Between Popular Votes and the Electoral College: The Paradox of the American Electoral System

Mike Omilusi, Ajibola O. Peter Adu

Affiliation: Department of Political Science. Ekiti State University, Nigeria.

Keywords: American Electoral System, politics, Popular Votes

Categories: Humanities, Social Sciences and Law

DOI: 10.17160/josha.6.11.621

Languages: English

Every four years, the Electoral College, a little known feature of the American Constitution, enjoys a fleeting movement of fame. For the fifth time in U.S. history, and the second time this century, a presidential candidate won the White House while losing the popular vote. Hillary Clinton won more votes than Donald Trump in the 2016 presidential election. But due to the exigency of the Electoral College, Donald Trump became president of the United States. If, according to Timm (2016), “our supposedly ‘democratic’ system for picking nominees for president is terribly broken and should be dramatically overhauled”, then this paper seeks to unravel the inherent contradictions in the American Presidential election. Is it an acceptable global template for liberal democracy? Are the voters not short-changed in the electoral process pertaining to their wishes and eventual outcome? This paper interrogates the American democracy within the context of popular votes and Electoral College, having the 2016 Presidential election as the primary focus.

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