Is the Electoral College anti-democratic?
Some would say yes. After all, the presidential candidate with the most popular votes has nevertheless lost the election at least three times, including 2016.
To some Americans, that’s a scandal. They believe the Electoral College is an intolerable flaw in the Constitution, a relic of a bygone era that ought to have been purged long ago.
But that would be a terrible mistake, warns Tara Ross in this vigorous defense of “the indispensable Electoral College.” Far from an obstacle to enlightened democracy, the Electoral College is one of the guardrails ensuring the stability of the American Republic.
In this lively and instructive primer, Tara Ross explains:
- Why the Founders established the Electoral College—and why they thought it vital to the Constitution
- Why the Electoral College was meant to be more important than the popular vote
- How the Electoral College prevents political crises after tight elections
- Why the Electoral College doesn’t favor one party over the other
- Why the states are the driving force behind presidential elections and how efforts to centralize the process have led to divisiveness and discontent
- Why the Electoral College is inappropriately labeled a “relic of slavery”
Every four years, the controversy is renewed: Should we keep the Electoral College? Tara Ross shows you why the answer should be a resounding Yes!
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About the Author
Tara Ross is a lawyer and writer who focuses on the intersection among law, public policy, and constitutional history. She often appears as a guest on a variety of talk shows nationwide to discuss these matters and regularly addresses civic, university, and legal audiences. Her work has been published in several law reviews and newspapers, including the National Law Journal, USA Today, the American Enterprise Online, National Review Online, WeeklyStandard.com, FoxNews.com, HumanEvents.com, The Washington Times, and the Texas Review of Law & Politics. She is the author of Enlightened Democracy: The Case for the Electoral College, co-author of Under God: George Washington and the Question of Church and State, and We Elect A President: The Story of our Electoral College.
Table of Contents
Part 1 The Founders' Invention 1
1 A Republic, If You Can Keep It 3
2 What Actually Happens on Election Day? 19
3 Modern Benefits of an Old Institution 31
Part 2 Presidents Who Lost The Popular Vote 51
4 Popular Vote Losers: Legitimate Winners 53
5 1824 And 1876: Much Ado About Nothing 61
6 1888, 2000, and 2016: When States Outvote Individuals 71
Part 3 Who's In Charge Here? 87
7 The States vs. The RNC, The DNC, and the Feds 89
8 Faithless Electors: A Problem or a Voice for the States? 109
9 The House Contingent Election and the Small States 133
Appendix A 155
Appendix B 159
Appendix C 173
Appendix D 175
Appendix E 181