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Hvorfor oprettede stifterne valgkollegiet? [duplikere]

Hvorfor oprettede stifterne valgkollegiet? [duplikere]


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Jeg kender problemerne med valgkollegiet i Amerika (jeg skrev et seks siders formelt akademisk essay om det), men jeg er stadig forvirret over, hvorfor grundlæggerne oprettede og implementerede det i stedet for en national folkeafstemning. Nogle kilder siger, at det var et kompromis mellem store og små stater. Andre siger, at stifterne ikke troede, at den gennemsnitlige borger var kvalificeret til at stemme.


Et af de første forslag til valg af præsident var en direkte afstemning. Det blev dog hurtigt og rungende afvist.

Det grundlæggende problem med at have en folkeafstemning var, at det ikke tog hensyn til forskellene i hvordan hvordan det sydlige samfund var organiseret i forhold til resten af ​​landet. Især slaveri. I de fleste stater var de eneste mennesker, der fik lov til at stemme, gratis mandlige ejendomsejere. Problemet der er, at samfundet i de sydlige stater (Virginia og dele syd) blev oprettet med en meget lille aristokratisk jordbesiddende elite, og næsten alle andre var slave eller arbejdede for en plantageejer. Nordstaterne havde mange flere små familiegårde og virksomheder og dermed langt flere valgbare.

Så i en flad folkeafstemning ville disse sydstater blive tvunget til et umuligt valg om enten næsten ikke at sige noget om, hvem der vælges til præsident, eller at give stemmerne til deres slaver og lejere.

Så en eller anden form for system skulle bruges. Da der allerede var nået et repræsentationskompromis om kongressens sammensætning, var det letteste træk at give hver stat én stemme til hver kongresmedlem (repræsentant og senator). Forfatningskongressens delegerede vidste, at de kunne afgive en afstemning om det, fordi de lige havde gjort det et par dage før, da de besluttede at sammensætte kongressen.

Denne tidligere aftale omfattede naturligvis det berygtede 3/5 -kompromis, hvor slave -stater fik tilladelse til at øge størrelsen af ​​deres delegation til Repræsentanternes Hus til at tælle 3/5 af deres slaver, som de ikke havde til hensigt at nogensinde tillader at stemme.

Kort svar: fordi slaveri.


Hvorfor valgte stifterne valgkollegiet til valg af præsidenter?

Hvad er valgkollegiet - og hvorfor omfavnede grundlæggerne det i stedet for at oprette en direkte præsidentstemme?

Det er blot to spørgsmål, som advokat og forfatter Tara Ross - en ihærdig forsvarer af valgkollegiesystemet - lidenskabeligt besvarede i en nylig optræden på "The Church Boys" podcast.

Ross udgav for nylig en børnebog med titlen "We Elect a President: The Story of Our Electoral College"-en opfølgning på hendes faglitterære bog for voksne med titlen "Enlightened Democracy: The Case for the Electoral College".

Hun argumenterer i sine skrifter og offentlige adresser for, at grundlæggerne var ganske bevidste i at afvise en direkte valgproces.

"Det vigtigste at vide om (grundlæggernes) tankegang, da de lavede hele vores forfatning. De forsøgte ikke at skabe et rent demokrati," sagde Ross til "The Church Boys". "Vi lever i et land, der har demokratiske principper, men også republikanske principper (som overvejelser og kompromiser)."

Lyt til Ross diskutere disse spørgsmål på podcasten "The Church Boys" ved 3-minutters mærket her.

Nogle vil helt sikkert undre sig over, hvorfor der simpelthen ikke blev etableret et demokratisk system, idet Ross efter hendes opfattelse forklarede, hvorfor grundlæggerne afviste et sådant perspektiv.

"De vidste, at i et rent demokrati kan 51 procent af befolkningen herske over 49 procent hele tiden uden spørgsmål, uanset hvor latterlige deres krav er," forklarede hun.

Ross sagde, at grundlæggerne studerede historie og vidste, at demokratier kunne have faldgruber, så hun sagde, "de ville gøre noget bedre."

FactCheck.org er også enig i denne vurdering.

