The Electoral College — 11/22/16


In the recent presidential election, Hillary Clinton won the popular vote (62,523,126 votes to Trump’s 61,201,031 at the time of this writing), while Donald Trump won the electoral college vote (290 votes to Hillary’s 232 at the time of this writing). This electoral college “misfire” is the second to happen in the last four elections, leading many to argue that the electoral college should be abolished and replaced with a national popular vote.

Before one can make an argument for or against the electoral college, it’s important understand its history and structure. Thus, the purpose of these readings are to better understand the electoral college’s design.

Here’s the readings for 11/22/16:

(1) Introductory reading: New York Times article on the electoral college.

(2) Main reading: Congressional Research Service Report on the Electoral College. Provides a summary of the electoral college’s history and its implementation in contemporary elections.

(3) Supplemental reading: Federalist Papers, No. 68 on the “Mode of Electing the President.”