They faced the difficult question of how to elect a president in a nation that. The evolution of the electoral college is, in one sense, only a small part of the story of the transformation of the fundamental principle of american government from liberty to democracy. The founders intended for the electoral college to be composed of knowledgeable electors, as a kind of search committee to forward a list of the top candidates for the presidency to the house, which would then choose the president except in cases where there was a consensus among electors. May 26, 2019 while the electoral college provides that u. The system was created as a middle ground in the debate over whether congress or voters would have the power to elect the president. Constitution was written, its original purpose was to preserve slavery by essentially giving the south veto power over the north which at the time was more populous than the south. The electoral colleges racist origins the atlantic. The electoral college is the system that is used in the united states in presidential.
In 1787, the delegates to the constitutional convention were extremely divided about how the president of the newly formed country should be elected, and this issue was sent to the committee of eleven on postponed matters. The electoral college is how we refer to the process by which the united states elects the president, even though that term does not appear in the u. The first purpose was to create a buffer between the population and the selection of a president. Electoral college definition and meaning collins english. To create your own forecast for the 2020 election, click on the states in the map to toggle them between democrat, republican and tossup and watch the electoral map tallies change. The structure of the electoral college can be traced to the centurial assembly system of the roman republic. This leads some to say the electoral college is not. Yes, the electoral college system can allow a presidential candidate to loose the popular, but still be elected as president of the united states. The original point of the us constitution was to separate powers between the federal government and the state governments. That suggests his best hope for reelection might be to once again assemble an electoral college majority without winning the popular vote. In the 200 presidential election, the republican candidate george w.
Why do we still let the electoral college pick our president. History of the electoral college how the electoral college. American citizens dont directly vote for president, they vote for electors, and then the electors vote for president. Each state has as many electors in the electoral college as it has representatives and senators in the united states congress, and the district of columbia has three electors.
Nov 17, 2019 in 1803, the twelfth amendment modified the electoral college to prevent another jeffersonburrtype debacle. An electoral college is a set of electors who are selected to elect a candidate to a particular office. The intent was that the senate was to represent the states, while the house of. Today there is still support for electing the president by a.
This video explains why the electoral college system was created by. Origins of the electoral college the electoral college. The electoral college undermines our belief that the electoral process is fair. The electoral college is one of the most fascinating elements in the us constitution which is stated in article ii. Why the us uses the electoral college in presidential. In order to appreciate the reasons for the electoral college, it is essential to understand its historical context and the problem that the founding fathers were trying to solve. Purchase give a gift manage subscription download ios app newsletters. In every state but maine and nebraska, electors are awarded on a winnertakeall basis. In establishing the electoral college, the committee of eleven. It consists of electors who were chosen by each state. Six decades later, the thirteenth amendment outlawed slavery, thus ridding the south. Since then, the electoral college system has cost four candidates the race after they received the popular vote most recently in 2000, when al gore lost to george w. Cali had like 50 while wyoming has 1 when you vote in an election, youre basically telling the electoral college how to. Today, in order to select our president, members of the electoral college electors are chosen based on which candidate wins the popular vote in a given state.
Their compromise is known as the electoral college. Electoral college simple english wikipedia, the free. The electors shall meet in their respective states, and vote by ballot for president and vicepresident, one of whom, at least, shall not be an inhabitant of the same state with themselves. Its the precise reason for the success of the southern strategy. The second as part of the structure of the government that gave extra power to the smaller states.
The reason that many give for keeping the system is exactly why it needs to be abolished. The word college in this case simply refers to an organized body of people. Nov 15, 2016 yes, the electoral college system can allow a presidential candidate to loose the popular, but still be elected as president of the united states. Feb 11, 2008 but that is less a product of the electoral college and more a product of the way states apportion electors. While such appeals clearly have a partisan origin, with dismayed democrats looking for any way possible to get the results changed, its worthwhile to. Why the electoral college exists and isnt going anywhere.
Instead, americans indirectly elect the president through the electoral college, a group of. The purpose of this essay is to demonstrate, to the contrary, that the. After that year, the certificates become part of the national archives collection. Five common misconceptions about the electoral college the. A body of electors chosen to elect the president and vice president of the united states. The original purpose of the electoral college was to reconcile differing state and federal interests, provide a degree of popular participation in the election, give the less populous states some. History of the electoral college how the electoral. The electoral college was created during the constitutional convention of 1787 held in philadelphia from may, 1787 through september, 1787. According to article ii, section 1, clause 2 of the. Slavery, democracy, and the racialized roots of the electoral. The electoral college was an important part of their attempt to limit the influence of democracy on american government. Electoral college fast facts us house of representatives.