"De løste deres problem ved at oprette en forfatning med masser af kontroller og balancer," sagde hun. "Valgkollegiet er blot en af ​​garantierne. Det fungerer som en blanding af demokrati og federalisme."

I stedet for at se valgkollegiet som gammelt, forældet eller ineffektivt, sagde Ross, at processen fortsat beskytter amerikanernes friheder. Forfatteren mener også, at folk har en tendens til at værdsætte processen mere, når de lærer, hvordan det hele fungerer.

Så lad os kort forklare: Ifølge den amerikanske regering fungerer valgkollegiet som et "kompromis mellem valg af præsident ved en afstemning i kongressen og valg af præsident ved en populær afstemning af kvalificerede borgere."

Valgkollegiet består af 538 vælgere, hvor en præsidentkandidat skal samle 270 valgstemmer for at vinde et valg. Bestemmelsen af ​​vælgere for hver stat er baseret på, hvor mange medlemmer af kongressen repræsenterer staten - en kombination af i alt husets medlemmer plus to senatorer for hver.

Vælgerne vælges for det meste af politiske partier i hver stat, selvom de gældende love er forskellige, når det kommer til valg. De fleste stater kører på en "vinder-tager-alt" -mentalitet.

Nogle, der er imod valgkollegiesystemet, hævder, at det giver små stater for meget magt, da de mindre stater kan ende med tre valgkollegiestemmer, selvom de kun har en repræsentant i huset, rapporterede The Atlantic.

Overvej f.eks. Montana. Mens staten kun har en repræsentant, går den stadig væk med de tre valgkollegiestemmer. Der er også spørgsmålet om en kandidat, der kun får 51 procent af de populære stemmer, men alligevel tager alle valgkollegiets stemmer, som The Atlantic bemærkede.

Lad os ikke glemme 2000, da Al Gore vandt den populære afstemning, men alligevel sikrede George W. Bush sig en valgkollegesejr i en snæver 271-266-sejr.

Men på trods af disse bekymringer ser Ross mange fordele ved valgskolesystemet og siger, at det tvinger kandidater til at "bygge nationale koalitioner" på tværs af statsgrænser, og at det gør det vanskeligere at stjæle valg.

"Grunden til, at stifterne skabte valgkollegiet. De vidste, at mennesker er ufuldkomne," sagde hun. "Vi er syndige. De vidste, at magt korrumperer."

Ross konkluderede, at valgkollegiet blev oprettet som en beskyttelse "mod ufuldkommen menneskelig natur."


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Hvorfor valgte stifterne valgkollegiet til valg af præsidenter?

Hvad er valgkollegiet - og hvorfor omfavnede grundlæggerne det i stedet for at oprette en direkte præsidentstemme?

Det er kun to spørgsmål, som advokat og forfatter Tara Ross - en ihærdig forsvarer af Electoral College -systemet - besvarede lidenskabeligt i en nylig optræden på podcasten "The Church Boys".

Ross udgav for nylig en børnebog med titlen "We Elect a President: The Story of Our Electoral College"-en opfølgning på hendes faglitterære bog for voksne med titlen "Enlightened Democracy: The Case for the Electoral College".

Hun argumenterer i sine skrifter og offentlige adresser for, at grundlæggerne var ganske bevidste i at afvise en direkte valgproces.

"Det vigtigste at vide om (grundlæggernes) tankegang, da de lavede hele vores forfatning. De forsøgte ikke at skabe et rent demokrati," sagde Ross til "The Church Boys". "Vi bor i et land, der har demokratiske principper, men også republikanske principper (som overvejelser og kompromiser)."

Lyt til Ross diskutere disse spørgsmål i podcasten "The Church Boys" ved 3:00 -mærket:

Nogle vil helt sikkert undre sig over, hvorfor der simpelthen ikke blev etableret et demokratisk system, idet Ross efter hendes opfattelse forklarede, hvorfor grundlæggerne afviste et sådant perspektiv.

"De vidste, at i et rent demokrati kan 51 procent af befolkningen herske over 49 procent hele tiden uden spørgsmål, uanset hvor latterlige deres krav er," forklarede hun.

Ross sagde, at grundlæggerne studerede historie og vidste, at demokratier kunne have faldgruber, så hun sagde, "de ville gøre noget bedre."

