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Electoral College

Rational Alchemy
Political Alchemy: Electoral College
Discussion on the antiquated "Electoral College". Is it time to once again update the EC for more modern times. When the EC was introduced, America was 13 states of approx. the same size, with a total population of 4 million. And this would not be the first, second or even third time it was modified.

Host - Nigel Aves

Guest speakers - Jonathan Singer, Jason Sherry, Duane Leise and  Lynette McClain

The history of the Electoral College dates back to the founding of the United States and is an integral part of the country's electoral system. Here is a brief overview of its development:

  1. Constitutional Convention (1787): During the Constitutional Convention held in Philadelphia, the Founding Fathers grappled with the question of how to elect the President of the United States. They considered various methods, including direct popular vote, election by Congress, and election by state legislatures.
  2. The Great Compromise: To address the concerns of both small and large states, the delegates reached a compromise known as the "Great Compromise" or the "Connecticut Compromise." This established a bicameral legislature with a Senate, where each state would have an equal number of representatives, and a House of Representatives, where representation would be based on the state's population.
  3. The Electoral College: As part of the Great Compromise, the concept of the Electoral College emerged. The Electoral College is a group of electors who are chosen to cast votes on behalf of the citizens to elect the President and Vice President of the United States. Each state would be allocated a certain number of electors based on its combined representation in the Senate and the House of Representatives.
  4. Ratification of the Constitution: The United States Constitution was drafted in 1787 and sent to the states for ratification. The method of electing the President through the Electoral College was a critical factor in securing the support of the smaller states for the new Constitution.
  5. Twelfth Amendment (1804): The original system for electing the President and Vice President had some flaws that became apparent in the election of 1800. This led to the passage of the Twelfth Amendment, which clarified the procedures for voting by the Electoral College, separating the vote for President and Vice President.
  6. Evolution of Elector Selection: Over time, the process of selecting electors evolved. Initially, most state legislatures chose electors, but by the early 19th century, states began adopting a popular vote system. Today, in all states, except for Maine and Nebraska, the winner of the popular vote in each state receives all of that state's electoral votes.
  7. Criticisms and Debates: Throughout American history, the Electoral College has been a subject of criticism and debate. Some argue that it does not accurately reflect the popular will and can lead to the election of a President who did not win the national popular vote. This discrepancy has occurred five times in U.S. history, most recently in the 2016 election.

Despite the ongoing debates, changing the Electoral College would require a constitutional amendment, which is a complex and challenging process. As a result, the Electoral College remains a central component of the U.S. presidential election process.
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