Article 2

Article 2

Understanding a Majority Vote

Understanding a Majority Vote

Understanding the Majority Vote in the United States: A Comprehensive Guide

The United States operates as a democratic country, with power vested in the hands of the people. One of the fundamental principles of democracy is the Majority Rule, whereby the views of the majority prevail over those of the minority in decision-making. In this article, we’ll explore what a Majority Vote means in the US, how it works, and its implications in the country’s electoral process.

What is a Majority Vote in the US?

A Majority Vote requires that more than half the votes cast must be in favor of a particular candidate or proposal, such as in elections, legislative voting, and referendums. This process is designed to ensure that the winner has greater legitimacy and credibility, as they were selected by more than half of the voters.

How Does the Majority Vote Work in the US Electoral Process? 

The US elected officials, including the President, Senators, and Representatives, are all elected via a Majority Vote in their respective districts or states. In other words, candidates must win a minimum of half the electoral votes, or more, to secure the position. The US Presidential election requires a candidate to win a majority of the electoral votes, which comprises 538 votes from each state. The candidate that garners a minimum of 270 electoral votes becomes the President. If there’s a tie, the election goes to the House of Representatives. In the case of the House also having a tie, the Vice President casts the deciding vote.

The Implications of the Majority Vote in the US 

The implications of the Majority Vote in the US are quite significant, especially in the country’s democracy. The Majority Vote ensures that the opinions of the people are accounted for, and the majority has a complete say in the decision-making process. Moreover, a Majority Vote also creates stability and certainty in the electoral process. As a result, the winner can claim a mandate and legitimacy to rule, knowing that most people support their ideas and policies.


The Majority Vote is a crucial aspect of American democracy, and it is a cherished right of every citizen in the country. It ensures fairness and transparency in the electoral process and gives the majority a voice in national decision-making. It is crucial to participate in the electoral process, ensuring that your voice is heard, and your views represented. A Majority Vote reflects the collective will of the people of the US and remains an indispensable cornerstone of democracy in the country.

The electoral college is a system based upon a majority, as opposed to a plurality. The key difference is simply that a majority-based system will only provide election success to the individual or party that earns over half the votes, while a plurality-based system will give election success to the individual or party that earns the most votes.

The difference seems to be rooted in semantics, but it is important, especially when viewed in light of the electoral college, which changes the idea of the majority from what it might be in a popular vote.

If the American presidential election system as established by the Second Article of the Constitution and the Twelfth Amendment were a plurality-based system, then a candidate voted for by only a small fraction of the country might win the election. This is because that candidate would only have to earn more electoral votes in the electoral college than all the other candidates in order to win.

If there were a great many candidates, then each one would steal some votes from the others In that event what would likely wind up happening is that no one of those many candidates would actually win a majority of votes, while one would win a plurality of electoral votes. This would, as described earlier, have the unfortunate side effect of resulting in a President-Elect who was not actually voted for by a majority of voters in the electoral college, and therefore, by extension was likely not voted for by a majority of citizens in America.

Instead of such a system, the electoral college uses a system based on majority, in which the candidate with the most electoral votes still wins, but that candidate has to have at least half of all the total votes in order to successfully win the election outright. If no candidate earns such a majority of electoral votes, then the decision of which candidate wins the race would actually fall to the House of Representatives according to the Twelfth Amendment. The House of Representatives would be able to vote on the top three receivers of electoral votes, but would still need to reach a quorum to elect any of those candidates.

The majority required of the electoral college is not a majority of citizens in the country and is detached from the popular vote. The majority is instead an absolute majority of electoral votes, which means that it is a majority made up of over half of all possible votes in the electoral college. This is different from a simple majority, which would be over half of all the votes that are actually entered into the system.

For instance, an elector can, theoretically, abstain from a vote, but this would not change the fact that the elector would be counted for purposes of determining the absolute majority of electoral votes. In theory, a given candidate can win an absolute majority of 270 electoral votes (at the current time) without winning a majority of the popular vote.

This is, however, difficult in practice, as most cases in which a candidate wins a majority of votes in the electoral college also involves that candidate winning a majority of the popular vote, and those situations in which the candidate did not win the popular vote were very close elections.

Election of 1800

Election of 1800


The election of 1800 was a landmark event in American history, as it marked the first peaceful transition of power between different political parties. It was also a divisive and bitterly contested election that saw two of the Founding Fathers, Thomas Jefferson and John Adams, pitted against each other. In this article, we will explore the background, significance, and implications of the election of 1800, considered one of the most contentious elections in American history.

Background and Historical Context

The election of 1800 was held in the aftermath of the Quasi-War between the United States and France, which had strained relations between the two countries. The Adams administration had passed laws such as the Alien and Sedition Acts, which helped to fuel the feud between the Federalists and Democratic-Republicans.
The Federalist Party, led by John Adams, supported a strong central government and a pro-British foreign policy. The Democratic-Republican Party, led by Thomas Jefferson, supported states’ rights and a pro-French foreign policy. The election of 1800 was a contest between two opposing visions of America, with each party laying out different paths for the country’s future.

The Candidates

The two main candidates in the election of 1800 were Thomas Jefferson of the Democratic-Republican Party and incumbent President John Adams of the Federalist Party. Running with Jefferson was Aaron Burr, a Democratic-Republican from New York, while Adams ran with Charles Cotesworth Pinckney, a Federalist from South Carolina.

The Election Process

The election of 1800 was conducted under the provisions of the United States Constitution, which established the Electoral College as the method for electing the President and Vice President. Each state was allocated a number of electors equal to their total number of senators and representatives in Congress.
In the electoral college for the election of 1800, each state cast two votes, one for President and one for Vice President. There were no party tickets or running mates, so each elector was free to vote for any candidate.

The Results of the Election

At the conclusion of the election, Jefferson and Burr each received 73 electoral votes, while Adams received 65 electoral votes, and Pinckney received 64 electoral votes. This meant that there was a tie between Jefferson and Burr, with neither candidate achieving a clear majority.
Under the provisions of the Constitution, the election was then sent to the House of Representatives, where the members would choose the President from the top three candidates. During the vote, each state delegation would cast one vote, and a candidate needed a majority of state delegations to win.

The Election in the House of Representatives

The election in the House of Representatives was controversial and contentious. The Federalists controlled the House of Representatives, and they were unwilling to elect Jefferson, who they viewed as a dangerous radical. The Democratic-Republicans, in contrast, saw Jefferson’s election as necessary to safeguard liberty and the principles of the Revolution.
The election in the House of Representatives was a long and contentious process, with 35 ballots taken over the course of a week. On the 36th ballot, Alexander Hamilton, a Federalist and former Secretary of the Treasury, intervened to break the deadlock and ensure Jefferson’s election.
Hamilton believed that Jefferson would be a better President than Burr, whom he viewed as untrustworthy and dangerous. In a letter sent to fellow Federalist James Bayard, Hamilton wrote that “Mr. Jefferson, though too revolutionary in his notions, is yet a lover of liberty and will be desirous of something like orderly government. Mr. Burr loves nothing but himself – thinks of nothing but his own aggrandizement.”

The legacy of the Election of 1800

The election of 1800 had several significant and long-lasting consequences for American politics and democracy. Perhaps the most important consequence was the peaceful transition of power between the Federalist Party and the Democratic-Republican Party, setting an important precedent for future elections and demonstrating the strength and stability of the American political system.
The election of 1800 also highlighted the importance of the Electoral College in presidential elections. The tie between Jefferson and Burr showed the potential for chaos in the Electoral College system, and helped pave the way for the 12th Amendment, which was ratified in 1804 and established separate votes for President and Vice President.
Finally, the election of 1800 was significant because it marked the political demise of the Federalist Party. The party would never again win a presidential election after the election of 1800, and it would eventually fade into obscurity. The election marked the rise of the Democratic-Republican Party, which would dominate American politics for several decades.


The election of 1800 marked a critical juncture in American history, signaling a change in the country’s political and social landscape. It was a bitterly contested election, with two opposing visions for America’s future presented by the Federalist and Democratic-Republican parties. The peaceful transition of power and the legacy of the 1800 election laid the groundwork for a new era of democracy and political stability, demonstrating the strength and resilience of American institutions and the Constitution itself.

