US Electoral College
The United States constitution specifies the United States President and Vice President are to be selected every four year by a small group of people. These people are individually known as ‘presidential electors’ and collectively as the ‘Electoral College’.
Therefore, the Electoral College is not a place but rather a process. It was put into place by the founding fathers and the constitution specifies that every state is entitled to have one member of its U.S Representatives and U.S Senators.
Today, the total number of electoral votes is 538 and it corresponds to the 435 United States Representatives from the fifty states plus the 100 United States Senators from the 50 states plus another 3 members of the Electoral College that the District of Columbia became at liberty to under the 23rd Amendment that was ratified in 1961.
After every ten years, the 435 United States Representatives get reappointed among the state according to the latest federal census as such reapportioning membership of the Electoral College among all the states.
The US Electoral College was based on several anticipations and assumptions of the constitution Framers. Some of these include the following:
- Candidates wouldn’t pair together on a similar ticket with assumed placements towards each office of the Vice President and the president
- Every state would choose a district system of choosing the electors
- Each presidential elector would employ or exercise their own judgment independently when voting
- The system as it was designed would rarely produce any clear winner as such, election would be sent to Congress.
Based on the facts stated above, some scholars argue that the Electoral College is intended to nominate candidates and from there, Congress is mandated with the task of choosing the president and vice president. Each state government also is free to have its own strategy or plan for selecting its electors.
The theory behind the constitutional indirect election of the President and Vice President of the US is that while Congress is generally elected by the people, the President and Vice President are elected as executives of a federation of states that are independent. James Madison in Federalist No.10 argued the constitution was designed to serve as a mixture of population and state based government.
The Congress therefore would have two houses which include the Population based and State Bases Senate House of Representatives. At the same time, the President would be elected based on the mixture of two modes.
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