Copyright (c) 2001 School of Law, Santa Clara University
Santa Clara Law Review
COMMENT: AMERICAN DEMOCRACY AND MINORITY RULE: HOW THE UNITED STATES CAN REFORM ITS ELECTORAL PROCESS TO ENSURE "ONE PERSON, ONE VOTE."
42 Santa Clara L. Rev. 185
Roberta A. Yard*
"A basic principle of democracy is that a majority should rule." 1 The United States' political system, however, is increasingly becoming one of minority rule, as a greater number of its elected officials win their elections by mere pluralities, rather than clear majorities. 2 The 2000 Presidential election exemplifies some of the deficiencies of the current system for electing the chief executive. 3 For the fourth time in the nation's history, the winner of the popular vote did not win a majority of electoral votes, 4 resulting in the loser of the popular vote winning the election. 5 In addition to this anomaly, the rise in the number of independent and third party candidates compounds the problem of the electoral college system by creating election "spoilers," 6 which significantly increases the possibility of an election defaulting to the House of Representatives. 7 Due to these possibilities and the events of the 2000 election, there has been increasing debate about whether the United States should reform or abolish its electoral college system. 8
This comment focuses on some of the problems created by the electoral college system and proposes various ways in which to change the current system. Part II provides an overview of how the electoral college system works 9 and the reasons for its creation. 10 It also examines a number of presidential elections to see how the electoral college and default systems have worked in the past. 11 Part III identifies the ...
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