Should We Bypass the Electoral College?

The prospect of abolishing the Electoral College is a long shot but could a group of states collectively override it instead?

Ever since the 2000 Presidential election there have been talks in political circles of abolishing the Electoral College and instead choosing our President based on the pure majority popular vote.

There are obviously benefits to both arguments, but the fundamental question is why did the founding fathers build the Electoral College into the Constitution?

Let’s have a friendly debate in the comments section. Should we abolish the electoral college?

5 replies »

  1. pure majority popular vote

    What do you propose to do if no candidate wins a majority vote, and the candidate with the most votes only has thirty something per cent of the popular vote. That is a plurality, not a majority.


  2. Ideally we would not abolish the Electoral College, instead we would work to abolish the 12th A and return to actually voting for electors who then are to nominate the two people, at least one from another state. It was a nominating process that was designed to help control the destructive nature of factions and reduce the ability of any faction influencing all electors. If a person nominated received 50% or more they would be president (happened twice, both times for Washington.

    If not, the House is to select from the top 5 nominees because that is the People’s House. The State’s Senate (prior to the terrible 17 A) was then to select the VP who was then to serve their main role, as President of the Senate. It was entirely possible these two people could be from opposite factional views (like Adams and Jefferson).

    The entire process was designed to stop factional influence as much as possible while ensuring the best people could be identified. Direct vote for president was not supposed to our approach as we, the people, may not know the best candidates because we were busy with daily life and likely would not know the best from across the country. Just as we were not to vote directly for senators but have our state legislatures select them so the best of the state could be identified. House selection was the only direct vote as we would more likely know the local candidate.

    At any rate, the Electoral College, as the founders originally intended, was a nominating process to be carried out by the electors the people chose. An Elector was the shortest serving elected position…meet once, write down the two names you believed were best for the people who voted for you, and you were done. To paraphrase Hamilton, it was not perfect but it was at least excellent. We’ve spent the rest of our time as a nation slowly eroding the original intent until we’ve reached a point today where the factions are convincing many who don’t know original Supreme Law that they are willing to scrap it all together, severing the last thread to converting us to a direct vote democracy that, historically, fails.


  3. The Founding Fathers had some grave misgivings about making the government a direct democracy. They recognized that unlimited rule by the majority was as likely as a powerful king or dictator to deny the rights of minorities. (Also, it tends to devolve to tyranny faster than a republic does) There are several amendments to the Constitution that should be repealed if we want to restore the republic, the first two that come to mind are the Sixteenth and Seventeenth.


  4. Not unless you want a handful of urban, mostly coastal, counties to decide everything for the whole nation, and trigger a real civil war.


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