The presidential election of 1800, the fourth presidential election in United States’ history, was one of the first to show the flaws of the U.S. Electoral College system.

The election was between Thomas Jefferson and John Adams, and as such, was something of a redux of the presidential election of 1796, which had been decided in John Adams’ favor.

But according to the U.S. Electoral College system of the time, in the 1796 election Thomas Jefferson had become Vice President. This was because the U.S. Electoral College system at the time involved electors voting for only Presidential candidates, but still receiving two votes. The candidate with the absolute majority would become President and the candidate with the next highest amount of electoral votes would become Vice President.

Thus, the 1796 presidential election had resulted in a President and a Vice President who were political opponents from two different parties. This problem of determining the President and Vice President through the U.S. Electoral College would characterize the presidential election of 1800.

Though John Adams was soundly defeated, Thomas Jefferson and Aaron Burr actually received the same number of votes in the U.S. Electoral College. This meant that neither could be definitively called the victor. Under Article 2 of the Constitution, the House of Representatives would cast a vote to decide the election if there was a tie in the voting of the U.S. Electoral College. This meant that the House of Representatives now had the power to determine who was President, which changed the race significantly.

The political parties involved in the presidential election of 1800 were the Federalists, of whom John Adams was a major representative and the Democratic-Republicans. Both Jefferson and Burr belonged to the Democratic-Republicans. Though elections had been held to change Representatives and Senators in Congress, the lame-duck Congress at the time of the presidential election was primarily Federalist. As such, the party which was opposed to both of the potential candidates would get to decide which of those two candidates won the presidential election thanks to the tie in the U.S. Electoral College.

Most of the Federalists would have preferred to vote for Aaron Burr, as Thomas Jefferson had been the opponent of the Federalist Party since that party’s inception. This was especially strange given that the Democratic-Republicans had clearly intended for Jefferson to be the presidential candidate, while he should have been the vice-presidential candidate. Thanks to the U.S. Electoral College system of the time, however, there was no functional difference and the Federalists could choose the so-called vice-presidential candidate over the presidential candidate for the winner of the presidential election.

Burr might have thus become the President of the United States if it hadn’t been for Alexander Hamilton. Hamilton, a major leader in the Federalist Party, used his significant influence to push for Jefferson’s election over Burr. Hamilton believed that it was better for Jefferson to win the presidential election because Jefferson was simply wrong, but was honest, while Burr was a dangerous liar. (Hamilton and Burr would of course go on to have the most famous duel in American history, in which Burr would kill Hamilton.) As a result, Jefferson just barely garnered more votes from the House of Representatives than did Burr, and Jefferson won the election with Burr becoming his Vice-President.

This election’s primary effect upon America was the creation of the Twelfth Amendment, which reworked the U.S. Electoral College. The Twelfth Amendment was only passed in 1804, but it importantly altered the U.S. Electoral College to allow electors to vote for both a President and a Vice-President in a presidential election, instead of voting for two different presidential candidates, or the same presidential candidate twice.

The Twelfth Amendment established further systems to help prevent any problems as occurred in this election, but the key point was that the ticket system of presidential elections, in which a President and Vice-President would run for office together, became the system of America thanks to the confusion of the election of 1800.

Election of 1824

Election of 1824


The Election of 1824 was a significant event in American political history, as it marked a turning point in American presidential elections. The election was notable for several reasons, including the fact that it was the first time that the House of Representatives had to decide the presidency, and the candidate who won the most popular and electoral votes did not become president. The election of 1824 reflected the complexities and challenges of American democracy, and its consequences reverberated through American politics for decades. In this article, we will explore the events leading up to the election, the election itself, and its implications for American politics.


The election of 1824 occurred at a time of political transition in American history. The era of good feelings, a period of relative political harmony following the War of 1812, was coming to an end, and new issues and challenges were emerging. The candidates in the election of 1824 represented distinct political factions, each with different visions for the country’s future.
John Quincy Adams, the son of the second President, John Adams, was the nominee of the National Republicans, a party formed in opposition to Andrew Jackson. Jackson was the candidate of the Democratic-Republicans, the party that had dominated American politics since the early days of the republic.
William Crawford, the Secretary of the Treasury, and Henry Clay, the Speaker of the House of Representatives, were also candidates in the election. Both men were supporters of the so-called American system, a set of policies that aimed to promote economic growth and industrial development in the United States.

The Election

The election of 1824 was the first time that the popular vote was recorded, although only in six states. The popular vote showed a clear victory for Andrew Jackson, who won 152,901 votes, compared to 114,023 for John Quincy Adams, 46,979 for William Crawford, and 47,217 for Henry Clay. However, the popular vote did not determine the outcome of the election, as the winner had to receive a majority of the electoral votes.
In the electoral college, none of the candidates received a majority of the votes required to win, and the election went to the House of Representatives. Under the Constitution, each state delegation in the House had one vote, and the candidate who received a majority of the votes would become president.
The election in the House of Representatives was contentious and drawn-out, lasting from February 9 to February 11, 1825. The speaker, Henry Clay, held significant influence in the House and was widely expected to support his fellow American system candidate, John Quincy Adams. Adams won the election in the House, receiving thirteen states’ votes, while Jackson received only seven, and Crawford received four.


The election of 1824 had significant implications for American politics, both in the short and long term. The election showed the flaws of the electoral system and demonstrated how it could result in outcomes that did not reflect the popular will. Jackson and his supporters argued that the outcome of the election was unfair and that the House of Representatives had conspired against him.
The election also marked the beginning of a new era in American politics, with the emergence of new political parties and factions. The National Republicans, who supported John Quincy Adams, morphed into the Whig Party in the 1830s. The Democratic-Republicans, which supported Andrew Jackson, became the Democratic Party, and continued to represent a broad coalition of interests that included farmers, workers, and immigrants.
The election of 1824 also marked the beginning of Jacksonian Democracy, a political movement that emphasized the power of the common man, the importance of individual liberty, and the distrust of government and political elites. Jackson’s supporters saw him as a representative of the people and a champion of their interests, and his election in 1828 marked a new era in American politics.


The election of 1824 was a seminal event in American political history, marking the end of the era of good feelings and the beginning of a new era of political competition and conflict. The election demonstrated the flaws of the electoral system and highlighted the importance of the House of Representatives in the presidential election process. The election also marked the emergence of new political parties and factions, including the Whig Party, and heralded the rise of Jacksonian Democracy. Although the election of 1824 was a controversial and divided affair, its implications for American politics were profound, shaping the course of American democracy for decades to come.

The election of 1824 was, like the election of 1800, decided by a vote from the House of Representatives. This time it was not because two candidates tied in electoral votes, but it was instead because no single candidate received an absolute majority of electoral votes.

This was in no small part a result of the election’s very nature, as four different candidates arose from a single party. Each of these candidates had slightly different aims than the others, and though they were not officially from different parties at the time of the election, some of them would go on to found differing parties.

As these candidates all took electoral votes from different parts of the Electoral College map, no one candidate was able to win an absolute majority. The decision of the House of Representatives, in this case, is also notable because the House decided to give the election to a candidate who did not actually win the majority of electoral votes.

The four candidates in this election were Andrew Jackson from Tennessee, John Quincy Adams from Massachusetts, William H. Crawford from Georgia, and Henry Clay from Kentucky. Each candidate won a different part of the Electoral College map, with Adams garnering the electoral votes from New England while Jackson had electoral votes from all throughout the American states of the time.

The Electoral College map for the election shows Clay winning many votes in the West, while Crawford drew electoral votes from the southeast states. Because no candidate won a majority, the decision went to the House of Representatives, which only took three candidates with the most electoral votes into consideration, as defined under the terms of the Twelfth Amendment. Because of this, Henry Clay was not one of the options for the House of Representatives to choose in the Presidential decision. This was ironic, as Clay was also the Speaker of the House, and would have, theoretically, been able to exert his influence in that position in order to push himself towards the Presidency. Only Jackson, Adams, and Crawford had earned enough electoral votes to be considered, however.

Henry Clay eventually wound up throwing his support behind John Quincy Adams. Though Clay did not have nearly as many electoral votes as Adams did, Clay’s support was enough to tip the balance in Adams’ favor, as Adams gained support from parts of the Electoral College map that might otherwise never have voted for him.

