Do We Still Need the Electoral College?

Oil on canvas portrait of Alexander Hamilton b...

This question has been posed for quite some time and roars its head during close elections and when a President loses the popular vote but still wins the Electoral College. This is an in depth discussion that could fill (and has filled) entire books. Let’s just look to see what the original intent was, why the founding father believed the Electoral College was a necessity.

In Federalist 68, Hamilton discusses this original intent. “It was desirable that the sense of the people should operate in the choice of the person to whom so important a trust was to be confided. This end will be answered by committing the right of making it, not to any preestablished body, but to men chosen by the people for the special purpose, and at the particular conjuncture. It was equally desirable, that the immediate election should be made by men most capable of analyzing the qualities adapted to the station, and acting under circumstances favorable to deliberation, and to a judicious combination of all the reasons and inducements which were proper to govern their choice. A small number of persons, selected by their fellow-citizens from the general mass, will be most likely to possess the information and discernment requisite to such complicated investigations.”

Let’s remember the time this was written. There was no radio or television. There were no phones or internet. There were no blogs. The horror! Information travelled incredibly slowly and many people were in the dark as to the candidates or what they stood for. As a result, the founding fathers decided it would be prudent to have a group of educated and informed individuals select the president. These men (they were all men back then) were grouped by state and each state received the same amount of members in the Electoral College it received in representation at the Capital.

Sure, the argument can be made that the Electoral College never worked as intended. Furthermore, if we’re going to keep the Electoral College, let’s keep the original intent. Let’s select people each November to go to each state house and argue about who would be best to lead the country and then in January, we all find out who won. Or, maybe we come to the realization that it never worked as intended and still doesn’t.

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Bryan is the founder of 2 Rights Make a Left. While obtaining his J.D., Bryan researched and wrote extensively on Capital Punishment, an issue that remains close to his heart to this day. He has spent the majority of his adult life involved in politics in some form or another. Bryan spends most of his time reading, writing and discussing all things politics. Bryan loves to travel and, if he had his way, would constantly be jetting off to another destination. The rest of his time is spent following his beloved Bears, Bulls and Cubbies.

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