As your readings for this week point out, the President is not elected by a direct vote of the people, but rather by the Electoral College. Some argue that this discourages voters from voting if they live in a state where the majority of voters consistently choose either the Democratic or the Republican candidates in every election. Evidence of this phenomenon can be seen in, what we refer to as “battleground” or “swing” states, such as Florida, Virginia, Ohio, Wisconsin, and Pennsylvania—each of which traditionally report higher voter turnout than other, more consistently “Red” or “Blue” states.
Still, though voter turnout in battleground or swing states does tend to be higher, demonstrating that voters in other states may feel less inclined to cast their ballot, especially if they do not follow the majority within their state, there are some compelling reasons why America continues to use the Electoral College to choose its leaders. In this assignment, we will work to identify and describe some of those reasons.
For this assignment, write a 500-750 word essay which examines the Electoral College. Your essay should have three distinct parts: The facts (looking at the numbers), the controversy (summarizing the arguments), and your position (how you weigh in on the merits/problems with the Electoral College). In your essay, answer each of the following questions—they are separated by each part to help guide your response:
Part One: The Facts
How are the number of electoral votes decided for each state? How many electoral votes are in your home state?
Which Presidential candidate (Obama or Romney) won your state’s electoral votes in the 2012 election? Which of these candidates won the popular vote in your state?
Part Two: The Controversy
Explain what you found in your research regarding the “pros and cons” of the electoral system.
What are the most compelling arguments you found for continuing to use the Electoral College?
What are the most compelling arguments you found that were in favor of abolishing the Electoral College?
Part Three: Your Position
Explain what you think. Should the U.S. maintain the current Electoral College system,move toward a national popular vote system, or use the “proportional voting” system forthe Electoral College used by Maine and Nebraska?
Why do you think the system you chose is the best of the three systems?
What impact might that have on voters? More engaged? Less engaged? The same?
Please note: You will need to do research to complete this assignment, however; you may not use websites such as “ask.com” or “wiki answers” to inform your responses. There are plenty of great resources which are far more credible and will provide a much more complete understanding of the topics we are exploring. We suggest the following sites to help you find the information you will need:
As always, be sure to identify any direct quotations you draw from a source by identifying the source and by placing those words in quotation marks (no more than 20% of your essay can be quotations). The source of any ideas or facts you include should also be identified whether you use the direct words or not. Additionally, you should include the links to any news articles or websites you visit by copying and pasting the link at the end of your assignment.
As with all weekly written assignments, submit your work as an attached file. Double-space your paper and use 12 point Times New Roman as your font.