FactCheck.org er også enig i denne vurdering.

"De løste deres problem ved at oprette en forfatning med masser af tjek og balancer," sagde hun. "Valgkollegiet er blot en af ​​garantierne. Det fungerer som en blanding af demokrati og federalisme."

I stedet for at se valgkollegiet som gammelt, forældet eller ineffektivt, sagde Ross, at processen fortsat beskytter amerikanernes friheder. Forfatteren mener også, at folk har en tendens til at værdsætte processen mere, når de lærer, hvordan det hele fungerer.

Så lad os kort forklare: Ifølge den amerikanske regering fungerer Electoral College som et "kompromis mellem valg af præsident ved en afstemning i kongressen og valg af præsident ved en populær afstemning af kvalificerede borgere."

Valgkollegiet består af 538 vælgere, hvor en præsidentkandidat skal samle 270 valgstemmer for at vinde et valg. Bestemmelsen af ​​vælgere for hver stat er baseret på, hvor mange medlemmer af kongressen repræsenterer staten - en kombination af i alt husets medlemmer plus to senatorer for hver.

Vælgerne vælges for det meste af politiske partier i hver stat, selvom de gældende love er forskellige, når det kommer til valg. De fleste stater kører på en "vinder-tager-alt" -mentalitet.

Nogle, der er imod valgkollegiesystemet, hævder, at det giver små stater for meget magt, da de mindre stater kan ende med tre valgkollegiestemmer på trods af, at de kun har en repræsentant i huset, rapporterede The Atlantic.

Overvej f.eks. Montana. Mens staten kun har en repræsentant, går den stadig væk med de tre valgkollegiestemmer. Der er også spørgsmålet om en kandidat, der kun får 51 procent af de populære stemmer, men alligevel tager alle valgkollegiets stemmer, som The Atlantic bemærkede.

Lad os ikke glemme 2000, da Al Gore vandt den populære afstemning, men alligevel sikrede George W. Bush sig en valgsejr i en smal sejr på 271-266.

Men på trods af disse bekymringer ser Ross mange fordele ved Electoral College -systemet og siger, at det tvinger kandidater til at "bygge nationale koalitioner" på tværs af statsgrænser, og at det gør det vanskeligere at stjæle valg.

"Grunden til, at stifterne skabte valgkollegiet. De vidste, at mennesker er ufuldkomne," sagde hun. "Vi er syndige. De vidste, at magt korrumperer."

Ross konkluderede, at valgkollegiet blev oprettet som en beskyttelse "mod ufuldkommen menneskelig natur."


Hvorfor Hamilton oprettede valgkollegiet

Denne mangel på tillid til folket var Hamiltons primære motivation bag hans forslag til valgkollegium - en plan, han kaldte "ikke perfekt, (men) i hvert fald fremragende."

I den 68. artikel i Federalistiske papirer - en samling essays, der fremmer ratificering af forfatningen - Hamilton i 1788 syntes næsten at forudsige Donald Trumps stigning 228 år senere. Bortset fra at i Hamiltons opfattelse ville valgkollegiet stoppe sådanne kandidater fra at nå formandskabet.

"Valgprocessen giver en moralsk vished om, at præsidentembedet aldrig vil falde til nogen mand, der ikke i en fremtrædende grad er udstyret med de nødvendige kvalifikationer," skrev Hamilton i Federalistiske papirer, udgivet under pseudonymet Publius.

Hamilton fortsatte med at bekymre sig om, at mænd (og på Hamiltons tid, ville det kun være mænd), der havde "talenter til lave intriger og de små popularitetskunster", kunne vælges af folket. Men med beskyttelsen af ​​"et mellemliggende vælgerkorps" bestående af "mænd, der er bedst i stand til at analysere de kvaliteter", der ville gøre en kvalificeret præsident, ville kandidater til "lav intriger" blive forhindret i at indtage landets højeste embede.

TIDLIGERE ELECTORAL COLLEGE -DÆKNING FRA INQUISITREN:

For en yderligere forklaring på, hvordan og hvorfor Hamilton oprettede valgkollegiet, samt forklaringer på nogle af de konkurrerende planer om at vælge den amerikanske præsident, kan du se videoen nedenfor af historiker og lærer Keith Hughes fra hans HipHughes historie YouTube -serier.

