of America. The Electoral College is the electors from each State and it comes together every four years to select the President and the Vice President of America.

Even the selection of a President and the Vice President has its pros and cons. Lets take a closer look at some of the pros and cons of Electoral College.

The Electoral College Pros And Cons

Pros of the Electoral College

Here is a list of the advantages of Electoral College

Cons of the Electoral College

Here is a list of the disadvantages of Electoral College

Electoral College puts focus on swing states and allows them to get massive attention by the presidential candidates.

Less populated states votes count, bigger states like NY, TX, and CA don’t decide all of the elections. The Electoral College helps even the unfairness created by these mega-populated areas.

If there were no electoral college, states with small populations wouldn’t count.

The Electoral College was created because the smaller states like Delaware and Rhode Island protested that the larger states like California, Pennsylvania and Virginia would have more say in the Presidential election than they would if done by popular vote only.

If enough small states can work together, they can counter the electoral votes of the big states. Those small states together with medium states can definitely create a balance against a bigger state.

It is an American tradition and it is constitutionally required to exist, so therefore it should remain in place.

Electoral College can reduce the likelihood of recounts. If the election is a closely fought one, it is easier to recount. In such a condition, only one large State votes can be recounted, instead of the votes of the entire nation.

The Electoral College was in part design to force the candidates to appeal to a broad range of people in many states large, medium and small. If we did away with this system, the candidates would be able to focus on getting votes in several large cities. They might ignore less populated portion of the country.

The Electoral College makes sure that a candidate, who has broadly appeal based on larger geography of the country and makes the candidate to the highest offices in the country.

People do not get to decide who the president is, a small group of electors does.

The winner of the popular vote may not win the presidency (ie: need 270 electoral votes). For example, the 2000 US election, the results will not necessarily be in line with the “popular” vote. Gore won the popular vote, but lost the Electoral College.

Bush: 271 electoral votes and 47.9%
Gore: 266 electoral votes and 48.4%

Leaves certain states in the dark because their outcome is all but assured.

Almost all Americans do think that democracy is one person, one vote, all votes count equally. The Electoral College violates that principle.

Electoral College may restrain voter turnout, that there are “x” percentage of people who do not participate in elections because they know that their vote will not matter in terms of presidential elections.

A winner take all system make it extremely difficult for any third party candidate to make any headway in presidential elections.


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4 thoughts on “Electoral College Pros and Cons

  1. The current system of electing the president ensures that the candidates do not reach out to all of the states. Presidential candidates concentrate their attention on a handful of closely divided "battleground" states. In 2008, candidates concentrated over two-thirds of their campaign events and ad money in just six states, and 98% in just 15 states (CO, FL, IN, IA, MI, MN, MO, NV, NH, NM, NC, OH, PA, VA, and WI). Over half (57%) of the events were in just four states (Ohio, Florida, Pennsylvania and Virginia). In 2004, candidates concentrated over two-thirds of their money and campaign visits in five states; over 80% in nine states; and over 99% of their money in 16 states, and candidates concentrated over two-thirds of their money and campaign visits in five states and over 99% of their money in 16 states.

    Two-thirds of the states and people have been merely spectators to the presidential elections.

    Candidates have no reason to poll, visit, advertise, organize, campaign, or worry about the voter concerns in states where they are safely ahead or hopelessly behind. The reason for this is the state-by-state winner-take-all rule enacted by 48 states, under which all of a state's electoral votes are awarded to the candidate who gets the most votes in each separate state.

    Another shortcoming of the current system is that a candidate can win the Presidency without winning the most popular votes nationwide. This has occurred in one of every 14 presidential elections.

    In the past six decades, there have been six presidential elections in which a shift of a relatively small number of votes in one or two states would have elected (and, in 2000, did elect) a presidential candidate who lost the popular vote nationwide.

    The National Popular Vote bill would guarantee the Presidency to the candidate who receives the most popular votes in all 50 states (and DC).

    Every vote, everywhere, would be politically relevant and equal in presidential elections. Candidates would need to care about voters across the nation, not just undecided voters in a handful of swing states.

