The election system in the United States has been through multiple changes during the period of its existence when the creators of the Constitution offered the first version of the procedure. However, nowadays’ the election model has caused many debates over the fairness and effectiveness of the way the President is chosen. The National Popular Vote movement suggests a new strategy that would make the election process more equitable and democratic in contrast to the current procedure. This essay aims to observe the existing system of the presidential election, the proposed one by The National Popular Vote and compare two of those visions in order to identify the superior one.
All the current electoral system procedures can be defined by the fact that the candidate who gained the higher number of votes from the electoral college wins the elections. After months of preparations, debates and meetings, when the moment of voting comes, the population decides who to become the President and the Vice President of the country. Individuals with the same ideas represent the particular party whose members choose the most suitable candidate through the caucus and then the primary election.
In a caucus, voters decide to appeal to the results of multiple discussions that the candidate participated in during the campaign. In the primary, they choose the best of all the candidates that will represent the members in the national convention that will define the ultimate applicant. The final step is the general election, when people all over the country vote for the person they see as the future President of the US.
However, the US operates a system where the electorate college defines the winner, the groups of people representing each state. The problem is that in the majority of states, except for Maine in Nebraska, when most of the population votes for the candidate, the electorate has to give their voices to them as well (Chadwick). Hence, people who voted for different nominees stay unrepresented. The individual who receives the higher number of electoral votes wins the elections and becomes the President of the United States.
Considering the controversial rules for the voting procedure, The National Popular Vote initiative developed and suggested a new version of the elections. It proposes to give the presidency to the candidate who receives the highest number of votes from all the fifty states (Robertson). The movement emphasizes that each of the votes from every citizen of each state will be counted independently of the electoral college.
However, the current system gives most of the power to the electorate due to the “winner-take-all” approach. Therefore, it is impossible to reasonably count each vote or pay enough attention to the states that do not play a significant role in the election due to their size or location (National Popular Vote). Nevertheless, it is not simple to change the initial situation. To implement that innovation, there have to be made corrections in the Constitution. Thus, the status quo of the initial election system remains the topic of current interest and multiple debates.
Comparison of the two systems
Analyzing both methods of the election, it seems that the proposed way by The National Popular Vote movement of choosing the President is the most relevant. To look at both systems from the democratic perspective, it becomes evident that the conditions are unequal. There are different kinds of democracy, but the point is to consider the opinions and wishes of the majority. From one point of view, the current way completely matches the criteria by giving electorates’ votes to that candidate that the most significant part of the state has favored. It simplifies the procedure of vote counting and sticks to democratic values, but at the same time, it might not be that clear.
However, if to think more broadly, the massive number of votes does not matter and has no impact when the state favors one particular nominee. While the system allows representing the opinion of the majority of the specific state simultaneously in the scope of the whole country, a decent number of people remain unheard and unseen. The procedure can be convenient for a country of such a large territorial size as the US, but separating the voters by parts and depriving them of a chance to give their voice straight to the favorable candidate hardly can be called a democratic action.
In conclusion, the current system of election has its disadvantages that lead to unequal conditions for the population to vote and for the candidate to win. The National Popular Vote initiative suggests an alternative to the initial scheme and offers to view the election process from a different perspective. Comparing both approaches, the proposed one seems to apply more to the democratic values and gives opportunities to every single citizen of the US to have their votes counted. However, the realization of the suggested methods requires a decent amount of work and, first of all, modifications to the Constitution, but eventually, it can positively impact the political life and decisions of the population.
Chadwick, Lauren. “US election: What is the electoral college and how does it work?”. Euronews, 2020. Web.
Robertson, Helena et al. “Electoral college explained: how the US election is an uphill battle for Biden”. The Guardian, 2020. Web.
“Agreement Among the States to Elect the President by National Popular Vote.” National Popular Vote. Web.