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The Electoral College

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Bevin Schmer

on 5 November 2012

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Transcript of The Electoral College

The Electoral College The Electoral College in the Constitution Electoral College Controversies: 1800 Electoral College Controversies: 1876 Current Electoral Map
(as of November 5th, 2012) Original:
"Each State shall appoint, in such Manner as the Legislature thereof may direct, a Number of Electors, equal to the whole Number of Senators and Representatives to which the State may be entitled in the Congress: but no Senator or Representative, or Person holding an Office of Trust or Profit under the United States, shall be appointed an Elector...[Changed by 12th Amendment]...The Congress may determine the Time of chusing the Electors, and the Day on which they shall give their Votes; which Day shall be the same throughout the United States." Thomas Jefferson vs. John Adams
Led to 12th Amendment
Members of the Electoral College could only vote for president; each elector could vote for two candidates, and the person who received the second largest number of votes during the balloting became vice-president.
Each elector who voted for Jefferson also voting for Burr, resulting in a tied electoral vote.
The election was then put into the hands of the outgoing House of Representatives, which elected Jefferson. Samuel Tilden vs. Rutherford B. Hayes
Samuel J. Tilden of New York outpolled Ohio's Rutherford B. Hayes in the popular vote
Tilden: 184 electoral votes, Hayes: 165
20 votes uncounted.
Three states in dispute: Florida, Louisiana, and South Carolina
Both parties reported its candidate had won the state
Resolved by House of Representatives after a loooooong battle. Ultimately House created the Compromise of 1876: Hayes would get elected if he promised to end Reconstruction

ONLY election in the history of the United States in which a candidate received an absolute majority of the popular vote (more than 50 percent) and was not elected President by the Electoral College How We Elect Our President 12th:
The Electors shall meet in their respective states, and vote by ballot for President and Vice-President, one of whom, at least, shall not be an inhabitant of the same state with themselves; they shall name in their ballots the person voted for as President, and in distinct ballots the person voted for as Vice-President, and they shall make distinct lists of all persons voted for as President, and of all persons voted for as Vice-President and of the number of votes for each, which lists they shall sign and certify, and transmit sealed to the seat of the government of the United States, directed to the President of the Senate;

The President of the Senate shall, in the presence of the Senate and House of Representatives, open all the certificates and the votes shall then be counted;

The person having the greatest Number of votes for President, shall be the President, if such number be a majority of the whole number of Electors appointed; and if no person have such majority, then from the persons having the highest numbers not exceeding three on the list of those voted for as President, the House of Representatives shall choose immediately, by ballot, the President. But in choosing the President, the votes shall be taken by states, the representation from each state having one vote; a quorum for this purpose shall consist of a member or members from two-thirds of the states, and a majority of all the states shall be necessary to a choice. And if the House of Representatives shall not choose a President whenever the right of choice shall devolve upon them, before the fourth day of March next following, then the Vice-President shall act as President, as in the case of the death or other constitutional disability of the President.

The person having the greatest number of votes as Vice-President, shall be the Vice-President, if such number be a majority of the whole number of Electors appointed, and if no person have a majority, then from the two highest numbers on the list, the Senate shall choose the Vice-President; a quorum for the purpose shall consist of two-thirds of the whole number of Senators, and a majority of the whole number shall be necessary to a choice. But no person constitutionally ineligible to the office of President shall be eligible to that of Vice-President of the United States. Electoral College Controversies: 2000 George W. Bush v. Al Gore
Popular vote: Bush 50,456,002 ; Gore 50,999,897
Electoral Vote: Bush 271 ; Gore 266
Florida was still undecided by the end of election day.
The final result in Florida was slim enough to require a mandatory recount (by machine) under state law
Gore sues for a hand recount
Florida Sec. of State (appointed by Bush's brother Jeb Bush) required the hand count to be done by November 14th, four swing counties in question could not meet it...mostly because of inconclusive ballots that could not be counted by the machines
Florida State Supreme Court extended the deadline, Bush sued to overturn that decision and the Supreme Court overturned the Florida Courts decision.
Counties turned in their original counts and Bush won. Real Clear Politics
http://www.realclearpolitics.com/epolls/2012/president/2012_elections_electoral_college_map.html Electoral College Quiz!
http://www.270towin.com/quiz.php CNN
http://www.cnn.com/ELECTION/2012/ecalculator#?battleground Summary:
Vote for President & Vice President SEPARATELY Summary:
President of Senate counts votes in front of Congress Summary:
Most votes=Win!
MUST have a MAJORITY
No majority = House of Representatives for a tie-breaker! Why Have An Electoral College? Compromise between election of the President by a vote in Congress and election of the President by a popular vote of qualified citizens
Framers did not trust majority rule, Madison worried about 'factions'
The point of the Electoral College is to preserve "the sense of the people," while at the same time ensuring that a president is chosen "by men most capable of analyzing the qualities adapted to the station, and acting under circumstances favorable to deliberation, and to a judicious combination of all the reasons and inducements which were proper to govern their choice." (Federalist #68)
Framers were worried if majority rule were allowed, smaller states/regions would not be properly represented (coughthesouthcough)
REASONS AGAINST? Electoral College Fun facts! The Electoral College consists of 538 electors. A majority of 270 electoral votes is required to elect the President. Your state’s entitled allotment of electors equals the number of members in its Congressional delegation: one for each member in the House of Representatives plus two for your Senators.
Who can be an elector?
No Senator or Representative, or Person holding an Office of Trust or Profit under the United States, shall be appointed an Elector.
Who Chooses the Electors?
Generally, the political parties nominate Electors at their State party conventions or by a vote of the party’s central committee in each State.
Faithless Electors?
There is no Constitutional provision or Federal law that requires Electors to vote according to the results of the popular vote in their States. Some States, however, require Electors to cast their votes according to the popular vote. These pledges fall into two categories—Electors bound by State law and those bound by pledges to political parties.
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