This week, we will discuss the Electoral College, the Constitutional process for electing the U.S. President and Vice President. The following videos explain aspects of the process, along with some relevant history:
Many Americans who vote in a Presidential election believe they are voting directly for a candidate. In actuality, they are voting for a “slate of electors” associated with that candidate. Per the Constitution, these electors ultimately elect the President and Vice President. Among other reasons, the framers of the Constitution wanted to avoid the selection of President and Vice President by the “excitable masses”, so they created the Electoral College.
To be elected President, a candidate needs at least 270 Electoral College votes. While the popular vote in each individual state is critically important, the nationwide direct popular vote is meaningless – as we learned in 2008 and again in 2016. (Links to an external site.) Some believe it is time to change this process, and elect the President and Vice President by a direct nationwide popular vote of the people. For this week’s Discussion, please discuss one or more of the following:
1). Do you support abolishing, or revising, the Electoral College? Or, do you believe the system that our Founders created works effectively and should not be “tinkered” with or amended?
2). What are some of the advantages of the Electoral College?
3). What plausible ideas do you have for amending the process of electing the President and Vice President? Are there any specific reform proposals that you support?
4). Does the Electoral College favor or benefit one political party over another, or perhaps certain parts of the country over others?
5). Do you support the “winner-take-all” system for allocating Electoral College votes, used in 48 of the 50 states (Links to an external site.)? Or, should a proportional-based system of allocation be implemented nationally, as used in Maine and Nebraska?