The Instigator
Pro (for)
0 Points
The Contender
Con (against)
3 Points

The United States should replace the Electoral College with direct elections

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Voting Style: Open Point System: 7 Point
Started: 5/12/2015 Category: Politics
Updated: 3 years ago Status: Post Voting Period
Viewed: 1,059 times Debate No: 75154
Debate Rounds (4)
Comments (6)
Votes (1)




Personally, I've felt that the electoral college has denied democracy by forcing politicians to focus on electoral college votes, rather than the votes of the people. I would like to have a friendly debate on the issue.

The structure is as follows:
R1 - Acceptance
R2 - Arguments
R3 - Arguments
R4 - Closing Statements, no new arguments

This is currently open to anyone with six (6) completed debates.


I accept, presuming the direct elections will be used as a popular vote.

Best of luck! :)
Debate Round No. 1


Alright, this should be a fun debate.

The electoral college was created during the creation of the United States with the idea that it would protect the government from the votes of potentially misinformed electors. These were noble intentions at first yes, but it has later devolved into a system in which "swing states" decide elections, because candidates know that certain states will vote on party lines, all of the effort is poured into a relatively small group of individuals who end up having a disproportionate weight in the national elections. For example, A democrat would campaign very little in California, but heavily in the state of Florida. Therefore, this candidate will largely ignore the needs of California, and focus on the needs of Florida. this creates a situation in which we see increasingly polarized politics. If we were to look at the political history of the United States, a trend becomes very obvious, We have gradually shifted away from a society in which third party candidates could win votes, to a nation in which we only vote for the big candidates.

If we were to host a direct election, we would obtain a point in which the people chose their won politicians.

On to you Con!
Good Luck!



The United States’ quadrennial presidential election has been under heavy dispute for a variety of reasons. Primarily, more and more people are worrying about the method in which the president is elected. However, I will particularize the reasons as to why these concerns are unwarranted.


C1) The Electoral College mitigates uninformed votes.

At the time of its creation, the electoral college was institutionalized to alleviate unlearned and ignorant votes from negatively impacting the election itself. This was a legitimate concern, as brought up by American Patriot George Mason, who “thought the vastness of the country would prevent voters from knowing enough about possible candidates to choose intelligently. The Electoral College was designed to accommodate these competing concerns.” [1] Having a fixture of how many *points* would be awarded candidates would palliate ignorance concerns of American people.

With such a vast countryside and growing population, this was of optimal importance. The claim that the electoral college is not democratic is bogus. Uninformed votes, which are still prevalent in today’s society. Namely, 83% of American voters are relatively uninformed. [2] These uninformed votes negatively affect the election and the democracy, especially in regards to what Americans really want. The report compiled by Vanderbilt University backs up this claim. [3]

When voters are not knowledgeable about the candidates, they are not aware of what the candidates will do in the executive position. Thus, they do not know exactly who they want in office. Accordingly, this does not undermine democratic values, but at the same time yields positive reflection of what the informed voter wants.

C2) Regionalism detriments are deflected through the electoral college.

Critics of our current system argue that the electoral college only matters in the “swing-states” and doesn’t represent the entire population. While true to a small degree, we also find benefits of the location-based election system. With our current policy, candidates must win individual states’ electoral votes rather than the country as a whole. This deflects regionalism disputes.

Regionalism is basically regional administration rather than an overarching central rule. If a particular region (state) is opposed to the candidate, it allows them the privilege to focus more attention on that area. With direct elections, the effect of regionalism is enhanced. Without any sectional boundaries for the elections, these regional ideals can be easier spread and promoted.

An article from the Cato Institute explains how other nations have been adversely affected by regionalism, and how the electoral college assuages its detriments. “We should keep in mind the regional conflicts that have plagued large and diverse nations like India, China, and Russia. The Electoral College is a good antidote to the poison of regionalism because it forces presidential candidates to seek support throughout the nation. By making sure no state will be left behind, it provides a measure of coherence to our nation.” [4]

C3) The Electoral College abates the complication of recounts.

