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Some Thoughts on the Electoral College: Past, Present, and Future

By Akhil Reed Amar


Even now, six years after the very odd presidential election of 2000, it is hard to look back without fixating on Florida and the courts. But these absorbing soap operas should not obscure the other historic headline of that election: The national popular vote loser nonetheless won the electoral college vote. Is this a flaw in our Constitution? Should we scrap the electoral college in favor of direct popular vote? Practically speaking, can we do so? My analysis proceeds in three parts. First, I shall critique standard historical accounts of, and justifications for, the electoral college. Next, I shall consider, and try to counter, prominent contemporary apologies for the current system. Finally, I shall show how Americans in the near future could, without amending the Constitution, implement a system of national popular election

Publisher: Yale Law School Legal Scholarship Repository
Year: 2007
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