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The Electoral College is the system in which the President of the United States is elected.The simplest explanation of the Electoral College is that each state gets a certain number of electoral votes, the candidate getting a majority of the state's popular vote winning that state's votes, and the one getting the most electoral votes winning the election. As the system doesn't use popular vote as is, a large portion of people's votes go to waste.
The Electoral College is a broken system. there are a number of reasons for this, but the biggest are that it allows the loser of the popular vote to win the election, puts all the campaign focus on a few swing states like Ohio, and gives some states more or less votes than they should, so not all votes are counted equally. The biggest problem with the electoral college, however, is that it allowed George W. Bush to become president, which would not have happened under a straight popular vote, as Al Gore actually got more votes, see 2000 U.S. Presidential Election.
So Why Does It Even Exist?Edit
Originally the Electoral College was created because news traveled so slowly, the best system was just have each state send delegates to Washington D.C. to decide the next president. But now, votes can be counted in a day and this clearly isn't an issue. Because news traveled so slowly, the founding fathers were worried that most people wouldn't have access to enough information to make an educated decision. Although that was originally a legitimate fear; nowadays, thanks to the internet, this excuse is no longer so valid.
Another Liberal Perspective Edit
Many of the Founding Fathers, understood the problems which could occur under a truly democratic system of Government. They took pains to limit the power of the Federal Government, and ensure that no one region of the country would be able to control the Government even if that region had a Majority of the population. The electoral college empowers each state, regardless of it's population. Each state is guaranteed representation within each body of the Legislature, and representation in the electoral college. In our system of government, the executive branch is the only elected part of government that serves the entire nation, and the extraordinary limitations imposed by the electoral college help ensure that the executive will represent not only the majority of the population, but also the majority of the geographic area of the country. The electoral college helps ensure that the executive will have to represent more than just the interests of a few states or a single region. Yes it limits democracy, but our system accepts limits on democracy which ensure the rights of states, and individuals.