Electoral College | Definition, Features, Merits & Demerits

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Electoral College | Features, Advantages and Disadvantages

Electoral College
Electoral College

What is an Electoral College?

An electoral college is a set of electors who are selected to elect a candidate to particular offices.

This is a group of body of elected representatives who in turn come together to elect people into political offices.

It is also a group of people who are chosen to represent the members of a political party in the election of a leader. The United States of America, for example, elect their president through Electoral College.

Advantages of Electoral College

Below are a few highlighted advantages of Electoral College.

  • Electoral Malpractices – This is minimised because only a few people vote.
  • Short Period of Voting – voting could be done and completed within a very short.
  • Easy and Proper Identification of Candidates – The candidates are easily identified and probably known to the voters.
  • Clear Cut Winner – The system produce a winner easily because the candidate scores with a simple majority.
  • Less Costly – The system is not costly but simple to operate.

Disadvantages of Electoral College

For major setback of Electoral College are;

  • Poor Choice – People’s rights of choice are mostly denied, because they did not take part in the second election.
  • Wrong Candidates – The system might not produce the right candidate.
  • Bribery and Corruption – It can lead to bribery and corruption and which will influence the outcome of the election.
  • Unenviable Qualities – The legislators, forming the body called Electoral College, portrays themselves as a body possessing enviable and distinct qualities for electing candidates, whereas, they may not.

Terms Associated With Election

What is an Election?

An election is a formal group decision-making process by which a population chooses an individual or multiple individuals to hold public office. Elections have been the usual mechanism by which modern representative democracy has operated since the 17th century. (Wikipedia.org)

There are many terms associated with elections. They are;


This is an election that takes place to fill a vacant elective post as a result of this qualification, resignation or death of an individual holding the office previously. The election takes place in that constituency, where there has been a vacancy. Therefore, only the registered voters in the constituency are allowed to vote.

Run-Off Election or Second Ballot

When none of the candidates wins the election by absolute majority in the general election, another election would be conducted. In this final election, only the candidates with the highest votes are allowed to contest.

Primary Election

This involves the political parties presenting candidates for any election in a country. It is an election conducted within a political party to choose credible candidate(s) that can adequately represent the interests of the party in any election.


This is a “yes or no” vote of the people particularly on law in a given political system. Referendum ensures that laws not in conformity with the people who will are not passed. This is a useful check on the powers of the legislature.


This is also a “yes or no” vote of the people, especially on issues of National importance referred to them. it can also be on some relevant public or political question like the issues of minority in a political setup.

The Process of Recall

It means the “calling back” of elected lawmakers, executive offices or judges before the expiration of the period for which they were elected. Following immediately is the election of others to fill the places left vacant. This system is common in most American states.

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