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IWN Staff
May 30, 2023 - 3 minutes
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In 60 Seconds: The Electoral College

Activists who want to select our President the way we choose the winner of American Idol are waging an all-out assault on the U.S. electoral system.

Our Founding Fathers established the Electoral College system to help guard against factionalism and the passions of the moment. This system is enshrined in the U.S. Constitution, so eliminating the Electoral College requires a constitutional amendment.

Some Senators have introduced an amendment that would do just that. But because proposals to amend the Constitution are rarely successful, a well-financed and stealth organization is spearheading an effort to circumvent the amendment process and impose a national popular vote by legislative fiat.

Eliminating the Electoral College would damage our political system and the institution of the Presidency.

Here’s the issue of the Electoral College in 60 seconds: 

What’s at Stake:

Activists who want to select our President the way we choose the winner of American Idol are waging an all-out assault on the U.S. electoral system.

Our Founding Fathers established the Electoral College system to help guard against factionalism and the passions of the moment. This system is enshrined in the U.S. Constitution, so eliminating the Electoral College requires a constitutional amendment. Some Senators have introduced an amendment that would do just that. But because proposals to amend the Constitution are rarely successful, a well-financed and stealth organization is spearheading an effort to circumvent the amendment process and impose a national popular vote by legislative fiat.

Eliminating the Electoral College would damage our political system and the institution of the Presidency.

The Electoral College

  • Guards against the tyranny of the majority: Benjamin Franklin once described pure democracy as “two wolves and a sheep voting on what’s for lunch.” The Framers designed a government of checks and balances to protect the rights of political minorities. As with other aspects of our Constitution, our system for electing a President ensures that a majority of voters (or even a plurality) won’t run roughshod over the interests of voters in the political minority.
  • Encourages coalition-building: Because a candidate must win in various parts of the country to obtain a majority in the Electoral College, candidates have an incentive to build coalitions and appeal to a range of voters with different interests. This is critically important in a nation as large and diverse as ours.
  • Encourages finality and provides legitimacy: In the United States, the nationwide popular vote is often quite close, even when the outcome in the Electoral College is clear. A decisive Electoral College victory discourages the loser from litigating the outcome of the election and lends legitimacy to Presidents (such as Abraham Lincoln, John F. Kennedy, Richard M. Nixon, and Bill Clinton) who receive only a plurality of the nationwide vote.

Addressing Misconceptions

IWN Staff
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