The Electoral College

Members of the Constitutional Convention explored many possible methods of choosing a president. One suggestion was to have the Congress choose the president. A second suggestion was to have the State Legislatures select the president. A third suggestion was to elect the president by a direct popular vote.

The first suggestion was voted down due to suspicion of corruption, fears of irrevocably dividing the Congress and concerns of upsetting the balance of power between the executive and the legislative branches. The second idea was voted down because the Framers felt that federal authority would be compromised in exchange for votes. And the third idea was rejected out of concern that the voters would only select candidates from their state without adequate information about candidates outside of the state. The prevailing suggestion was to have a College of Electors select a president through an indirect election.

The Facts:

The Electoral College is comprised of 538 electors
Each state is allotted a certain number of elector that is equal to the number of its U.S. Representatives plus its two senators (Washington, D.C. has three electors)
The political parties of each state submit a list of individuals pledged to their candidates for president that is equal in number to the number of electoral votes for the state to the State’s chief election official
Whichever presidential candidate gets the most popular votes in a State will win all the Electors (known as “winner takes all”) for that state except for the states of Maine and Nebraska which award electoral votes proportionately
Electors are not required to vote for the candidate they pledged to vote for
Changing the system would require amending the Constitution
Your Task:

Use the information provided, in addition to your knowledge to argue for or against the Electoral college. You may not be for and against the Electoral College, you must choose a position. Be sure to give multiple reasons or examples to support your position.


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