For at læse hele Federalistiske papirer, et af de vigtigste dokumenter i amerikansk historie, forfattet af Hamilton, John Jay og James Madison, får adgang til hele teksten, herunder artikel 68, ved at klikke på dette link. De tre mænd var blandt de vigtigste af grundlæggerne. Jay fungerede også som den første øverste dommer i Højesteret, mens Madison, der undertiden beskrives som "Grundlovens far" var USA's fjerde præsident, der tjente fra 1809 til 1817.


Der er blevet tilbudt flere forfatningsændringer for at reformere vores procedure for valg af præsidenter end til noget andet formål.

Så det er sket igen. Et tæt præsidentvalg har ført til genkendelser, bedrageri og snak om beskidte mandater. Lige så forudsigeligt har valget i 2000 inspireret til opfordringer til at reformere valgkollegiet - forudsigeligt altså, fordi sådanne forslag har fulgt enhver tæt præsidentkonkurrence siden republikkens begyndelse. Den eneste forskel er, at ingen denne gang spurgte, hvorfor der er så lang forsinkelse mellem valg og indvielse.

Kontroversen går tilbage til Amerikas første omstridte præsidentvalg i 1796, da John Adams kantede Thomas Jefferson med tre valgstemmer. Den 6. januar 1797 - en måned før stemmerne officielt skulle tælles, selvom resultaterne allerede var lækket - Rep. William L. Smith fra South Carolina indførte den første forfatningsændring til reform af Electoral College. Mellem Smiths første sally og 1889, hundredeårsdagen for forfatningens vedtagelse, blev mere end 160 sådanne ændringer indført i kongressen. Fra 1889 til 1946 var der 109 foreslåede ændringer, fra 1947 til 1968 var der 265, og siden da har stort set hver session i Kongressen set sit eget parti forslag. Alligevel nægter valgkollegiet simpelthen at dø.

Der er blevet tilbudt flere forfatningsændringer for at reformere vores procedure for valg af præsidenter end til noget andet formål. Statsmænd fra James Madison, Martin Van Buren og Andrew Jackson til Lyndon Johnson, Richard Nixon, Gerald Ford og Hillary Clinton har godkendt en revision af processen. Meningsmålinger viser konsekvent en stor, til tider overvældende margin til fordel for reformer. Ikke desto mindre fungerer valgkollegiet med undtagelse af en lille proceduremæssig ændring i 1804 under de samme regler i dag, som det gjorde i hestevognen i 1789, da det blev vedtaget. Hvad er årsagen til den bemærkelsesværdige modstandsdygtighed ved sådan en uelsket skabelse? Og hvorfor kan vi ikke slippe af med det?

Kort fortalt fungerer valgkollegiet som følger: På valgdagen går borgere i de 50 stater og District of Columbia til valgurnerne og stemmer på en præsident-/vicepræsidentbillet. Inden for hver stat får den kandidat, der vinder flest stemmer, et bestemt antal præsidentvalgte, idet antallet er lig med statens samlede pladser i Senatet og Repræsentanternes Hus (District of Columbia får tre). Denne vinder-tag-alle-funktion, som har forårsaget de fleste problemer gennem årene, er ikke pålagt af forfatningen, men det er praktisk talt universelt, kun Maine og Nebraska har love, der gør det muligt at dele deres valgstemmer. Faktisk tillader forfatningen stater at vælge deres vælgere på enhver måde, de ønsker, og i de tidlige dage overlod mange af dem valget til deres lovgivere. Siden 1830'erne har vinder-tag-alle populære valg imidlertid været alt andet end obligatorisk.

På en bestemt dato i december samles vælgerne i deres stater og gennemgår formaliteten med at afgive deres stemmer til kandidaterne fra det parti, der udnævnte dem. Hver stat rapporterer sine totaler til kongressen, og i begyndelsen af ​​januar åbner vicepræsidenten og tæller stemmerne i nærværelse af begge huse. Uanset hvilken kandidat, der får et flertal af valgstemmerne, erklæres de valgt som præsident og næstformand.