Though not a direct policy concern, the electoral college is more efficient and pragmatic, especially in regards to potential post-election complications. Close elections would inevitably be under pressure by politicians and citizens alike to call for a recount. These processes are long and difficult to manage as well.

In fact, journalist Kevin Massimilian notes, “if there is a close popular election, we face a national recount, which is potentially more destabilizing than the local unpleasantness of 2000. One can look to Florida 2000; the Electoral College has the great merit of confining such election conflicts to one state. A close race in a single state is more likely than a close vote in a national popular election because of the smaller number of total votes.” [5] This is a legitimate concern, and one that should be weighted heavily when considering a policy change as impactful as this.

Moreover, senior writer and activist Eric Black wrote an article for the Huffington Post where he sympathizes, “Having gone through the "dimpled-chad" nightmare of the Florida 2000 recount, I have more sympathy for this argument than any other... If the nationwide popular vote resulted in a near-tie between the two tickets, both parties would have an incentive to seek recounts wherever they thought such a recount might gain them a few votes, including in states that weren't even close.” [6] If a state vote is not anywhere close, it’s obvious who wins, and there is no need for a recount. This pain can be avoided with the electoral college.

Besides the simple recount issue, another is concurrent with the possible problem. Massimilian continues, “A national recount would be extremely difficult to conduct, it would provide for an even greater fraudulent opportunity, and would be very costly and highly chaotic.” Note the key word “fraudulent.” A direct popular vote brings with it the distinct possibility of political fraud. US Senators noted this concern by stating, “Direct election of the president [would] create an irresistible temptation to electoral fraud.” [7]


R1) Misinformed electors

1. I already covered this point, but it merits bringing up again. Because voters (83%) are relatively uninformed, this does not undermine democratic values.
2. The “swing-states” help counterbalance misinformed votes from other states.
3. Informing electors is not plausible, even with the information age upon us.

R2) Swing votes

1. The need to defend against regionalism detriments is more important than potential low-degree swing-vote effects.
2. It is imperative that needs are addressed on state levels, and the possibility of swing votes and regionalism will force candidates to address them.

R3) Third-party candidates

1. The concern is of excluding the third-party is unwarranted. Chances of success from third-party candidates is already low. [8]
2. Since the third party has little chance of winning, we should pursue the option that is best beneficial. [9]


Though many people don’t recognize the detriments of direct election compared to the benefits of the electoral college, it is imperative to address and define each in this debate. While wish to abolish the electoral college, I have shown by bringing a case of my own along with refuting each of my opponent’s arguments it would not be a good idea to do so, and that our faith should remain in the effective, pragmatic, and successful status quo.











Debate Round No. 2


The United States is democracy, and it is absolutely unacceptable to deny people the right to a fair vote. Under the 14th amendment, people will have an equal say in the vote. In the United Sates, the breakup of the Nation into the electoral college unfairly harms those who live in republican or democrats dominated States. Besides, there is always the issue of gerrymandering. It is impossible to gerrymander a system in which everyone is put into the same voting area. This means in order to succeed in popular elections in the United States, candidates must appeal to National issues, not just the issues of a small collection of states. Let's take a hypothetical election in the United States. There are only three sates left. California, Texas, and Florida. Texas and California are guaranteed to vote on party lines, but Florida is a swing state. Both politicians will then base their policies and arguments on Florida issues, as those are the only ones that matter in this election. Therefore an electoral college gives to much power to the a small minority of political diverse states.

The recount is almost absolutely unnecessary to worry about. We live in a modern age with (potentially) internet voting, digital transaction, and methods. As a programmer, i can tell you that f we embraced slightly newer technology, we could remove any potential of a recount.



14th Amendment

My opponent essentially says that the 14th amendment condemns the electoral college. However, this is incorrect. The 14th amendment promotes, instead, that each individual has the RIGHT to vote. [1] The United States' system does allow this. Splitting it up into the electoral college simply alleviates the effect of uninformed votes. Every vote still counts and goes towards the candidate selected.


