VCU INFO 658 - Flunking the Electoral College (2 pages)

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Flunking the Electoral College



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Flunking the Electoral College

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Virginia Commonwealth University
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Info 658 - Securing the Internet of Things
Securing the Internet of Things Documents

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November 20 2008 Editorial Flunking the Electoral College On Dec 15 the United States will endure a quadrennial ritual born in the economics and politics of slavery and the quill pen era Members of the Electoral College are scheduled to meet in each of the 50 states and the District of Columbia to formally choose the next president There is no real doubt about how the electors will vote but it is disturbing that they have any role at all in making this vital choice in the 21st century The Electoral College is more than just an antiquated institution it actively disenfranchises voters and occasionally think 2000 makes the candidate with fewer popular votes president American democracy would be far stronger without it There is no reason to feel sentimental about the Electoral College One of the main reasons the founders created it was slavery The southern states liked the fact that their slaves who would be excluded from a direct vote would be counted as three fifths of a white person when Electoral College votes were apportioned The founders also were concerned in the day of the wooden printing press that voters would not have enough information to choose among presidential candidates It was believed that it would be easier for them to vote for local officials whom they knew more about to be electors It is hard to imagine that significant numbers of voters thought they did not know enough about Barack Obama and John McCain by Election Day this year And while these reasons for the Electoral College have lost all relevance its disadvantages loom ever larger To start the system excludes many voters from a meaningful role in presidential elections If you live in New York or Texas for example it is generally a foregone conclusion which party will win your state s electoral votes so your vote has less meaning and it can feel especially meaningless if you vote on the losing side On the other hand if you live in Florida or Ohio where the outcome is less clear your vote has a



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