College

Buchtel College of Arts and Sciences (BCAS)

Date of Last Revision

2020-05-05 05:33:10

Major

Political Science

Honors Course

3700 497

Number of Credits

3

Degree Name

Bachelor of Arts

Date of Expected Graduation

Spring 2020

Abstract

The United States’ Electoral College system has been a topic of debate for several years, gaining even more attention from the recent 2000 and 2016 elections. This has become a controversial topic throughout history for several reasons, but mostly because twice in the modern presidency, candidates have won the presidency by winning the electoral vote while losing the popular vote. This paper will examine the history and creation of the Electoral College, how the Framers’ intended it to function, several positive and negative factors of the current system, and compare arguments for and against Electoral College reform. Some reform options include eliminating the elector, amending the current system, direct election, and the National Popular Vote Interstate Compact (NPVIC). This paper concludes that the current Electoral College system has several flaws that can significantly impact the United States’ political process but could be minimized or eliminated through reform. This paper also argues that slavery may have influenced the creation of the Electoral College and it therefore must be reformed. This paper also includes a research design comparing voter turnout in multiple countries to see which electoral system has higher voter turnout rates. In conclusion, more research must be done in order to further examine what future implications reform may have on voting in the United States.

Research Sponsor

Dr. David Cohen

First Reader

Dr. Phil Marcin

Second Reader

Dr. Ron Gelleny

Honors Faculty Advisor

Dr. Ron Gelleny

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