Originally created 12/17/00

Return to original Electoral College 121700 - The Augusta Chronicle



Picture a sea of chaos. The majority always gets what it wants. Minorities are ignored. Mobs of angry people line the streets in protest to a decision that has just been made behind monumental walls and statutes. Picture a democracy.

Throughout the past few weeks of political spin and debate, the question has been raised whether the United States should abolish its electoral system. Some say, in the name of democracy, that it should be changed to an all-out popular vote to reflect the will of the people.

However, we are not a democracy and never have been. In fact, the Founding Fathers loathed democracy and had seen the consequences of it in the French Revolution. According to James Madison, the father of the Constitution, "Democracies have ever been spectacles of turbulence and contention; have ever been found incompatible with personal security or the rights of property; and have in general been as short in their lives as they have been violent in their deaths." The Founding Fathers, in their wisdom, established a constitutional republic, which reflects the will of the people through elected representation.

We are a country bound and bred by the U.S. Constitution, which isn't intended to be teased and stretched but rather to be a beacon of light that guides the actions of our nation. This structure is reflected in our Electoral College.

The Founding Fathers chose an election process that would prevent an influence from the Congress, hinder corruption and prevent the influence from dominating larger states. Thus the Electoral College was created. Instead of each state being swiped from the board, each county was a prize to be won. So even if a candidate won the majority of counties in the state his opponent would still receive the remaining counties for the final tabulation. However, in the 1930's the election process was changed to the state takes all system, causing the rural parts of the country to be ignored while the urban hubs were the main focus of elections. It is the Electoral College we have now that undermines rural areas and holds the heads of special interest groups high. Is this enough incentive to throw out the whole electoral system? Certainly not. Rather, we should see the flaws of the current system and return to the original workings of the Electoral College, all for the good of the people and the preservation of a republic.

Emily Sickafoose, Evans