• Home   /  
  • Archive by category "1"

Electoral College Pros And Cons Essay Topics

Then, in small groups, students can tackle a harder question: Should the Electoral College system be retained or abolished? Teachers may wish to assign some groups the “pro” and “con” positions, or let groups consider the evidence before choosing sides. The following stories may help students find specific reasons to support their arguments. They can use this graphic organizer (PDF) to keep track of arguments for and against the current system.

• Room for Debate: Should the Electoral College Be Abolished?
• The Electoral College is Hated by Many. So Why Does it Endure?
• As American as Apple Pie? The Rural Vote’s Disproportionate Slice of Power
• In Defense of The Electoral College (Richard Posner in Slate)
• Electoral College Is ‘Vestige’ of Slavery (PBS)
• Electoral College Keeps Things Fair (Gary Gregg in Politico)
• Keep the Electoral College (USA Today editorial)
• Flunking the Electoral College (New York Times editorial from 2008)

After groups have finished their research, hold a quick straw poll to see where students stand. Then ask each group to make a short presentation in which they cite evidence from the articles to support their point of view, or hold an evidence-based discussion or debate on the subject. Finally, hold a second class vote to see if any minds were changed.

If You Have More Time…

Students and teachers can use the following ideas to dig more deeply into Electoral College issues and track the final steps of the 2016 election.

1. Track the “faithless electors.” As the Dec. 19 vote of the Electoral College approaches, students can track the flood of news coverage in The Times and other outlets. Below is a selection of recent stories. Put up a bulletin board in your classroom or online in which you keep track of electors who are wavering from their original commitments. Then predict the final Electoral College count.

• Why I Will Not Cast My Electoral Vote for Donald Trump
• The Constitution Lets the Electoral College Choose the Winner. They Should Choose Clinton (Lawrence Lessig in The Washington Post)
• Meet the ‘Hamilton Electors’ Hoping for an Electoral College Revolt (The Atlantic)
• Teen Becomes Seventh ‘Faithless Elector’ to Protest Trump as President-Elect (The Guardian)
• Texas Elector Who Criticized Trump Says He’s Resigning (Politico)

2. Follow the vote of the Electoral College and see what happens. In most presidential election years, the vote of electors in each state capitol passes without much notice, but that seems destined to change this year. Set up coverage teams in your class to track local and national coverage of the Dec. 19 vote. Consider setting up a Twitter feed or “live” bulletin board in your school to raise awareness of the vote. Then students can act as pundits in a live “broadcast” to explain the results to classmates, teachers, parents and other observers.

3. Consider an alternative approach. So far, 11 states have signed onto an initiative that would end the “winner-take-all” system in which state rules award all electors to whomever wins the majority in that state. States participating in the National Popular Vote Interstate Compact would require their electors to follow the nationwide majority vote. Even though the plan requires no changes to the Constitution, analysts say it faces tough political and legal challenges in branching out beyond Democratic-leaning states.

Others suggest that states should apportion their electoral votes by Congressional district, as Maine and Nebraska have done. Such a change would make it possible for a state to “split” its electoral votes between two or more candidates, rather than leaving runners-up with nothing after a close election.

Find out if your own state legislators support a change to the Electoral College system, and consider writing a letter to persuade them to support or oppose it.

Going Further

1. Hold a Constitutional Convention. The U.S. Constitution has been amended 27 times, most recently in 1992. But activists of all political stripes continue to work toward further changes on issues such as a balanced federal budget, gay marriage and gun rights. Learn about the process to change the Constitution, and choose an issue that has already been proposed for an amendment or for which you feel strongly. Then develop your own amendment, give a speech in favor of it, and lobby classmates for enough votes to pass it in a mock convention.

2. Take the founders on a tour of 2016. Some 55 men attended the Constitutional Convention in 1787, and 39 delegates signed it. But who were these people, and what would they make of the government and nation they helped to design? In this activity you have a chance to find out. First, research the signers of the Constitution and find out what they believed and argued about. Pick one signer and learn more about his beliefs. Then write a piece of historical fiction in which you take your founding father on a tour of issues in the United States of 2016. Alternatively, you could share a handful of recent New York Times stories with your founding father and seek his reactions through a fictional dialogue or interview. As a culminating activity, share your “Tour of 2016” with classmates via PowerPoint.

