IMHO, the electoral college system is slightly better than the popular vote. There have been only three elections since 1897 where the electoral college vote differed from the popular vote. Why since 1897?
Originally Posted by bogart
Did you know that there is no Constitutional right for people to vote for the President and Vice President, as we are frequently told? It was never covered in The Constitution and that is why most voting laws have traditionally been a States issue. The framers of The Constitution feared that poorly educated people would simply elect those who promised to give them the most. Is this starting to sound familiar? The country was formed as a Representative Republic where a special group of Electors selected the President and Vice President (known as the Electoral College today). The Electors were chosen by state legislators. Individual states started granting voting rights to citizens to allow them to elect the electoral candidates, and by the mid-1800s, almost all states allowed citizens to vote for electoral candidates. The Electoral College system was changed in 1893 to take the selection of the Electors out of the hands of the people because it became a mess.
The names of the presidential candidates did not appear on the ballots until 1897. Under Federal law, Electoral College members are free to vote for whichever presidential candidate that they wish, but typically follow the popular vote in their state. We live in a country that is not a democracy and where the people do not legally elect the President.
On this year's ballot in Arizona, the pre-selected electoral college members are listed with their affiliation for each party. If we select Romney, the Republican group gets to cast the electoral college vote, and vice-versa if Obummer wins. That assures that the people's vote is reflected in the electoral college vote. I think these rules vary by state.
I don't know of a better system, or how to improve our system, but I am 100% certain that Obummer would prefer to skip the whole process and just become a benevolent dictator.
"Democracy is two wolves and a lamb voting on what to have for lunch. Liberty is a well-armed lamb contesting the vote." -- Benjamin Franklin