In the election held by the House of Representatives in 1825, Adams won the election. This was not, however, the end of the story, as Andrew Jackson believed that Henry Clay and John Quincy Adams had worked out a corrupt deal to rig the election in Adams’ favor. Adams nominated Clay as his Secretary of State after Adams became President, simply furthering Jackson’s accusations.

Jackson’s anger came primarily from the fact that Jackson had not only won the popular vote, but he had also won more electoral votes than any other candidate. His support, as depicted on the Electoral College map, was widespread throughout the nation. Jackson believed that the election should have gone to him.

Though this election did not lead to any clear change in the Electoral College system, it did demonstrate the efficacy of the Twelfth Amendment in adjudicating unclear situations. Jackson’s anger notwithstanding, the system successfully appointed a new President and Vice President with little difficulty.

This election is noteworthy as the only time since that Amendment’s creation that the House of Representatives has had to determine the election, though in 2000 they were prepared to do so and had actually even gone so far as to vote on the matter so that the decision would be made if it was, indeed, turned over to the House of Representatives. The election is also noteworthy for the earlier stated reason, that it is the only election in which the candidate with the greatest number of electoral votes did not win, despite such clear support throughout the Electoral College map.

Election of 1888

Election of 1888


The presidential election of 1888 was a significant event in the history of the United States. It was a close and controversial election that had far-reaching consequences for the country. In this article, we will explore the election of 1888, its historical context, and its impact on American politics and society.

Background and Historical Context

The election of 1888 was held during a period of significant change and transition in the United States. The country was recovering from the Civil War and Reconstruction era, and the Westward expansion of the nation was in full swing, with the last states, Montana, Washington, North Dakota, South Dakota, and Idaho, joining the Union between 1889 and 1890.
The United States was also experiencing significant industrial and economic growth, with new technologies and industries transforming the country’s economy. These changes created new opportunities but also brought new challenges, including significant economic inequality and social unrest.

Political Climate

The political climate of the United States during the election of 1888 was also marked by significant polarization and division. The two major political parties, the Democrats and the Republicans, had very different visions for the country’s future.
The Democrats, led by Grover Cleveland, the incumbent president, were focused on protecting individual rights, promoting civil liberties, and addressing the economic and social challenges facing the country. The Republicans, led by Benjamin Harrison, were focused on promoting economic growth, expanding the country’s industrial and economic power, and increasing America’s prestige and power on the world stage.
The election of 1888 was characterized by a highly partisan and controversial campaign, with each side making strong appeals to their base of support and attacking their opponents’ policies and character.

The Candidates

Grover Cleveland, the Democratic candidate, was the incumbent president, having won the election of 1884. He was known for his commitment to civil liberties, his opposition to corruption and excessive government spending and his support of a limited government. However, he was also criticized for his handling of the economy and his unpopular position on tariff reform.
The Republican nominee, Benjamin Harrison, was a former U.S Senator from Indiana, and the grandson of former President William Henry Harrison. Harrison was known for his support of protective tariffs, his commitment to promoting economic growth, and his reputation for being a strong and decisive leader. He was also criticized for his lack of experience in national politics and his ties to big business.

Issues of the Election

The election of 1888 was primarily focused on economic and policy issues, including tariff reform, civil rights, and the expansion of the country and its power. The two candidates had very different visions for the country’s future, and their policies reflected those differences.

Civil Rights

Civil rights were also a significant issue in the election of 1888, particularly the rights of African Americans who were facing increasing threats of discrimination and violence in many parts of the country. Cleveland and the Democrats were more committed to protecting civil rights, while Harrison and the Republicans tended to focus more on economic issues.

Tariff Reform

Tariff reform was another significant issue in the election of 1888, with both parties proposing changes to the tariff system. The Republicans were advocating for higher tariffs to support American industry, while the Democrats favored lower tariffs to promote economic growth.

Campaigns and Results

The campaign for the election of 1888 was marked by intense partisanship, with both sides attacking their opponents’ policies and character. The campaign was also characterized by a significant amount of mudslinging and negative campaigning, which led to further polarization and division.
Ultimately, the election of 1888 was won by Benjamin Harrison, who secured victory in the electoral college but lost the popular vote. Harrison won 233 electoral votes, while Cleveland won only 168. However, Cleveland won a larger percentage of the popular vote, securing 48.6 percent to Harrison’s 47.8 percent.

Impact of the Election

The election of 1888 had significant consequences for American politics and society. Harrison’s victory led to an expansion of American power and prestige, with the country becoming more active in international affairs and asserting its dominance in global economic and political matters.
The election of 1888 also had significant implications for economic policy in the United States. The Republicans, with their commitment to high tariffs and protectionism, were able to push through significant economic reforms in their four years of office, which led to increased economic growth and expansion.


The election of 1888 was a significant event in the history of the United States, marked by partisan division, controversy, and significant policy and economic implications. While the election has faded from the national memory, it played a crucial role in shaping American politics and society during a critical period of transition and change. The election of 1888 serves as a reminder of the vital role of electoral politics in shaping the direction of the country and its future.

The election of 1888, only 12 years after the scandal of the election of 1876 with Rutherford B. Hayes, was another problematic and disputed election. The Republican candidate for this election was Benjamin Harrison, while the Democratic candidate was the incumbent President, Grover Cleveland. Benjamin Harrison was from Indiana, while Grover Cleveland was from New York.

In the election, Benjamin Harrison had a strong advantage over Grover Cleveland for a number of reasons, ranging from the fact that Benjamin Harrison was a Civil War soldier with a good record who was popular with former Union soldiers, to the fact that Grover Cleveland had made numerous enemies during his time in office, primarily for having tried to end a lot of corruptive practices.

This election was fairly tame, compared to the election of 1876, but it was significant because it represented one of the only times in American history that a presidential nominee lost the election, but won more popular votes than his opponent.

Grover Cleveland won 5,534,488 popular votes, while Benjamin Harrison won 5,444,892 popular votes. But Harrison won 65 more electoral votes than did Cleveland, which was more than enough to win the election for Benjamin Harrison. The only two times previous to this that a candidate had won the popular vote, while not winning the election, were the election of 1876 and the election of 1824.

This election was perhaps the least contested of all those three, however, as the 1876 election was wracked with controversy and dispute and behind-the-scenes dealings, while the election of 1824 was decided against Andrew Jackson by the House of Representatives, even though Andrew Jackson had won both more electoral votes and more popular votes because Jackson had not won an absolute majority.

The election of 1888 did not feature any of the vicious campaign tactics that characterized the election of 1876, and it did not feature the dispute of the election results after they came back, either. Though there was some possible manipulation in that Tammany Hall, a political machine which Grover Cleveland had stood against, might have been responsible for Cleveland losing New York, in the end, the election was considered fair and legal.

Benjamin Harrison successfully won 36 more votes from New York by edging out Grover Cleveland by a margin of popular votes less than 1%; those 36 electoral votes would have equated to a 72 vote swing and would have won Grover Cleveland the election. As it stood, Grover Cleveland only came as close as he did in the electoral race because the race was so close in popular votes; he won 24 of his electoral votes from states where he won only 1% more popular votes than did Benjamin Harrison.

This election, while an oddity in American history for being an election in which a candidate who won more popular votes did not win the Presidency, was still a perfectly legitimate election and it stands out as such amidst the other elections of the same nature, such as the election of 1876, or the election of 2000.

Election of 2000

Election of 2000


The U.S. Presidential Election of 2000 was one of the most controversial and contentious elections in American history. The election was fought between the Republican Party nominee George W. Bush and the Democratic Party nominee Al Gore, who was the incumbent Vice President at the time. The election results were ultimately decided by the Supreme Court, which intervened in a legal dispute over the recount of votes in Florida. In this article, we will explore the events and controversies surrounding the U.S Presidential Election of 2000.


The 2000 Presidential Election was held on November 7, 2000, and was the 54th quadrennial U.S Presidential Election. The election was between Republican Party nominee George W. Bush, who was Governor of Texas at the time, and Democratic Party nominee Al Gore, who was the incumbent Vice President. The election campaign was marked by fierce competition between the two candidates, with both engaged in intense debates and campaigning across the country in the final weeks leading up to the election.
The election was also notable for the high voter turnout, with over 105 million Americans voting. The election turnout was the highest since the 1968 Presidential Election.

