Do not say no one has switched or would never do that... its all driven by cash and greed and it would not surprise me that the money raised for
elections is used to buy a vote or two.
The Electoral College, Pro and Con
The electoral college mechanism has not lacked for critics over the years. The basic objection is that the system clearly has the potential to
frustrate the popular will in the selection of a president and a vice president. Because of the aggregation of electoral votes by state, it is
possible that a candidate might win the most popular votes but lose in the electoral college voting. This happened in 1824 (when the election was
thrown into the House), in 1876 (when there were disputed electors from several states), and in 1888. The winner-take-all system literally means that
the candidate team that wins most of the popular votes (the plurality vote winner) in a particular state gets all of the electoral votes in that
state, and the loser gets none, even if the loss is by a slim popular-vote margin. Thus a candidate who fails to carry a particular state receives not
a single electoral vote in that state for the popular votes received. Since presidential elections are won by electoral-not popular-votes, it is the
electoral vote tally that election-night viewers watch for and that tells the tale.
Another problem cited by critics is the possibility of "faithless electors" who defect from the candidate to whom they are pledged. Most recently,
in 1976, a Republican elector in the state of Washington cast his vote for Ronald Reagan instead of Gerald Ford, the Republican presidential
candidate. Earlier, in 1972, a Republican elector in Virginia deserted Nixon to vote for the Libertarian party candidate. And in 1968, Nixon lost
another Virginia elector, who bolted to George Wallace.
The main danger of faithless electors is that the candidate who wins the popular vote could wind up one or two votes short of a majority in the
electoral college and could lose the election on a technicality. This prospect becomes more probable when there are third-party or independent
candidates who could negotiate with electors before they vote.
Many see the apportioning of the electoral college votes by states as a basic flaw, because it gives each of the smaller states at least three
electoral votes, even though on a straight population basis some might be entitled to only one or two.
Critics of the system also argue that the possibility that an election could be thrown into the House of Representatives is undemocratic. In such a
case each state has a single vote, which gives the sparsely populated or small states equal weight with more populous states such as California or New
York. The two occasions when it occurred (1800 and 1824) were marked by charges of "deals" and "corrupt bargains." In any event, giving each state
one vote in the House of Representatives regardless of the number of people represented is not consistent with the widely accepted concept of
one-person-one-vote. Also, one vote per state in the House of Representatives may not necessarily result in a choice that replicates the electoral
vote winner in that state in November.
Those who argue in favor of retaining the present system state that there is too much uncertainty over whether any other method would be an
improvement. They point out that many of the complaints about the electoral college apply just as well to the Senate and, to some extent, to the
House. They fear that reform could lead to the dismantling of the federal system.
Another argument made by defenders of the electoral college is that the present method serves American democracy well by fostering a two-party system
and thwarting the rise of splinter parties such as those that have plagued many European democracies. The winner-take-all system means that minor
parties get few electoral votes and that a president who is the choice of the nation as a whole emerges. In the present system, splinter groups could
not easily throw an election into the House. Supporters feel strongly that if the electors fail to agree on a majority president, it is in keeping
with the federal system that the House of Representatives, voting as states, makes the selection.
Supporters also argue that the electoral college system democratically reflects population centers by giving urban areas electoral power; that is
where the most votes are. Thus together, urban states come close to marshaling the requisite number of electoral votes to elect a president.
A final argument is that for the most part, the electoral college system has worked. No election in this century has been decided in the House of
Representatives. Further, the winner's margin of votes is usually enhanced in the electoral vote-a mathematical happening that can make the winner in
a divisive and close election seem to have won more popular support than he actually did. This is thought to aid the healing of election scars and
help the new president in governing.