Electoral College Debate
Should the Electoral College system be reformed? I believe so, but I read through You Decide's alternative perspective to get an opinion contrary to mine. The perspective countering the Electoral College system is usually described as a direct election of the president with runoff voting so that if no one candidate achieved a majority, there would be runoff elections with the lower vote recipients eliminated. Proponents for this argue it shifts the election of a president to the national scale and away from "battle ground states." However those who favor the status quo of the Electoral College argue that it is the system that the Framers designed in the Constitution and it should be preserved. Here are two opinions on either side of the debate.
Take a look again at the Wyoming/California comparison: With a 2006 population of just over 500,000 people, Wyoming has three electors: one for the state’s sole member of the U.S. House of Representatives and two for its pair of Senators. California, meanwhile, has a population of roughly 36.5 million and 55 electors. Thanks to the Electoral College, an electoral vote in Wyoming (which has about 233,000 registered voters) comprises about 78,000 individual votes, but an electoral vote in California (which has about 16 million registered voters) is composed of about 291,000 votes. Again, the net effect is that a ballot cast in Wyoming is about 3.75 times more influential than a ballot cast in the Golden State.
What better way to give the little guy a voice, indeed, a reason to vote?
Instant runoff voting allows voters to rank candidates in order of preference (i.e. first, second, third, fourth and so on). Voters have the option to rank as many or as few candidates as they wish, but can vote without fear that ranking less favored candidates will harm the chances of their most preferred candidates. First choices are then tabulated, and if a candidate receives a majority of first choices, he or she is elected. If nobody has a clear majority of votes on the first count, a series of runoffs are simulated, using each voter’s preferences indicated on the ballot. The candidate who received the fewest first place choices is eliminated. All ballots are then retabulated, with each ballot counting as one vote for each voter's highest ranked candidate who has not been eliminated.
I used two different strategies on the Internet to find the two opposing sides I have presented above. For the protection of the status quo Electoral College system, I utilized the You Decide website, clicking through the arguments opposed to my position. For the opinion of reforming the Electoral College, I typed in "reform electoral college" into the Google search bar. From there I clicked on a website that presented me with a number of opinions to reform the voting system and I selected the one that seemed most popular and that I had heard the most about, a national runoff vote. This brought me to FairVote's website, a leading organization for this reform, and from there I was able to find the information i needed.