Presidential Election Process Is Broken — Do You Agree?

Reddie

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According to a Gallup survey only 30% of Americans believe the process of electing a new president is functional.

http://thehill.com/blogs/ballot-box...ent-think-presidential-election-process-works
Only 3 in 10 Americans believe that the nation’s process for electing a new president is functional, a record low, according to a new poll.

Some 66 percent believe that the system is broken, a Gallup survey released Friday found, while 4 percent had no opinion.
Is the presidential election process broken?
 
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Alexia

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Out of the people asked, how many actually understand the process? I doubt many could explain it fully and would be surprised that the popular vote actually has no effect at all. How many people on the street know what the electoral college is even or how it works?
 

pwarbi

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I think @Alexia might have a valid point there, and I'm not sure that people do understand the process completely so maybe that was also a question that should have been asked.

I think it's easy to say something doesn't work if your not sure how it's supposed to work in the first place. If you don't know, or don't even try to understand the way the process works, then can you really have an opinion on if it works or not?
 

Drumpfreal

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I agree for a few reasons. One being the system of super delegates, and the delegate system in general. This form of voting waters down the voice of the public, and benefits establishment politicians. Two, all the special interest group funding of campaigns has destroyed the political process. Politicians will tell their constituents that they are planning on carrying out one road of action, and turn around by carrying out the agenda of corporate America. The people lose out a lot in our current election process.
 

PLC1

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According to a Gallup survey only 30% of Americans believe the process of electing a new president is functional.

http://thehill.com/blogs/ballot-box...ent-think-presidential-election-process-works

Is the presidential election process broken?
Yes.
For one thing, it takes big money to even run.
For another, the candidate has to be willing to endure seeing his/her words twisted, taken out of context, mis quoted, and made up. He has to be accused of everything from fraud to philandery, whether or not there is anything to the accusation or not.

Then, some people's votes count for a lot some for a little. Here in California, there really is not point in voting in the general, as whoever the Democrats nominate already has won the state.

I'd hire a president the same way we hire a manager: Solicit letters of intent, letters of recommendation, and resumes. Pick through the papers to find a couple of dozen good candidates, and hold an interview of each one on TV. Hold a primary election, then hold a debate between the two or three top vote getters. Hold the general election, and whoever has the most popular votes wins.

We should hire senators and representatives the same way. No parties, no fund raising, no media circuses, no commercials, no electoral college, no superdelegates, just a straight forward interview and debate.
 

Charles Franklin

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Part of this decline is educational as @Alexia pointed out. It takes more effort to obtain information versus just digesting it from the evening news. Most citizens choose to digest the media's soundbites. In a complex political environment that plays off our psychology (rather than works with it), what can you expect?

The other part, in my opinion, is by design. The Framers didn't want to put all of the power "in the masses" as people often believe. They established checks and balances on the popular vote (aka electoral college). These checks and balances ensure that the average person has a "say" in the government, but not enough to sway that voice.
 

Zanna

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Here in California, there really is not point in voting in the general, as whoever the Democrats nominate already has won the state.

This is an example on how democracy was rigged as @Charles Franklin says. Any system where the public figures and officials (such as the delegates and parties) have more say in the elections than the rest of the citizens is not a democracy at all, it's plain oligarchy with poll sprinkled in for your entertainment.
Democracy is supposed to be a bottom-up governing system where the people come to decisions by per capita majority, and not a 'rank' system where some people's say is stronger than others'.
 

Dybbuk Jones

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No. I don't agree. To be broken it would have had to have been in a pristine condition to ever get broken. It was always messy and money driven. Adams vs. Jefferson was one of the most contentious elections in American history and if Adams had won in 1800, we might have been fighting our Civil War 60 years earlier.
 

Alexia

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The original process was 'broken' and had to be adjusted a few times with the Twelfth Amendment in 1803, so the Framers hadn't thought of everything, because at the time there was only one party as well.

They needed to adapt it once more than one party was established and procedures for a majority and who should decide if that did not happen.

Today it would be much harder to change or adapt, because back then the people adapting it were the ones who created it, so it was easier in that respect (besides fewer states). Is it broken? I don't think it is because people still think their popular vote counts.
 

bms00

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I wouldn't really credit the poll as evidence of the process being "broken" - I think a majority of Americans would agree with any abstract, negative statement about politics. However, I would like to see the Electoral College abolished. It seems unfair that a few states decide the election during each cycle.

When I learned about the Electoral College in the 1990s, we felt like they would get rid of it once a President got elected but lost the popular vote. Turns out that wasn't the case.
 

The Sage of Main Street

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According to a Gallup survey only 30% of Americans believe the process of electing a new president is functional.

http://thehill.com/blogs/ballot-box...ent-think-presidential-election-process-works

Is the presidential election process broken?
We shouldn't allow winner-take-all electoral votes. They should be split from each state according to the percentage of vote each candidate got, down to one-tenth of a percentage point. That way, even if a state is a sure thing for one candidate, the other voters will have their representation, too.

Second, if no candidate gets 50% of the electoral votes, there should be a runoff between the two with the most votes, as is done in practically every other election. I prefer the automatic runoff, where you could vote for say, Johnson as first pick and Trump as second, and if Trump and Clinton turned out to be the top two, then Trump would get that vote.
 

The Sage of Main Street

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I wouldn't really credit the poll as evidence of the process being "broken" - I think a majority of Americans would agree with any abstract, negative statement about politics. However, I would like to see the Electoral College abolished. It seems unfair that a few states decide the election during each cycle.

When I learned about the Electoral College in the 1990s, we felt like they would get rid of it once a President got elected but lost the popular vote. Turns out that wasn't the case.

E Pluribus Unum

The popular vote weakens the importance of the less populous states. In order to have unity, we can't go by what seems fair in an idealistic logic. In 2000, Bush won 30 out of 50 states and represented a larger geographical section of the country.

But I wish some political science student would do a thesis on how previous elections would have turned out if all the states were required to split their electoral votes according to the tenth of percentages each candidate won.
 

Old_Trapper70

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We shouldn't allow winner-take-all electoral votes. They should be split from each state according to the percentage of vote each candidate got, down to one-tenth of a percentage point. That way, even if a state is a sure thing for one candidate, the other voters will have their representation, too.

Second, if no candidate gets 50% of the electoral votes, there should be a runoff between the two with the most votes, as is done in practically every other election. I prefer the automatic runoff, where you could vote for say, Johnson as first pick and Trump as second, and if Trump and Clinton turned out to be the top two, then Trump would get that vote.


There is no "winner take all" in the Electoral College. Members are not required to follow the vote of the State, or the voters.

http://www.learnnc.org/lp/media/lessons/davidwalbert7232004-02/electoralcollege.html

http://avalon.law.yale.edu/18th_century/fed68.asp
 
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dogtowner

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