Election Day

On Election Day, early exit polls suggested that Al Gore would win the election, leading to excitement among his supporters. However, as the polls closed, it became apparent that the race was too close to call, with both candidates neck-and-neck in several crucial swing states, including Florida.
As the night wore on, the networks began flip-flopping on their projections, with some initially calling Florida in favor of Al Gore, whereas others initially called it for George W. Bush. Ultimately, the outcome of the election rested on the results in Florida, with the candidates separated by only a few hundred votes.

Legal Challenges

The election outcome soon became the subject of a legal challenge, with the outcome in Florida being hotly contested. The first major legal challenge came from the Bush campaign, which argued that the recount process in Florida was inherently flawed and biased in favor of Al Gore. The Bush campaign filed several lawsuits in Florida courts to ensure that a fair and impartial recount process was established.
The Gore campaign also filed lawsuits, seeking to have invalid ballots counted and a manual recount of votes in some counties in Florida, where they believed there had been a significant number of undervotes (ballots where no candidate name was marked). The Florida courts initially agreed to allow a manual recount in four heavily Democratic (pro-Gore) counties, which soon became the focus of intense scrutiny and nationwide attention.

The Supreme Court Intervenes

The legal challenges surrounding the Florida recount led to a protracted legal battle between the two campaigns that ultimately went all the way to the Supreme Court. The central question before the Court was whether the Florida Supreme Court decision calling for a manual recount of votes in certain counties, primarily Miami-Dade, Broward, and Palm Beach, violated the U.S. Constitution’s “equal protection” clause and/or Article II, Section 1, Clause 2 of the Constitution.
On December 12, 2000, the Supreme Court ruled in Bush v. Gore that the recounting of undervotes in Florida must end, effectively making George W. Bush the winner of the 2000 Presidential Election. The Court’s decision was by a 5-4 vote, with the majority reasoning that manual recounts of the ballots were unconstitutional because they did not abide by the necessary equal protection standards in the selection of the votes.


The Supreme Court decision in Bush v. Gore was highly controversial, with many critics arguing that the Court had overstepped its boundaries and intervened in the election outcome. Additionally, the decision had a significant impact on American politics and the public’s trust in the Electoral College system.
Bush took office in January 2001 and served two terms as President, while Al Gore moved on to focus on environmental activism and global warming research, becoming a prominent advocate of reducing carbon emissions and generally promoting environmentally friendly policies.


The U.S. Presidential Election of 2000 was a highly contentious and controversial election, with the outcome ultimately decided by the Supreme Court in Bush v. Gore. The election highlighted the importance of every vote and the consequences of close electoral margins. Moreover, it exposed the flaws of the Electoral College system, which has now become a topic of ongoing debate and scrutiny. Nevertheless, the election of 2000 serves as a reminder of the importance of the democratic process and the necessity of ensuring fair and impartial voting systems that protect the sanctity of the American democratic system.

The election of 2000 between George W. Bush and Al Gore remains one of the most recent examples of a contended and unclear election to have cropped up.

In the election, Al Gore theoretically won the popular vote, while George W. Bush won the Presidency with 271 electoral votes, one more than was needed for an absolute majority and five more than Al Gore won. The real dispute surrounding the election erupted from determining where Florida’s 25 electoral votes would go, as the disposition of those 25 votes would determine the results of Bush vs. Gore.

Before Florida’s electoral votes had been tallied, the popular vote was already in Gore’s favor and so was the electoral vote at that point. Bush vs. Gore was already a clearly close race, not least because neither candidate had the necessary 270 votes for an absolute majority. New Mexico and Oregon, the last two states to be declared in the Bush vs. Gore contest before Florida, were both declared in favor of Gore, boosting Gore up to 266 votes. But the 25 votes of Florida were all that mattered to the race as a whole, as those 25 votes would determine the winner of the election.

The popular vote in Florida was incredibly close, and the counting of Florida’s votes was characterized by a consistent swinging back and forth between the two poles of the Bush vs. Gore race. At points, it looked as if Gore had won the race, only for more votes for Bush to be counted. At other times, it looked as if Bush vs. Gore had tipped in favor of Bush. This was towards the end of the counting process and Gore actually conceded to Bush.

But the popular vote in Florida was not over yet and the remaining counties that had not had their votes tabulated were all strongly Democratic. The disparity of votes between Gore and Bush shrank to about 300 votes in Florida, and then 900 votes with the addition of overseas military votes, in favor of Bush. This was after a State law mandated recount by machine because the popular vote in the State had been so close.

But Gore was not willing to let the Bush vs. Gore race end without a fight, not when it was clearly so close. He continually made requests that the popular vote of Florida be recounted by hand in four specific counties. The Florida Supreme Court had to make a decision on whether or not it would extend the deadlines to allow for a manual recount, even though Florida law clearly stipulated the deadlines for the counting of the popular vote.

As every Florida county raced to finish its recount, Palm Beach County, unfortunately, fell behind. When the deadline arrived, it had not finished and its partial recount results were therefore rejected. The Bush vs. Gore election looked to be going to Bush.
But Gore did not want to let the election go to Bush, not when the popular vote of Palm Beach County had not been counted.

Through a wide variety of court proceedings, Gore attempted to have the ballots recounted by December 12th, when electors had to be selected. Eventually, the Bush vs. Gore fight officially fell in favor of Bush, when Judge N. Sander Sauls ruled that Gore’s requests for a recount would not amount to any change in the election results and would simply be a waste of time.

There was still more debate to go on, as there had been some accusations of wrongdoing on the part of the Republican election. These election workers were accused of changing the results of the popular vote by illegally altering the absentee ballots sent in for those counties and even of removing applications for absentee ballots from the local offices. These motions all failed, however.

Additionally, Gore had appealed the decision of Judge Sauls to the Florida Supreme Court which, with only 4 days left, ordered the recount be conducted, but the United States Supreme Court put a hold on the recount and later decided that Gore could not receive a recount in his attempts to remedy the election problems. As such, the Bush vs. Gore race officially went to Bush, when Gore conceded on December 13th.

The election of 2000 stands out as one of the most problematic elections in American history, not least because of the dilemma of how to deal with a recount. Even today, many do still feel that the popular vote should have impacted more on the overall election process, as Gore did win the popular vote even as he lost the electoral vote. Many also believe there was much wrongdoing on the part of Republicans who adjusted the votes, even though such accusations have never been proven.

Indeed, those who did go back over the votes eventually found that no recount would have given Gore the votes he would have needed to win the Bush vs. Gore contest. But the election shows many of the problems in the Electoral College system, and the occurrence of the 2000 election allowed lawmakers to prepare for the eventuality that a similar situation should crop up again.

Background of The Electoral College

Background of The Electoral College


The United States has a unique, indirect system for electing its president, called the Electoral College. The Electoral College is a group of electors, chosen by the respective political parties, who cast their vote for president and vice president of the United States. The Electoral College has been a controversial topic since its establishment, with some arguing that it is a necessary safeguard against majority tyranny, while others say it is undemocratic and needs to be abolished. In this article, we will explore the history, function, and criticisms of the Electoral College.

History of the Electoral College

The Electoral College was established in 1787 with the same document that created the United States Constitution, during the Constitutional Convention in Philadelphia. The founding fathers saw the Electoral College as a compromise between those who wanted election by popular vote and those who wanted election by the House of Representatives. The Electoral College was also a way to balance the interests of small states against those of large states. Under this system, each state has a number of electors equal to its representation in Congress, with the exception of Washington D.C., which is awarded three electors as if it were a state.
The first Electoral College was held in 1789, and George Washington became the unanimous choice of the electors. However, in 1800, a political deadlock occurred between the candidates Thomas Jefferson and Aaron Burr, leading to the passage of the 12th Amendment in 1804, which established the current system of separate ballots for president and vice president.