Additional Resources

The National Archives — The Constitution and Bill of Rights

The National Constitution Center — Interactive Constitution

Electoral Dysfunction Curriculum Guide

Text to Text | ‘Let’s Give Up on the Constitution’ and ‘The Constitution of the United States’

Text to Text | The Bill of Rights and ‘The Bill of Rights We Deserve’

Continue reading the main story

Browse Pro/Con Sections By Topic

Adoption and Foster Care
Affirmative Action
AIDS/HIV and Sexually Transmitted Diseases
Air Pollution
Air Transportation
Alternative Energy
Alternative Medicine
Alzheimer's Disease
America's Image Abroad
Animal Rights
Aquaculture and Maritime Policy
Arms Control and Disarmament
Arms Sales and Trafficking
Artificial Intelligence
Baby Boomers
Bilingual Education and ESL
Birth Control
Campaign Finance
Chain Stores
Challenges of the Courts
Cheating and Ethics in Schools
Child Abuse
Child Care
Child Labor
Civil Liberties in Wartime
Coal Industry
College Financing
College Sports
Colleges and Universities
Communism and Socialism
Constitution and Separation of Powers
Consumer Protection
Copyright and Patents
Corporate Salaries
Cosmetics and Fashion
Cost of Living and Wages
Credit and Consumer Debt
Criminal Sentencing
Death Penalty
Defense Spending
Disabled Persons
Disasters and Preparedness
Drug Abuse and Trafficking
Education and Funding
Education and Gender
Education Issues
Education Standards and Testing
Electoral College
Environmental Protection
Ethics in Government
Ethics in War
European Unification
Evolution, Science, and Creationism
Executive Powers and the Presidency
Farm Income and Agricultural Prices
Farm Labor
Farm Loans and Subsidies
Farm Policy
Federal Budget and National Debt
Federal Judiciary
Federal Reserve System
Federal/State Government Relations
Food Prices and Supply
Food Safety
Foreign Aid
Gambling and Lotteries
Gay, Lesbian and Transgender Issues
Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual and Transgendered Individuals
Genetics and Cloning
Gifted Education and Tracking
Government Secrecy
Gun Control and the Second Amendment
Health Insurance
Highways and Roads
Historic Preservation
Holocaust and Antisemitism
Human Rights
Immigration and Naturalization
Insurance Industry
Intelligence Agencies
Israel, Palestine, and Middle East Peace
Jobs and Skills
Journalism, Newspapers, and the Media
Jury System
Juveniles and the Justice System
Labor Unions
Latin America
Law Enforcement
Learning Disabilities
Lobbying and Special Interests
Marriage, Divorce, and Single Parents
Mass Transit
Medicaid and Medicare
Medical Malpractice
Mental Health
Military Bases
Military Draft
Missile Defense
Morality and Values
National Parks
Native Americans
Natural Resources
New Deal, Great Depression, and Economic Recovery
Nuclear Power
Nutrition and Health
Oil and Gasoline Prices
Older Americans and Senior Citizens
Organ Transplants
Organized Crime
Peace Corps, National Service, and Volunteerism
Pensions and Retirement
Philanthropy and Charities
Political Parties
Poverty and Homelessness
Presidential Candidates and Campaigns
Professional Sports
Property Rights
Protest Movements and Counter Culture
Public Employees
Public Housing
Public Utilities and Electricity
Publishing Industry
Puerto Rico
Racism and Hate
Reapportionment, Redistricting, and Representation
Refugees and Asylum
Religion and Politics
Religion and Schools
Right to Die
Rural America
Russia and the Soviet Union
Science Policy
Segregation and Desegregation
Sex Education
Sex Offenders
Sexual Behavior
Smoking and the Tobacco Industry
Social Security
Space Exploration
State and Local Governments
Stock Market
Sugar Industry
Supreme Court
Teens and Alcohol
Term Limits
Tourism and Vacation
Traffic Congestion
Trash and Recycling
U.S. Dollar and Inflation
U.S. Military
Underground Economy
United Kingdom
United Nations
United States and Foreign Trade
Upward Mobility
Urban Planning
Vietnam War
Violence in America
Violence in Schools
Voting Rights
Washington, DC
Water Pollution
Weapons of Mass Destruction
Weather Forecasting
Wildlife and Endangered Species
Women and Sports
Women and Work
Women's Health
Women's Rights
Workforce Protections
World Trade
World War II Aftermath
World War II Reparations
Youths and Work

One thought on “Electoral College Pros And Cons Essay Topics

Leave a comment

L'indirizzo email non verrà pubblicato. I campi obbligatori sono contrassegnati *