    The bill would take effect only when enacted, in identical form, by states possessing a majority of the electoral votes–that is, enough electoral votes to elect a President (270 of 538). When the bill comes into effect, all the electoral votes from those states would be awarded to the presidential candidate who receives the most popular votes in all 50 states (and DC).

    The bill uses the power given to each state by the Founding Fathers in the Constitution to change how they award their electoral votes for president. The National Popular Vote bill does not try to abolish the Electoral College, which would need a constitutional amendment, and could be stopped by states with as little as 3% of the U.S. population. Historically, virtually all of the major changes in the method of electing the President (for example, ending the requirement that only men who owned substantial property could vote) have come about without federal constitutional amendments, by state legislative action.

    On June 14, 2010, after a detailed study of the issue in 2009 involving over 6,500 League members from over 200 local Leagues, the League of Women Voters endorsed the National Popular Vote bill at their annual convention in Atlanta.. "We support the use of the National Popular Vote Compact as one acceptable way to achieve the goal of the direct popular vote for election of the president until the abolition of the Electoral College is accomplished"

    The bill has been endorsed or voted for by 1,922 state legislators (in 50 states) who have sponsored and/or cast recorded votes in favor of the bill.

    In Gallup polls since 1944, only about 20% of the public has supported the current system of awarding all of a state's electoral votes to the presidential candidate who receives the most votes in each separate state (with about 70% opposed and about 10% undecided). The recent Washington Post, Kaiser Family Foundation, and Harvard University poll shows 72% support for direct nationwide election of the President. Support for a national popular vote is strong in virtually every state, partisan, and demographic group surveyed in recent polls in closely divided battleground states: Colorado– 68%, Iowa –75%, Michigan– 73%, Missouri– 70%, New Hampshire– 69%, Nevada– 72%, New Mexico– 76%, North Carolina– 74%, Ohio– 70%, Pennsylvania — 78%, Virginia — 74%, and Wisconsin — 71%; in smaller states (3 to 5 electoral votes): Alaska — 70%, DC — 76%, Delaware –75%, Maine — 77%, Nebraska — 74%, New Hampshire –69%, Nevada — 72%, New Mexico — 76%, Rhode Island — 74%, and Vermont — 75%; in Southern and border states: Arkansas –80%, Kentucky — 80%, Mississippi –77%, Missouri — 70%, North Carolina — 74%, and Virginia — 74%; and in other states polled: California — 70%, Connecticut — 74% , Massachusetts — 73%, Minnesota — 75%, New York — 79%, Washington — 77%, and West Virginia- 81%.

    The National Popular Vote bill has passed 30 state legislative chambers, in 20 small, medium-small, medium, and large states, including one house in Arkansas, Connecticut, Delaware, Maine, Michigan, Nevada, New Mexico, New York, North Carolina, and Oregon, and both houses in California, Colorado, Hawaii, Illinois, New Jersey, Maryland, Massachusetts, Rhode Island, Vermont, and Washington. The bill has been enacted by Hawaii, Illinois, New Jersey, Maryland, and Washington. These five states possess 61 electoral votes — 23% of the 270 necessary to bring the law into effect.

    See http://www.NationalPopularVote.com

  2. The NPV Interstate Compact would constructively amend the constitutionally established presidential election process in contravention of Article V of the Constitution (because it would go into effect with fewer than 38 states ratifying). Therefore, it would be highly vulnerable to constitutional challenges, despite claims to the contrary by its supporters. If NPV is such a great idea, then let's establish it through PROPER constitutional channels, not by loopholing the Constitution and violating the spirit and intent of Article V.

  3. There are two sides to the electoral college.

    A winner take all system which should be scrapped. I my state of Illinois Cook county is 45% of the state population. There is very little in common between the people of Cook county and Marion Illinois.

    In the 2008 election Illinois had 19 representatives and 2 senators. I like Obama but he got all 21 votes because of Cook county.

    The second side is proportional votes. In 2008 Obama would still win Illinois but the vote would have been 12 to 9.

    The final electoral total would match the Congressional elections less the 66 to 67 Senators who weren't up for re-election.

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