Function of the Electoral College

Under the Electoral College system, voters in each state cast their ballots for the candidate of their choice. In 48 of the 50 states, the winner of the popular vote receives all the electoral votes for that state, while in Maine and Nebraska, electoral votes are awarded proportionally based on the popular vote. A candidate needs to win 270 out of 538 electoral votes to become president.
The Electoral College system gives smaller states an outsized role in presidential elections, as each state is awarded a minimum of three electoral votes, regardless of population. This means that a candidate can win the presidency by winning a majority of small states, even if they lose the popular vote.

Criticism of the Electoral College

One of the main criticisms of the Electoral College is that it is undemocratic. This is because it allows a candidate to win the presidency without winning the popular vote. This happened most recently in the 2016 presidential election, when Donald Trump won the Electoral College, but lost the popular vote to Hillary Clinton by nearly three million votes. This has led many to call for the abolition of the Electoral College and a switch to a system of direct popular vote.
Another criticism of the Electoral College is that it gives too much power to swing states, or those that can go either way in an election. This means that candidates will spend the majority of their time and resources campaigning in these states, at the expense of other states whose electoral votes are already decided. This has led to accusations of a lack of representation and a skewing of policy towards the interests of swing states.
A third criticism of the Electoral College is that it is a relic of the past, and does not reflect the modern political landscape. The system was established when the United States was much smaller and less diverse, and when communication and transportation were less efficient. Today, the Electoral College is seen by many as an outdated system that prevents the United States from truly reflecting the will of its citizens.

Defense of the Electoral College

Despite the criticisms of the Electoral College, some argue that it is a vital safeguard against the tyranny of the majority. This is because it ensures that candidates need to win a broad cross-section of support across the country, rather than simply winning heavily populated urban areas. The Founding Fathers saw the Electoral College as a way to balance the interests of small and large states, and prevent the majority from dominating the political process.
Another defense of the Electoral College is that it helps to prevent electoral fraud, as it is much harder to manipulate the results of a presidential election through the Electoral College than through the popular vote. This is because in order to do so, a candidate would need to be able to manipulate the results in multiple states, rather than simply in one or two populous areas.
Finally, some argue that the Electoral College provides for a more orderly and predictable transition of power. Because the Electoral College meets several weeks after the presidential election, there is time for any legal challenges or disputes to be resolved before the president-elect takes office.

Reforming the Electoral College

While some defend the Electoral College as an essential part of American democracy, many see it as a system that needs to be reformed or abolished. There have been numerous proposals for reform over the years, including the National Popular Vote Interstate Compact, which would award all of a state’s electoral votes to the winner of the national popular vote, regardless of the outcome in that state. This proposal has been adopted by 16 states and the District of Columbia, representing a total of 196 electoral votes. However, it will only go into effect if states representing 270 electoral votes join the agreement, which has not yet happened.
Another proposal for reform is a system of ranked-choice voting, where voters rank the candidates in order of preference, and the candidate with the most votes after several rounds of tabulation is declared the winner. This system has been used successfully in other countries, and could provide for a more representative and democratic outcome in presidential elections.


The Electoral College has been a controversial topic since its establishment, with supporters arguing that it is a necessary safeguard against majority tyranny, and critics arguing that it is undemocratic and in need of reform or abolition. While the system has flaws, it also has defenders who see it as an essential element of American democracy. Ultimately, the fate of the Electoral College will depend on the outcome of ongoing debates and political and legal challenges.

The electoral college is one of the most important elements of the modern American political system, as it determines exactly how the President of the United States is elected.

Considering that the President holds the powers of the executive branch of the American Government, the process to elect the President is of great significance to any American citizen, not least because American citizens have a say in the election of the President. But exactly how Americans are able to affect the election of the President depends entirely on the rules of the electoral college system, which does not allow for as much direct influence as many Americans may imagine.

Electoral College Background

Indirect Popular Voting

The Electoral College system is an indirect system of voting. Under the Electoral College, American citizens are voting for an elector, who would then vote for the President. Those citizens are not directly voting for the President. The framers of the Constitution had a number of different reasons for doing this. Some of those reasons were embedded firmly in the nature of the time period in which the Constitution was written.

For example, a direct election would have been impractical for the time. Collecting all the votes of all the citizens and then tabulating those votes would have taken inordinate amounts of time to do as a single, direct election. By splitting it into an Electoral College system, in which each citizen is effectively voting within his or her State, the system became much more easily managed.

Additionally, the framers of the Constitution were attempting to prevent too much power from being directly put into the hands of the public. They were consistently wary of any one party having too much power, and there was no difference between a tyranny of one individual and a tyranny of the majority, in their opinion. The Electoral College system was designed so as to nullify some of the potentials for the tyranny of the majority by making the population less important in the whole of the Electoral College process. For more information about the indirect voting system of the Electoral College and its advantages and disadvantages, follow the link.

Reaching Proper Majority

The framers of the Constitution decided not to have a system based on plurality for similar reasons to those for making the Electoral College in the first place. A presidential election system based on plurality would give the election to the candidate or party that had the most votes in the election, regardless of whether or not that candidate or party received a majority of votes. Instead of a plurality, then, the framers of the Constitution made an absolute majority the means of winning the presidential election.

To win an absolute majority, a candidate must have over half of the total possible votes in the system. This would, therefore, count as “possible votes” all abstentions. Using a system based on achieving an absolute majority does ensure that the President-Elect was elected by a majority of the country, instead of simply being the most popular out of a number of low-popularity candidates.

In most elections, obviously, only one candidate can achieve an absolute majority, but in all elections, it is always possible that no candidate would achieve an absolute majority. This is because the American system allows for more than two candidates to run, which means that each of the three candidates might get a third of the total votes, or each of four candidates might get a quarter of the total votes. In any such situation, no candidate would have earned enough votes to win an absolute majority.

In such a case, Article Two of the Constitution and the Twelfth Amendment provide for the House of Representatives to take over the election. The House would vote on which of the three candidates receiving the most electoral votes should become the President. To find out more about the nature of a system based on achieving an absolute majority of votes, click the link.

Debates over Systematic Reform

The Electoral College system is not perfect, and certainly has a number of flaws. The framers of the Constitution who chose to employ the system likely did not envision it as a perfect system, but many of the flaws that have become apparent over the years were likely entirely unanticipated by those framers. For example, some of the reasoning behind the Electoral College’s implementation, such as the sheer impracticality of collecting and tabulating the votes of all citizens in a direct election, have been circumvented in the modern world by advanced communications technology and computing technology. Where those may once have been practical concerns, they are now no longer significant.

Furthermore, the current system of the campaign in America effectively “games” the Electoral College system, such that candidates will focus their time, effort, and money on only certain swing states as opposed to states in general. These swing states seem to bear more significance to the election as a whole as well, primarily because a State that is very predisposed towards voting for a particular candidate or a particular party’s set of electors will be less significant as far as a candidate’s campaign strategy goes. The swing states will be the primary determinants of the election, as opposed to the states that are firmly entrenched in voting for one party or another.

Further criticism includes the fact that the electoral college system actually devalues the individual vote and discourages voter turnout because every voter’s vote only matters in the context of his or her own State. As long as that State is likely to vote for his or her choice of a candidate anyway, then his or her vote is less significant. If his or her State is likely to vote against his or her choice of candidate, then his or her vote is similarly less significant, primarily because he or she would be unlikely to change the disposition of his or her State of the State was polarized enough. Follow the link to learn more about some of the criticisms of the Electoral College system, and how some are attempting to solve these problems.

Election of 1876

The election of 1876 was an early example of a voting controversy, in which difficulty in counting and tabulating votes led to difficulty in determining who was the victorious candidate in the election. Rutherford B. Hayes was running against Samuel J. Tilden, and in the election, Tilden seemed to win the popular vote, while the electoral vote was indeterminate. The reason for this indeterminacy came from an error in three states’ submissions of results concerning the election.

Each State submitted two sets of results, one in favor of Hayes and one in favor of Tilden. Determining which set of results was correct was no easy task, and because the race was so close throughout the rest of the nation, the determination of these results would govern the course of the election.

In order to determine which candidate was to be elected, an Electoral Commission was appointed. But this Commission was something of a farce if only because it was made up of 7 members each of both parties and those members voted along their party lines. The deciding vote came from a Supreme Court Justice who similarly voted along party lines. The real determination of the election is attributed to dealing behind the scenes, in which Tilden was convinced not to contest the findings of the Electoral Commission in favor of Rutherford B. Hayes in exchange for certain political favors from Hayes when Hayes became President.

