Civil War Era Studies
There is hardly anything in the Constitution harder to explain, or easier to misunderstand, than the Electoral College. And when a presidential election hands the palm to a candidate who comes in second in the popular vote but first in the Electoral College tally, something deep in our democratic viscera balks and asks why the Electoral College shouldn’t be dumped as a useless relic of 18th century white, gentry privilege. Actually, there have been only five occasions when a closely divided popular vote and the electoral vote have failed to point in the same direction. No matter. After last week’s results, we’re hearing a litany of complaints: the Electoral College is undemocratic, the Electoral College is unnecessary, the Electoral College was invented to protect slavery — and the demand to push it down the memory hole. (excerpt)
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Guelzo, Allen, and James H. Hulme. "In Defense of the Electoral College." In Picking the President: Understanding the Electoral College, edited by Eric Burin, 53-56. Grand Forks, ND: The Digital Press at the University of North Dakota, 2017.