Institution of Affiliation
The current presidential election system in America does not match the democratic requirement as it hinders the person elected with the majority votes to assume the presidential seat (Nelson, 2018). Due to this, the National Popular Vote movement has come up with a strategy that is aimed at making democracy heard and respected in all the 50 nations, including the District of Columbia. The plan of the National Popular Vote is to guarantee the election of the presidential candidate who receives the most popular votes in all the nations including the District of Columbia through creating agreements among the states to award all their electoral votes collectively to the presidential candidate who wins the majority vote. The agreement is set to take effect only when the participating states hold a majority of electoral votes accounting to 270 out of 538 votes. Through this combination, the winner of the national popular vote will as well win the electoral college majority.
Critics have it that the new National Popular Vote plan is unconstitutional, but this is not true at all. The National Popular Vote plan is in line with the constitution as it aims at preserving the electoral college, which is the same method that is currently used to elect the president. The only difference that the National Popular Vote plan is bringing along is the refutation that the majority leader cannot be declared president before being elected by the electoral college and this is the reason why the interstate compact has been formed as a majority electoral college community (Josephson, 2017). The passing the National Popular Vote, the national popular vote winner will be guaranteed once the compact has been joined by enough states that will make the NPV decisive for determining the outcome of future elections in the United States. Not until enough states have joined the NPV, the current states’ rule does still apply, providing leadership to the candidate who wins the electoral college.
Unlike the current state rule, the interstate compact will modify the states’ implementation of Article II, Section 1, clause 2 of the United States Constitution that requires each of the states’ legislature to adopt a definition method of appointing their electors who will be eligible in voting in the electoral college. The current constitution does not mandate any law for the selection of electors but indeed provides that state legislatures with the power to select how they want to choose their state’s electors. Despite the constitution giving the state legislatures powers to choose the electoral college members, it also prohibits them from the systems or actions that violate the 14th amendment of the United States constitution, in which allows for equal protection by the law while at the same time prohibiting racial discrimination.
Over the years, the states have chosen various methods of allocating the electoral college that has been subject to regular changes over the past decades. Currently, all states apart from Nebraska and Maine award all their electoral votes to one candidate with most votes statewide in the winner take all system, but Nebraska and Maine provide a single electoral vote to the winner in each congressional district while the other two votes are awarded to the statewide winner.
The current presidential rule differs from the National Popular Vote in various ways. One of them is that it allows the candidate to win the presidential election while losing the popular or majority vote. There are various instances that this has happened in the course of the United States elections that include 1824, 1876, 1888, 2000 and 2016 elections (Curto-Grau et al 2018). The year 2000 elections were an example of a presidency denied the right to the office by the electoral college votes. President Bush had not won the elections and was far much behind Al Gore by 543,895 votes nationally. However, Bush managed to defeat Al Gore by securing 5 more electoral votes nationwide and thus won the ticket to office narrowly. In the year 2016, the same case happened with Donald Trump getting to office despite being defeated by Hillary Clinton with more than 2.8 million votes. Trump managed to secure the electoral votes by 77 more, getting Trump into the office without the popular vote. Through this process, the present presidential rule does not seem to be adhering to the concepts of democracy.
The rule of democracy states that the government is formed by the people and for the people and in this kind of government, people have the greatest say in electing their leaders. However, the present presidential rule makes it impossible for the people to play their role in democracy in electing leaders of their choice. It bars people from exercising their constitutional rights and thus not suitable as far as democracy is concerned. In the National Popular Vote, the candidate with majority votes should assume the office as it is the will of the people. In my opinion, with the electoral college being provided with the ultimate powers to choose the leaders on behalf of the people does not seem like a concept based in the United States and to which has a constitution that guarantees equal opportunities for all. According to the United States constitution, every vote counts but the moment the electoral college is allowed to vote on their behave, it indicates the infringement of the basic rights of the United States citizens.
Another difference between the current presidential rule and the National Popular Vote is that the state winner takes all laws to encourage candidates to focus on a limited number of states which is disproportional to the concept of the majority vote winner. The reason why candidates focus on a limited number of states is that a small change in the popular vote in the areas is estimated to have a greater change in the electoral college vote (El‐Wakil & Cheneval, 2018). Through this concept, the winner takes all reduces equality among the states, giving an upper hand to the larger states that are perceived to be of significant benefit politically. Due to this, politicians shift their concern to these states both in financial assistance and development since the rest are of little benefit. Politicians take their concentration to the areas that they will benefit and therefore if the National Popular Vote plan is going to work, a major shift in development as well as a guaranteed democracy for both the people and states equality.
The winner takes all concept seems to have a lot of disadvantages leave alone equality and democracy but also tends to decrease the voter turnout in the states that lack close races. In the current rule, the countries with the swing votes are given priority, and thus people living outside these states are certain of the candidates who have the probability of winning in their states, but this is changed once the electoral college takes turns. Due to this, voters in some of the states find it difficult to come out during elections as they are aware that their efforts will bore no fruits and thus opts not to vote, actions that reduce voter turnout (Green & Gerber, 2019). However, in the event the that National Popular Vote takes over, people will have the urge to vote so that their favorite candidate wins and this will have the overall impact of increasing the voter turnout. Therefore, based on evidence, it is with no reasonable doubt that the National Popular Vote is superior to the present rule of electing our president.
ReferencesCurto-Grau, M., Solé-Ollé, A., & Sorribas-Navarro, P. (2018). Does electoral competition curb party favoritism?. American Economic Journal: Applied Economics, 10(4), 378-407.
El‐Wakil, A., & Cheneval, F. (2018). Designing Popular Vote Processes to Enhance Democratic Systems. Swiss Political Science Review, 24(3), 348-358.
Green, D. P., & Gerber, A. S. (2019). Get out the vote: How to increase voter turnout. Brookings Institution Press.
Josephson, W. (2017). Presidential Elections: National Popular Vote, Elector Unit Rule Voting and Related Issues. University of Chicago Alumni Association Lecture Series: May.
Nelson, M. (Ed.). (2018). The presidency and the political system. Cq Press.