By Spencer Martin
The Presidential election system, made up of Presidential Preference Elections and the Electoral College system, fails to promote fair election in American Democracy. Part of the reason the system is flawed is because the Parties have almost total control over who becomes President. The system is also flawed because not all citizens of the U.S. have the same amount of power in the Electoral College system. This unfairness would be incredibly hard to change, both because the people who are benefiting from them would stop any changes and because these are deeply ingrained systems in the American democracy. The biggest issue is in the presidential preference primaries. This decides the candidates for the general election and therefore decides who becomes President. The system as it is now basically sets up the main parties as the only options. This is because the current system gives funding only parties that are deemed “popular” enough. One of the issues with this is that people don’t vote for their party because they know it won’t get elected. This means the third parties might get deemed unpopular and therefore won’t have any opportunity in the main election. Another problem with this is that the delegates are chosen because of their devotion to the party and the votes for who represents the party are only available to the members of the party. This means that the candidate from a party might represent the party well but be completely unreasonable to everyone else and therefore be unable to represent a majority of the population. One way to fix this might be to lower the thresholds for third parties and allow independents to vote in all primary elections. This would allow third parties to show up as actual contenders more readily and hopefully decrease the tyranny of the two party system. The Electoral College also has a couple of flaws. One of those is that some individuals are represented more than others. This is because states are represented by a number of elector determined by the number of congress members a state has. This means that states like Wyoming have more electors per person than a state like California. This means that the number of electors isn’t directly related to the percent of the population. Another issue is that some people are completely unrepresented because they live in a state that is predominantly the party they don’t agree with and it’s a winner take all system. The winner take all system also means that presidents don’t campaign in states that they are almost guaranteed to win or lose. This means that the President doesn’t get to know the concerns and issues of many parts of the country. The electoral college system could use some big changes that would be incredibly hard to implement before it could be fair. The changes I propose include several steps. Step one is to make it so that each state gets an elector for each member of the house of representatives it has and one for every two senators. This means that the states with a significantly lower population won’t have too much power. However to balance this I think it should be required that the President either visit every state, or the citizens of every state should vote on their main concerns for the Presidential candidate and the candidate will be required to respond to the concerns on the list. This will make sure that the candidates are informed on the individual issues and opinions of every state. The last and largest change would be the change from the winner take all system to the split up system that exists in Maine and Nebraska. This would ensure that every vote matters when voting for the President.