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Indirect Popular Voting

Indirect Popular Voting

The Second Article of the Constitution establishes the electoral college as a system of indirect popular voting in order to elect the President of the United States. This system is differentiated from a system based upon direct popular vote in that it is possible for a presidential candidate to win the popular vote while losing the actual election. The Constitution separates citizen voters from the actual election for the President in order to prevent a tyranny of the majority, among other aims.
When the Founding Fathers were developing the Constitution, they had to deal with certain facts of the day and age. A direct system, based only on popular vote, seemed unfeasible for practical reasons, including a lack of organization for the political system coupled with issues concerning the speed of communication. At the time, there were not political parties and there was no clear system for determining how many candidates could run for President. 
There was some fear on the part of the Constitution’s framers that a huge number of candidates would run, and with a direct, popular vote as determinant for election, it might be possible for a single party to receive more votes than any other candidate while still only receiving a fraction of the overall votes, as each different area of people would vote for a more local candidate. Furthermore, because taking the vote of every single person and then tabulating them all together would take large amounts of time using the technology of the era, a direct popular vote seemed unfeasible. Thus, when writing the Constitution the framers decided to use an indirect system.   
The indirect system of the electoral college, as established in the Constitution, is still, in theory, a system based on a popular vote. Each citizen still gets one vote in the election. But the difference is that no citizen is actually voting for the President directly. Instead, each citizen is voting for an elector, effectively nominating a representative. This representative elector will then actually vote for the President.
Each State only gets a certain number of electors based on the population of that State. This ensures that citizens are voting for the President indirectly, as they are voting for an elector who would vote for the same presidential candidate for whom each citizen him or herself would vote. 
This system of voting established by the Constitution is still a form of popular vote, as in the end, theoretically, the popular vote of the people will still play the primary, determining role in the actual vote for the President. But this system of voting insulates the vote from the popular sentiment of the people, ensuring that there will be no tyranny of the majority, which was another concern of the Founding Fathers. This can be understood especially well if one were to imagine a popular vote today, as major population centers would have tremendously more power than sparser areas of the country, and thus, the majority might tyrannize the minority. 
Furthermore, the indirect voting system established by the Constitution also represents the fact that, while Congressional representatives are voted for through popular vote, the President and Vice President are instead elected as the leaders of a federation of states, and as such, are effectively voted for by each State instead of by the people as a whole. 
The system is strongly ingrained in American politics, even though it has been modified from its originally stated form in the Constitution. The system has been considered generally functional, especially as candidates have only twice, in the history of the nation, won the popular vote, but lost the electoral vote. In both instances, the popular vote was extremely close.

What Are The Procedures When Majority is Not Met

What Are The Procedures When Majority is Not Met

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. To find out more about the base system for solving the problem of no absolute majority, follow the link. 
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. For more information on the election of 1800 and its legacy, click the link.
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. To learn more about Jackson’s problems with the outcome of this election, and about the election in general, follow the link.

What Does It Mean To Reach Proper Majority

What Does It Mean To Reach Proper Majority

The electoral college is a system based upon majority, as opposed to plurality. The key difference is simply that a majority-based system will only provide for 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 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, and 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 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, then, 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 an absolute majority of electoral votes.
A given candidate can win an absolute majority of 270 electoral votes (at the current time) without, in theory, 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.

What You Need to Know About The Election of President and Vice President

What You Need to Know About The Election of President and Vice President

The election of the President and the Vice
President is established in Article 2 of the Constitution. The procedure is
further honed by a number of Federal and State laws concerning the operation of
the election, especially in terms of the means of casting ballots and how
those ballots are counted. The system has fundamentally changed only somewhat
since its original creation with Article 2 of the Constitution, though of
course, the specific nature of each election has changed greatly as technology
advanced.

To elect the President and the Vice President,
the system employs the Electoral College.
The electors in the Electoral College cast votes directly for the
President and the Vice President. Whichever candidate receives an absolute
majority of votes, meaning over half of all the possible votes of the electors,
wins the election. The electors are, themselves, elected by each State. 