But this election stands out as one of the most controversial in American history, and as one of the few elections in which the candidate who won the popular vote, Tilden, did not win the presidency. For more information about the election of 1876 and its controversy, click the link.

Election of 1888

The election of 1888 was noteworthy only because the candidate who won the election did not win the popular vote, which is an oft-considered consequence of the Electoral College system. The two candidates in the election were Grover Cleveland and Benjamin Harrison. Grover Cleveland, the incumbent, lost the election to Benjamin Harrison, despite winning more of the popular vote. This was more attributable to the fact that the election was a remarkably close race than it was attributable to anything else.

Grover Cleveland lost his own State of New York by a 1% margin, which gave Harrison the necessary votes to beat Cleveland. But Cleveland, in turn, won 24 of his votes from different states where he only won by a 1% margin as well. This election demonstrated the important principle that the only times when the candidate who wins the popular vote does not win the electoral vote are in those races which are remarkably close. Any race with a greater margin of victory would be very unlikely to result in the same kind of outcome.

This election was also perfectly legitimate, with no controversy as to its outcome. Though Grover Cleveland did lose his home State by such a small margin, there was no doubt that he did lose and that Harrison had successfully won the election. To learn more about this election and how it fits into the overall scheme of historic elections in America, follow the link.

Election of 2000

The election of 2000 was an incredibly contentious election, in which the results were debated and argued over for quite a long time before it was finally resolved. The two candidates involved in the election were George W. Bush and Al Gore. It was yet another election in which the winner of the popular vote did not win the electoral vote, and, like the election of 1888, it was another extremely close race. That is the source of the main controversy surrounding the election.

The election was so close that a miscount in an important State could have spelled disaster for either of the involved candidates. Unfortunately, there was evidence of just such a miscount in Florida due to some difficulties in the counting process. As a result, the actual determination of the election’s victor dragged on for a month, for much longer than it normally would have gone. Al Gore had more of the popular vote, but Florida offered up 25 electoral votes, which was enough to put either candidate over the top and give that candidate the presidency.

Florida’s votes eventually appeared to go to Bush, but Gore contested this countless times, as some votes from certain counties in Florida were not tabulated into the overall results because those counties had not had enough time to complete their recounts. Gore eventually wound up taking the case to the Florida Supreme Court, and even the United States Supreme Court, in an attempt to get time for a recount. Eventually, however, the courts decided against a recount and instead ordered a decision. George W. Bush won the election, as a result, even though Bush had not won the popular vote.

The election stands out as one of the most controversial elections of the past hundred years and even in the country’s history as a whole. It raised important issues about exactly what the procedure should be in situations where a recount is necessary. Click the link for more about the election of 2000 and its many problems and controversies.

Procedures When the Majority is Not Met

When the absolute majority necessary for a successful presidential win is not actually met by any presidential candidate, Article Two of the Constitution provides the necessary procedures for completing the election. The election would actually go to the House of Representatives, which would have its own vote to determine which of the three candidates receiving the most electoral votes would win the election. This has only happened twice in American history, though it almost happened for the third time in the election of 2000.

The first time it occurred was in the election of 1800 before the Twelfth Amendment had been passed. In this case, the situation was even more problematic because the system of the Electoral College was different than most understand it today. Electors today get one vote for the President and one vote for the Vice-President, thanks to the Twelfth Amendment. But in 1800, electors voted twice, for two presidential candidates.

The candidate with the second most amount of electoral votes would become the Vice-President. This also meant that, although parties would put forward one candidate as the President and one as the Vice-President with the intent that each only fills the originally conceived role, there was no rule necessitating that outcome. As a result, in 1800 two candidates tied in electoral votes with neither getting the necessary majority. The decision went to the House of Representatives, then, according to the rules of the Constitution. The Twelfth Amendment was passed as a result.

This situation cropped up again in 1824 when four different candidates ran from the same party and none of them won an absolute majority. The decision again went to the House of Representatives, but this time they decided upon a candidate who had won neither the plurality of electoral votes nor the plurality of popular votes. The solution for these situations, of turning the election over to the House of Representatives, however, was shown to be effective and functional. For more information about each of these elections and the general procedures for what happens in the electoral college system when no candidate earns an absolute majority, follow the link.

Article 2 Overview

Article 2 Overview

Article 2 of the Constitution concerns the executive branch of the American Government. The Article both assigns powers to the executive branch and determines exactly how the executive branch is formed. The executive branch primarily takes the form of the President and the Vice President, though there are also the Government officials who make up the Cabinet, which is described under Article 2.
Second Article of the Constitution
Article 2 bears particular significance, in that the Article was designed to limit the powers of the executive branch somewhat, in comparison to other executive branches throughout history. Article 2 was meant to establish the President of the United States as a different kind of government official than a king. The Article was also imperfect, as was anticipated by the Founding Fathers. It has been altered on multiple occasions when some flaw was discovered within the terms set out by Article 2.
For example, the Twelfth Amendment was a direct attempt to alter the election procedures listed under Article 2 into a more functional form. The Twenty-Fifth Amendment was similarly an attempt to modify the system of succession established in Article 2. Originally, in Article 2, if the President were to become unable to fulfill his duties, the Vice-President would become the President. But the Twenty-Fifth Amendment establishes a much more clearly defined hierarchy and also ensures that other officers of the Government can remove the President from power in the event that he is unable to fulfill his duty.
These changes are highly significant to the overall functioning of the Second Article, as they ensure that this branch of Government remains capable of performing its duties while still within the limits and restrictions of the Constitution. For more information about the basic elements of the Second Article of the Constitution, click the link.
Executive Powers and Vesting Clause
The vesting clause of the Second Article of the Constitution gives power to the President of the United States. The clause is different from the vesting clauses of the other Articles in the Constitution, as it vests power into a single individual, as opposed to a body of individuals. The powers vested in the President include the power to command the military of the United States, the power to have the Cabinet report to him or her directly, the power to grant pardons, the power to ratify treaties, the power to appoint some public officials, and the power to make recess appointments.
Each of these powers is limited in some ways in order to prevent the abuse of such powers by the President. For example, thought the President is Commander-in-Chief of the United States military, he or she cannot declare war without the approval of Congress. Similarly, the President cannot use his power of pardoning to pardon himself or any others in instances of impeachment. These limits on the powers granted to the President are in line with the basic purpose of the Constitution as a whole and the nature of the vesting clause as it fits within that nature.
The powers vested in the President are given by the people of the United States, and as such, they are limited, ensuring that the President can only use those powers for the benefit of the people. To find out more about the vesting clause and the executive powers it grants to the President, follow the link.
Election of President and Vice President
The procedures for the election of the President and the Vice President are outlined in Article 2. The primary system of significance for these elections is the Electoral College, as the Electoral College system determines exactly how votes from individual citizens are processed into votes for the President or the Vice President. The system has been modified somewhat, over the years, as with the Twelfth Amendment, which made electors in the Electoral College actually vote for a President and a Vice President, instead of simply voting twice for Presidential candidates.
The election of the President and the Vice President by the Electoral College must happen on a single day, as defined by Article 2, though the elections of electors to the Electoral College is not bound by the same rule. Furthermore, Article 2 defines certain criteria which every Presidential and Vice-Presidential candidate must fulfill in order to run. To learn more about this basic information concerning the election of the President and the Vice-President, click the link.
Electoral College 
The Electoral College was the system put in place to elect the President without having a direct election. The Electoral College functions by having a number of electors from each State, elected in a fashion determined by each State’s Legislature, who then come together on a single date to vote for the President and Vice President. These electors are normally elected through a popular vote of the residents of that State, and as such, in theory will vote for the candidates who are most popular within a given State. For instance, if the majority of voters in New Jersey vote for Mr. Smith over Mr. Gray, then the electors who are sent to the Electoral College from New Jersey will be those electors who pledged to vote for Mr. Smith, and not Mr. Gray. The Electoral College is, therefore, an indirect voting system, as no citizen ever votes directly for the President or the Vice President except for the electors.
The purposes of implementing an indirect voting system were numerous and varied in the Founding Fathers’ conception, as they both involved the practical difficulties of having a direct election for the President and the worries of many Founding Fathers concerning the tyranny of the majority. This system has required a number of modifications over the years, but still remains fundamentally the same as the original system established in Article 2.
It is not a system without its flaws, however. Those changes that were made to the system were made because of problems that arose out of its original form, and though those problems will not arise again, there are always additional problems that might arise. Furthermore, many have criticized the Electoral College for disfavoring the majority of citizens and shifting focus onto a number of important “swing states” instead of all the states of America in terms of elections. Indeed, there have been a number of elections in which the candidate who won the popular vote did not win the Presidency, though the reasons differed somewhat each time, but were all, ultimately, attributable to the Electoral College. For more information about the Electoral College, how it functions, and how it is criticized, click the link.