My opponent voices that this is a concern, however, it is not. I mentioned regionalism in my case, essentially the effect of gerrymandering. Instead of a national vote, which does not show candidates where they need to campaign, the electoral college give candidates each a fair opportunity to explain their campaign and what they intend to do in office to the states that are relatively divided. The Federal Election Commission explains, "Proponents further argue that the Electoral College contributes to the political stability of the nation... A direct popular election of the president would likely have the opposite effect. For in a direct popular election, there would be every incentive for a multitude of minor parties to form in an attempt to prevent whatever popular majority might be necessary to elect a president. The surviving candidates would thus be drawn to the regionalist or extremist views represented by these parties in hopes of winning the run-off election." [2] Gerrymandering would not be detrimental with an electoral college, because regional campaigning is necessary to perhaps sway the votes of voters towards a particular candidate.


My opponent claims recounts are not relevant, and are a thing of the past. This is false. "In fact, by making “every vote count” NPV would incentivize voter fraud in every city and state. Political machines would swing into action and squeeze every possible vote out of each district in hopes of swinging a national election. Further, a competitive election would produce a replay of Florida 2000, but on a national scale. Recounts would take place across the United States, along with endless litigation and doubts about the legitimacy of the eventual winner." [3] This is further backed by the Huffington Post:

"Under its (NPV) [direct election] plan, the next time the U.S. has very close national vote, a recount would not be of six million votes in one state but of more than 130 million votes in all states and the District of Columbia, all with their own rules for conducting a recount.
The horror of a potential national recount is only one of the dangers direct presidential elections poses. Among the others:

• By its very size and scope, a national direct election will lead to nothing more than a national media campaign, which would propel the parties' media consultants to inflict upon the entire nation what has been heretofore limited to the so-called battleground states: an ever-escalating, distorted arms race of tit-for-tat unanswerable attack advertising polluting the airwaves, denigrating every candidate and eroding citizen faith in their leaders and the political process as a whole.

• Because a direct election would be, by definition, national and resource allocation would be overwhelmingly dominated by paid television advertising, there would be little impetus for grass-roots activity. That, in turn, would likely diminish voter turnout.

• Similarly, because a national campaign mandates a national message, there would also be a smaller incentive for coalition-building or taking into account the characteristics, needs and desires of citizens in differing states and regions.

• NPV supporters claim, accurately, that a direct election for president would reduce or eliminate the possibility that a fringe candidate (like a Ralph Nader or Ron Paul) winning five percent or less of the vote in a single state could serve to defeat a major party candidate from the same side of the political spectrum. But the much greater danger to American democracy is that direct elections may make it possible for a president to be elected by no more than 30 percent of the vote, regardless of his or her suitability for office, so long as there is sufficient money and a clever media advisor behind the effort." [4]

My opponent has dropped all of my other arguments. Extend those. Vote Con!


Debate Round No. 3


Luharis forfeited this round.


My opponent has forfeited. But, as mentioned in the comments, it was due to a personal matter. I opt to defer this round. Thus:

VOTERS: only make your votes based on the prior rounds. The forfeit should not affect your decision.
Debate Round No. 4
6 comments have been posted on this debate. Showing 1 through 6 records.
Posted by ColeTrain 3 years ago
No problem. :) I'll defer this round.
Posted by Luharis 3 years ago
I's sorry for forfeiting, a personal matter came up.
Posted by ColeTrain 3 years ago
@Varrack... nah... Electoral college = <3
Posted by Varrack 3 years ago
Direct popular vote = <3
Posted by ColeTrain 3 years ago
No problem. :) Mine will likely be short as well, I'm also busy.
Posted by Luharis 3 years ago
I apologize for such short argument, but I've been incredibly busy recently
1 votes has been placed for this debate.
Vote Placed by TheJuniorVarsityNovice 3 years ago
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Total points awarded:03 
Reasons for voting decision: FF and con used most reliable sources