The purpose of the electoral college freedom outpost. As you can imagine, the delegates debated and disagreed over many issues before reaching a consensus. Constitution, article ii, section 1 and the 12 th amendment, has numerous purposes and should be supported rather than dismissed. Defenders of the electoral college argue that it was created to combat majority tyranny and support federalism, and that it continues to serve those purposes. Its primary purpose is to maintain the principles of federalism upon which this unique nation is founded. Abstractthe electoral college is frequently critiqued as an.
A brief electoral college history the electoral college is the constitutionallyspecified process that the united states uses to elects its president and vice president. Electoral college definition is a body of electors. Critics of the electoral college system point out that the system allows the possibility of a candidate actually losing the nationwide popular vote but being elected president by the electoral vote. At the time, some politicians believed a purely popular election was too reckless and would give too much voting power to highly populated areas in which people were familiar with a presidential candidate. The electoral college was initially created by the colonies, as they wished to vest power in themselves without influence or control by a central government. Every time that a candidate wins the popular vote but fails to win the presidency which has happened three times so far in american history, it has caused the people to question whether the system is broken and the wrong person became president. The electoral college is a body of electors established by the united states constitution, which forms every four years for the sole purpose of electing the president and vice president of the united states. The electoral college was meant to stop men like trump from. The first reason that the founders created the electoral college is hard to understand today. The electoral college is a group of people that elects the president and the vice president of the united states.
Electors are chosen by individual state political parties, according to the u. A brief electoral college history electoral vote map. Constitution authorizes that the president be elected using the electoral college. Constitution was written, its original purpose was to preserve slavery by essentially giving the south veto power over the north which at. Constitution as a compromise for the presidential election process. The electoral college was created by the framers of the u. The founders created the electoral college, in other words, in part to prevent the election of someone like donald trump. Eradicating the electoral college in article 2, section 1 of the u. These elected representatives electors would then vote formally for the president and also the vice president. So why does the electoral college still exist, despite its contentious origins and. But that is less a product of the electoral college and more a product of the way states apportion electors.
This committee of elevens purpose was to resolve issues that could not be agreed upon by all the members. Electoral college definition, a body of electors chosen by the voters in each state to elect the president and vice president of the u. Critics complain that the winner of the popular vote is not guaranteed the presidency that electors are not required to vote in accord with the popular vote and that. Slavery, democracy, and the racialized roots of the. In the united states we use a voting system called first past the post fpp meaning you dont need a majority to win an election only a plurality. Oct 25, 20 american citizens dont directly vote for president, they vote for electors, and then the electors vote for president.
In this process, the states which includes the district of columbia just for this process elect the president and vice president. Nov 21, 2016 the story of the electoral college is also one of slaveryan institution central to the founding of american democracy. Supporters of the electoral college have a distorted view of this outdated procedure. Jan 17, 2020 critics of the electoral college system point out that the system allows the possibility of a candidate actually losing the nationwide popular vote but being elected president by the electoral vote. The electoral college has been divisive since day one. Electoral college definition of electoral college by the. I have seen nothing in print that better illustrates the purpose of the electoral college. What is the purpose of the electoral college in presidential. Abolishing the electoral college would be more complicated than it seems polls suggest thats what the majority of the public wants. Electoral college essay examples download free or order. When voters go to the polls on tuesday, they will be choosing which candidate receives their states electors. Ofr has no role in appointing electors and has no contact with. Nov 06, 2016 since then, the electoral college system has cost four candidates the race after they received the popular vote most recently in 2000, when al gore lost to george w. The founding fathers wanted most of our interaction with government to be at the state and local levels where we were more l.
The original idea was for the most knowledgeable and informed individuals from each state to select the president based solely on merit and without regard to state of origin or political party. The electoral college is the us system of voting the president. The story of the electoral college is also one of slaveryan institution central to the founding of american democracy. Nov 21, 2016 the founders created the electoral college, in other words, in part to prevent the election of someone like donald trump. Electoral college definition of electoral college at. The electoral college was created with the intent of giving all states, and therefore their citizens, an equal say in the nations matters, regardless of state size.
Aug 20, 2012 the system was created as a middle ground in the debate over whether congress or voters would have the power to elect the president. Six decades later, the thirteenth amendment outlawed slavery, thus ridding the. To modern american ears, it sounds insanely undemocratic for electors to. In 1803, the twelfth amendment modified the electoral college to prevent another jeffersonburrtype debacle. The electoral college was created, in part, as a compromise to give slaveholders more power. The bulk of the new nations citizenry resided in cities like. Constitution, the electoral college is the formal body which elects the president and vice president of the united states. Constitution does not support the direct election of the president by the people.623 1473 1309 1055 57 308 819 362 351 1390 350 621 172 532 1460 578 1306 100 43 16 27 1043 1211 1166 1083 1129 1151 699 1486 105 226 936 1022 1473 764 5 468 471 1212 205