Article 2

Article 2

Debating Systematic Reform in Article 2 of the United States Constitution


Article 2 of the United States Constitution outlines the powers and responsibilities of the executive branch of the government. The system of separation of powers established in the Constitution, with the legislative, executive, and judicial branches, has been a foundation of American governance since the time of its adoption. In this article, we will explain the debates on systematic reform in Article 2 and the potential changes that could be made.

Section 1: Historical Context

The concept of a powerful executive branch was hotly debated during the drafting of the Constitution. Some believed that a strong executive was necessary to manage foreign affairs, while others feared that this could lead to a tyrannical government structure.

Ultimately, the Founding Fathers of the United States settled on a system that granted specific powers to the executive branch, but also ensured that its authority was balanced by the legislative and judicial branches.

Section 2: The Powers of the Executive Branch

Article 2 establishes the executive branch of the government, and outlines its specific powers and responsibilities. The President of the United States is granted certain powers under Article 2, including:

– The power to serve as commander-in-chief of the armed forces

– The power to negotiate treaties

– The power to appoint executive officials, judges, and ambassadors

– The power to grant pardons and reprieves

– The power to veto legislation

Section 3: The Debate on Systematic Reform

In recent years, there has been a growing debate regarding the potential need for systematic reform of the executive branch. Some have argued that the powers granted to the President in Article 2 may be too broad or unchecked, and that additional oversight may be necessary to avoid abuse of power.

One argument for systematic reform could be to impose additional term limits on the presidency. The 22nd Amendment of the Constitution already limits a President to two terms in office, but some have suggested that this could be further restricted to prevent concentration of power.

Others have suggested that the powers of the presidency could be re-evaluated, with some powers being redistributed to other branches of the government.

Section 4: The Significance of Article 2

The powers and responsibilities granted to the executive branch under Article 2 are an essential component of the American legal system. They reflect the principle of a separation of powers, where different branches of government share responsibility and authority. This principle helps ensure that no single branch of government becomes too powerful or unchecked.

However, the debate on systematic reform of the executive branch raises critical questions about the balance of power between the President and the other branches of government.


Article 2 of the United States Constitution establishes the executive branch of the government and outlines its powers and responsibilities. The debate on systematic reform of the executive branch highlights the importance of maintaining a balance of power between each branch of the government.

While the existing system of separation of powers was designed to prevent abusive use of power by any single branch, ongoing discussions suggest the need for reform. The scope of any changes to Article 2 will need to be carefully considered to ensure that the system remains effective, representative and fair in accordance with its original principles.

Because the Electoral College system of America focuses on absolute majority and not plurality, it is possible for no candidate to win enough of the electoral vote to actually be declared President based purely on that election. In modern day America, there are 538 votes total in the Electoral College system and the majority of the electoral vote would require a given candidate to win 270 votes. This number has, of course, fluctuated over the years, as the electoral vote would vary depending on the number of votes afforded to each State.

Every State gets a number of votes in the Electoral College system equal to the number of Representatives and Senators of that State. As Representatives vary by State depending upon population, then the total number of votes in the electoral vote may vary from election to election, and in the years prior to America’s acceptance of the full 50 states, the number of votes necessary to win an absolute majority in the Electoral College system was certainly lower.

Regardless, however, it was always possible for no single candidate to win enough votes to earn an absolute majority in the electoral vote. Primarily, the reason for this is because of the possibility of multiple parties and candidates. If each election only had two candidates, then all votes would be split between those two candidates. There might still be problems if not enough voters turned out, theoretically, but this would affect the popular vote and not the electoral vote, and as such, likely would not affect a candidate’s potential to earn an absolute majority in the Electoral College system.

If a third candidate is introduced, however, then that candidate could very easily draw away some votes from the other two. If that candidate draws away just enough votes, then it is possible that neither of the other two candidates would be able to earn enough votes to obtain an absolute majority. If there is a fourth candidate, then this situation only becomes more possible.  Nowadays, it is unlikely for a third party to draw away enough of the electoral vote from the two primary parties, the Democratic Party and the Republican Party, and their candidates to actually prevent one of those candidates from winning the presidential election.

But in years past, this was certainly a possibility under the Electoral College system, and it actually happened on two different occasions. The original writers of the Constitution did foresee such a potential outcome and provided for a way to solve it. In the event that no candidate has earned an absolute majority in the electoral vote, then the House of Representatives would hold a vote to determine the winner of the presidential election. This might lead to some odd circumstances, in which the results of the Electoral College system might be disregarded insofar as the actual vote of the House of Representatives is concerned.

While the House can only vote on the top three candidates from the electoral vote, meaning those three candidates who earned the most electoral votes, the House might still decide on a different President-elect than the candidate who earned the plurality of the electoral vote. The system already allowed for a different candidate than the one who earned the majority of the popular vote to win the Presidency, but through the possibility of this outcome, it is even possible for the electoral vote to have a minimal effect on the overall outcome of the election.

This system was refined after the election of 1800 with the introduction of the Twelfth Amendment so as to avoid certain complications, and as such, the procedure for dealing with an absence of an absolute majority from the electoral vote is fairly clear. The procedure is not necessarily perfectly fair, but it is certainly functional and its use in the election of 1824 shows that.

Knowing The Debates over Systematic Reform

Knowing The Debates over Systematic Reform

The Pros and Cons of Systematic Reform: A Debate

Systematic reforms refer to significant and comprehensive changes to existing systems, structures, or policies. Such reforms often aim to address and solve problems within a particular system by introducing new ideas, methods, or approaches. However, systematic reforms are often debated, as individuals hold contrasting opinions regarding their effectiveness and potential impact, and this article will weigh in on the pros and cons of systematic reforms.


1. Addressing Problems at Their Roots Systematic reforms often aim to address issues at their source and not just their symptoms. Thus, they are more likely to achieve long-term and sustainable solutions. For instance, an education reform focused on improving the curriculum and teaching style will be more effective than just increasing the number of schools.

2. Increased Efficiency Systematic reforms can result in increased efficiency, either by streamlining current processes or introducing new, more efficient ones. For instance, a healthcare system reform can establish electronic records, reducing paperwork, saving time, and improving patient care standards.

3. Improved Distribution of Resources In some instances, systematic reforms can result in improved distribution of resources. For instance, tax reform that redistributes wealth more equitably, or more extensive investment in public healthcare can play a critical role in ensuring that everyone in the population has access to basic healthcare resources.


1. Disruption to Existing Systems Systematic reforms can be disruptive, resulting in changes to established institutions that people have become accustomed to, and these in turn can create confusion, uncertainty, and resistance. Reforms may lead to job losses for some or create new roles for others.

2. Implementation Costs Systematic reforms can be expensive to implement, and this often leads to debates over whether the benefits of the reform justify the costs. For instance, implementing renewable energy systems in infrastructure projects will require significant upfront costs to eventually save money over the long-term.

3. Potential for Unintended Consequences Reforms that fail to consider all the aspects and possible effects before being implemented can have unintended and harmful consequences. For instance, implementing a new healthcare service without enough funding or infrastructure could lead to disparities in service distribution or an inability to provide adequate care.


Systematic reform is a contentious issue, with individuals on both sides of the argument. It is crucial, however, to consider both the advantages and the potential disadvantages of such reforms before implementing them. With adequate planning, a systematic reform can create a fairer, more efficient, and perhaps more equitable society. However, if poorly executed, such reforms could create more problems than they were intended to resolve. Ultimately, any systematic reform must strike a balance between addressing the challenges while ensuring continuity and stability, minimizing disruption and harm, and maximizing its benefits.

