Electoral College Should Be Here To Stay

Essay, Research Paper

Title: The Electoral College Should Be Here to Stay

General Purpose: To persuade

Specific Purpose: To persuade individuals that the Electoral College is not at fault for the

2000 Presidential election


I. Attention Getter- magazine covers (11/20 Newsweek and New Republic

II. Thesis Statement- I am here to tell you that the Electoral College is not to blame for the current state of the 2000 presidential election, but instead a combination of factors.

III. Statement of Significance- Wallace Sayre, ?The Electoral College method of electing a President of the United States is archaic, undemocratic, complex, ambiguous, indirect, and dangerous.?

IV. Preview

a. Replaying Election Night and Beyond

b. Explaining and Defending the Electoral College

c. Introducing the Real Causes of This Election?s Problems

Transition to body


I. Election Night and Beyond (board one)

a. Indiana

i. 6:00 pm- IN polls close

ii. 6:01 pm- Prediction give IN to Bush

b. Florida

i. 7:00 pm- FL polls close

ii. 7:47 pm- FL goes to Gore based on exit polls

iii. 9:54 pm- FL goes back to ?too close to call?

iv. 2:18 am- FL goes to Bush

v. 4:04 am- FL goes back to ?too close to call?

c. Since

i. Automatic recount to Bush

ii. Partial hand recounts to Bush

iii. Gore?s contest of results and court battles

Now that I?ve gone over some details of the election, I now will explain the Electoral College.

II. Electoral College (board two)

a. Definition

i. Equal to # of senators and reps Example One

ii. Example One

iii. Example Two

iv. Add them up, get 538, 270 to win

b. Reasoning

i. Set up to give smaller states a say in choosing a president

ii. Majority rule w/ minority rights

c. But My Vote Doesn?t Count in Indiana?It Would in a Direct Election

i. One person, one vote?candidates will campaign everywhere

1. WRONG, focus will be only on cities, Indiana?s focus stays the same

2. ?Battlegrounds? like WI, IA, NM, OR, NH will mean nothing

d. Small states will get no representation

i. New Hampshire example (Crawley)

ii. CA = 54, smallest 16 states= 60

iii. MT West will have no influence, lumber example

e. Would getting rid of it solve the problem?

i. NO, Popular vote difference is less than 400,000 out of 90,000,000

ii. Result = 50 states of recounts instead of one = no pres by 1/20/01

So now that you know some background of election night and the Electoral College, what was the problem with this election?

III. What Did It?Media, Exit Polls, and Voting Laws

i. Early predictions made based on polling voters after they voted so a president can be picked by bed time

ii. Very bad! Don?t predict, wait until votes counted

iii. OR- mail in voting system

iv. FL- absentees only postmarked by election day, not at courthouses


I. Summary of Main Points

a. Election Night

b. Electoral College

c. Real Causes

II. What do we do? Require all ballots in on Election Day? Maybe. Lock the media in a closet and not let them out until all the ballots are counted? Couldn?t hurt. But abolish the Electoral College. No way.


?2000 Electoral College Map.? USA Today. 22 Nov. 2000. 29 Nov. 2000.


Crawley, Gary. ?Election 2000 and Its Aftermath.? POLS 372 Lecture. Ball State

University. 9 Nov. 2000.

?Post-Election Special.? The Daily Show with Jon Stewart. Comedy Central, New York. 8 Nov. 2000.

Sayre, Wallace, and Judith H. Parris. Voting for President: The Electoral College and

the American Political System. The Brookings Institution: Washington, 1970.

Wildavsky, Polsby. Presidential Elections. The Free Press: New York, 1964.

New Republic. 20 Nov. 2000: Cover.

1Newsweek. 20 Nov. 2000: Cover.


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