The
exact method for electing electors is determined by each State Legislature and
not by the Federal Government. This means that the popular election for
President and Vice President on Election Day is not actually an election
directly for the President or the Vice President. The number of electors that
each state may appoint is determined by adding the number of Senators that the State has to the number of Representatives of the State. No one holding a
public office, such as a Senator or a Representative, can be an elector.

The Electoral College system has changed somewhat as a result of the Twelfth
Amendment, which adjusts the methods by which a President and Vice President
are elected. In the original form of the Constitution, the Vice
President would be the Presidential candidate who received the second most
number of votes. Furthermore, this meant that electors were only voting for
President, and never for President and Vice President separately. This led to
a somewhat dysfunctional system, as Vice Presidents and Presidents might be at
odds with each other and there was the potential for a supposed Vice
Presidential candidate to be elected President. Thus, the Twelfth Amendment
altered the system such that each elector casts one vote for President and
one vote for Vice President.

If
the Electoral College votes in such a way that no candidate receives an
absolute majority of the votes, then the vote would go to the House of
Representatives, which would hold its own vote for the President. This was part
of the reason for the original implementation of the Twelfth Amendment, as the
House vote resulted in an entirely different candidate winning than either the
popular vote or electoral vote would have indicated in the election of 1800.

To
run for President, a candidate must have been a natural born citizen of the
United States and must still be a citizen at the time he or she is running.
Furthermore, the candidate must be thirty five years old at least, and must
have been a resident in the United States for fourteen years. The same criteria
apply to the Vice-President.

Second Article of the Constitution

Second Article of the Constitution

The Second Article of the Constitution sets out the definition and terms of the Executive Branch of Government for the United States of America. The executive branch of any governmental structure is the one most likely to become powerful, thanks to the nature of executive power. In most countries, when a dictatorship or despotic form of government forms, the despot comes from what was once the executive branch of the government. Indeed, in the British system of the time, a great deal of power was invested in the monarch of Britain, thus empowering the executive branch of that government.
The Second Article of the Constitution, then, was an attempt to help define executive powers without letting them overrun the Government. It was aimed at both establishing the nature and election procedures for the executive branch, while also ensuring that there were some limits to the powers of that executive branch.
Article 2 has been expanded and adapted by some Amendments over the years. The Twenty-Fifth Amendment, for example, specifically clarified Clause 6 in Section 1 of the Second Article of the Constitution, because of its ill-defined wording. While Clause 6 would have provided for the Vice President to at least assume the duties of the President if the President were unable to perform them himself, it still remained vague on any number of matters, including whether or not the Vice President would become an Acting President or a full President.
The Twenty-Second Amendment was also an adaptation of the Second Article, under which the President could not be elected to the office more than twice. The Twelfth Amendment significantly altered the way in which the electoral procedure for the executive branch actually functioned, thereby superseding that part of the Second Article of the Constitution. These changes to the Second Article have helped to further define and refine the points and purposes of that Second Article, such that no difficulties will arise from the Second Article’s original faulty wording or function.
This is especially important as the Second Article, for all that it is part of an intricate system, the whole of which is important to protect and preserve, deals with the branch of government which, as has been shown through countless historical examples, is the most likely to lead to abuses of power. Ensuring that the Second Article of the Constitution is refined, then, is critical for the stability of the overall country.
For example, if the Twenty-Fifth Amendment had never been implemented, then there would not be a clearly defined system for establishing a new Vice President after a Vice Presidential vacancy, and there would be no clearly defined system for a President to either establish himself as unable to fulfill his duties for the time being or for other officers in Government to be able to establish that the President is unable to fulfill his duties for the time being. The only option would be impeachment, which would not necessarily function in certain situations.
While no President has ever been removed from power by the declaration of other officers, the fact remains that without such an Amendment, the Second Article of the Constitution would have had a hole in it that could have caused potential problems at a later point in time. Because the Second Article of the Constitution concerns the Executive Branch, however, it is most critical for that Article to be able to clearly delineate the powers of the Executive Branch in order to prevent abuses of power.