Many have argued for Electoral College reform based on the fact that the Electoral College was originally implemented due to a number of concerns and problems that were wholly based in the time period. For example, the Electoral College was a more efficient system than the direct vote simply because of the amount of time that it would have taken to collect votes from all citizens and then to tabulate those votes in presidential elections.

As those votes would have to be collected and counted purely by hand, it seemed unfeasible to the Founding Fathers to attempt to do so in a single, massive election, so they instead implemented the Electoral College. But since then, such a problem has been thoroughly solved, thanks to countless technologies which not only increase the speed of travel, but also the speed and accuracy of communication.

Thus, some have argued that Electoral College reform should be implemented in order to update America’s electoral system for the modern world.  Another argument for Electoral College reform focuses on the fact that the current electoral system is unfair to certain parts of the country. As each State will, effectively, send all electoral votes to one candidate or the other in presidential elections, then if a majority of that State’s citizens are likely to vote for one party over another, that party need not worry about wooing that State. Similarly, the opposing party is unlikely to spend any effort on such a State either, as it will not have much of a chance of changing the opinions of enough citizens to have an impact on presidential elections. As a result, most candidates focus on certain swing states, where their efforts are more likely to have more of an effect on the actual Electoral College voting when the presidential elections come.

This argument for Electoral College reform would be based on the fact that this is unfair to citizens in states who will not be given any attention by a presidential candidate because the electoral College system makes their votes less valuable. Some reply to this argument for Electoral College reform, however, by pointing out that it would simply refocus the nature of campaigns for presidential elections. Instead of focusing on swing states, candidates would focus only on major population centers, and plenty of citizens would still be left effectively unattended by a candidate.

There have been many other criticisms and arguments made in support of Electoral College reform, ranging from how the current system for presidential elections actually discourages voter turnout by making each individual vote potentially less valuable in light of a State’s majority, to how a State with a higher population would be unfairly disadvantaged by the Electoral College system. Some have even gone so far as to support the National Popular Vote Interstate Compact, which would not directly overturn the Electoral College system, but would enact Electoral College reform by circumventing it.

The National Popular Vote Interstate Compact would be an agreement by signing states to vote for the winner of the popular vote with all of their electoral votes. The Compact would then sponsor a direct, popular vote through which the member states could determine where to assign their electoral votes. As soon as enough states have joined the compact to ensure an absolute majority of 270 votes, then the Electoral College system would, in effect, be reformed for all presidential elections.

What Are The Procedures When Majority is Not Met

What Are The Procedures When Majority is Not Met

What Happens When the Majority is Not Met in the Electoral College?

The Electoral College is a crucial, decentralized electoral system in which electors from each state gather to cast their votes for the President and Vice President of the United States. Usually, the electoral college results reflect the popular vote of the nation, but occasionally, the electoral college vote comes out with no clear majority. What happens when the majority is not met in the Electoral College? This article delves deeper into the procedures that guide the electoral process.

What is a Majority in the Electoral College?

The Electoral College consists of 538 electors, each selected based on either the winner-takes-all or proportional representation system, depending on the state. To win the Presidency, a candidate must secure 270 electoral votes, which represent more than half of the electoral college. This threshold makes securing the Presidency significantly more challenging than winning the popular vote.

What Happens When There is No Majority?

When a candidate fails to secure the 270 electoral votes required to win, the election gets thrown into the hands of the House of Representatives. Under the 12th Amendment to the Constitution, the US House of Representatives has the authority to select the President from among the three presidential candidates who obtained the highest electoral college votes. Only one vote is granted per state, meaning that while some states might have more representatives, they are given only one vote. To win the Presidency in the House of Representatives, a candidate must secure the majority of the state representatives.

The Senate then participates in the electoral process as well in the case of a tie. The Vice President position goes to the Senator with the most votes, and if there is a tie, the Senate selects the Vice President. The Senator that wins must secure the majority of votes in the Senate.

Contingent Elections Can Skew Results

The Electoral College system is not perfect, and it has resulted in significant legal debates in the past. One of the significant issues is the possibility of a contingent election, which occurs when no candidate wins a sufficient number of electoral votes. In this scenario, the House of Representatives holds a contingent election to determine the winner, presenting several challenges, including the potential for political corruption and compromise.


The Electoral College’s role in electing the President and Vice President in the United States has been a hotly debated topic for years. Although this system is democratic, it can be challenging to navigate when a candidate cannot secure the necessary majority of electoral votes required. It is crucial to understand the procedures that guide the electoral process when there is no majority to prevent speculation and controversies in a political climate where electoral legitimacy is critical.

The electoral college system of America requires a candidate to obtain an absolute majority in order to become elected to the presidency. To have an absolute majority means that the candidate has over half of the total possible votes, which is different from a simple plurality, which only would require that a candidate have the most votes out of all the candidates. This necessity for an absolute majority means that, while such occurrences are rare, it is possible for no candidate to win the election, as no candidate could successfully achieve the absolute majority necessary.

Such situations were anticipated by the Constitution’s framers, however, and some provisions and procedures were laid out to determine how such a problem should be solved. The electoral college system was designed so that a candidate would have to achieve an absolute majority in order to prevent one candidate becoming the President of the entire nation simply because he received all the votes from his home area, which were enough to put him over the other candidates. Requiring an absolute majority ensures that over half of the nation would have voted for that candidate, although the exact proportion would vary depending on a number of different statistics.

But because the American system is also not a definitively two party system and does allow for any number of possible parties to run, the available electoral votes might be split between enough parties so as to prevent any one candidate from achieving that absolute majority.  This was most likely one of the primary worries of the framers of the Constitution with regard to the electoral college system, as there were no parties or clear political organizations at the time they were writing the Constitution and they could not have been certain that hundreds of different candidates would try to run and would each eat up just enough votes to prevent any one candidate from successfully winning the presidency.

As such, they included a contingency in Article 2 of the Constitution which would dictate proper procedure in such situations. Specifically, the House of Representatives would perform a vote to determine the President. This system was further refined after the election of 1800 with the Twelfth Amendment. The election of 1800 was a very significant election, primarily because it perfectly demonstrated one of the unforeseen problems of the original electoral college system. In the original system as set forth in the Constitution itself, each elector in the electoral college would actually issue two votes for President.

The Vice President would be the candidate who won the second most number of electoral votes after the President, who must still have had an absolute majority. But in the election of 1796, this led to members of opposing parties becoming the President and the Vice President. While this was not an insurmountable problem, it did make it difficult for the President and Vice President to work together easily. In the election of 1800, however, a more significant problem arose. The supposed candidates for the presidency and the vice-presidency from the same party actually earned the same number of electoral votes, thus meaning that it was unclear to whom the presidency should go.

Because there were no outright vice-presidential candidates, and all candidates were presidential candidates, then the situation was treated as if two presidential candidates had tied and it went to the House of Representatives for a vote, even though all involved knew that one of the two candidates had been originally intended as the vice-presidential candidate.

This election led to the adoption of the Twelfth Amendment, which provided for electors to vote for one presidential candidate and one vice-presidential candidate. The election of 1824 was actually something of a proof of the efficacy of the  system for dealing with an absence of absolute majority. In this election, there were four different candidates from the same party, each of whom took some of the votes away from the others. As a result, no candidate won a majority.

This was different from the election of 1800, in that no two candidates actually tied. Andrew Jackson was the front runner in terms of electoral votes and in terms of popular votes as well. He simply did not win enough electoral votes to be considered to have won an absolute majority. As a result, the decision to determine the disposition of the presidency went to the House of Representatives. In this case, however, the House made a decision which most did not anticipate.

One of the four candidates, Henry Clay, could not be considered in the House’s decision because the House can only choose between the top three recipients of electoral votes. As such, Henry Clay was out of the running and he threw his support behind another candidate, John Quincy Adams. With Clay’s support, Adams was able to edge out Jackson in the House vote and successfully won the presidency. This election showed that the system in place for dealing with the absence of an absolute majority would function, even if the system’s integrity was debatable, as Jackson would have argued.