Hvis ingen kandidat til præsidenten har flertal (dette kan ske, hvis der er et nøjagtigt stemmelighed, eller hvis mere end to kandidater modtager stemmer), vælger Repræsentanternes Hus en præsident blandt de tre bedste valgstemmer. I denne proces kombinerer hver stats kongresmedlemmer én stemme, uanset statens størrelse, og huset bliver ved med at stemme, indtil nogen modtager flertal. I mellemtiden, hvis ingen kandidat til vicepræsident har et flertal af valgstemmerne, vælger senatet mellem de to øverste valgstemmer. Det er vigtigere end det lyder, for hvis Parlamentet fortsat ikke er i stand til at træffe et valg blandt sine tre kandidater, fungerer næstformanden som præsident.

Det første spørgsmål, der naturligt opstår, når man konfronteres med et så indviklet system er: Hvor kom det fra? De fleste af os ved, at valgkollegiet blev vedtaget af forfatningskonventionen i 1787 som et kompromis mellem store og små stater. De store stater ønskede, at præsidentstemmerne skulle baseres på befolkning, som i Repræsentanternes Hus, mens de små stater ønskede, at hver stat skulle have samme antal stemmer, som i senatet (og forfatningskonventionen selv for den sags skyld). Så de opdelte forskellen ved at give hver stat et antal vælgere, der svarer til det samlede antal pladser i begge kongreshuse.

Det var en grund til valgkollegiet, men langt fra den eneste. Fra starten gik næsten alle ind for en slags indirekte proces til valg af præsident. Selvom nogle få delegerede foreslog et direkte folkevalg, havde staterne forskellige kvalifikationer til at stemme, og dem med stramme krav - f.eks. Ejerskab af en vis mængde ejendom - bekymrede sig over, at de ville afkorte sig selv i en landsdækkende meningsmåling. Især havde de sydlige stater en stor gruppe indbyggere, der automatisk blev diskvalificeret fra at stemme: slaver. (Noget lignende kan naturligvis siges om kvinder, men de var ikke koncentreret i et enkelt afsnit.)

Med henblik på at tildele pladser i Repræsentanternes hus finesser rammeholderne dette problem ved at tælle hver slave som tre femtedele af en person. For at bevare den samme indflydelse ved et landsdækkende folkevalg, skulle syden dog have ladet sine slaver stemme. Det var naturligvis udelukket. Men da valgkollegiet fungerede som mellemmand, beholdt sydstaterne disse "ekstra" stemmer baseret på deres slavebefolkning. Hvis ikke reglen om tre femtedele var, ville Adams have besejret Jefferson i deres valgkammer i 1800.

Slaveri til side, der var andre grunde til, at rammerne besluttede sig for en indirekte ordning for at vælge en præsident. Få af dem troede, at offentligheden ville være kompetent til at træffe et sådant valg. George Mason fra Virginia var særlig skarp i sin fordømmelse af folkevalg. Som opsummeret i Madisons noter, "Han tænkte, at det ville være lige så unaturligt at henvise valget af en passende karakter for overdommeren til folket, som det ville, at henvise en farveprøve til en blind mand." Denne bemærkning lyder overdådig, indtil du læser den næste sætning: "Landets omfang gør det umuligt, at folket kan have den nødvendige kapacitet til at bedømme kandidaternes respektive prætentioner."

I et land uden landsdækkende medier, hvor det var en vanskelig opgave at rejse 20 miles, gav denne bekymring rigelig mening. Selv i dag, hvor mange amerikanere kan navngive guvernørerne i mere end to eller tre stater ud over deres egne? Eller overvej det seneste valg. Uden fjernsyn, ville du have vidst mere om vicepræsidenten, end du ved om handelsministeren? Verden for den gennemsnitlige amerikaner fra det attende århundrede var parochial i et omfang, der er ufatteligt i informationsalderen. For de fleste indrammere ville en populær afstemning om præsident have været omtrent lige så nyttig som at tegne navne fra en hat.

Med dette i tankerne tænkte rammerne på valgkollegiet ikke som en formalitet for at ratificere den folkelige vilje, som den er nu, men som en samling af respekterede skikkelser (ikke ulig dem selv), der ville udøve deres dømmekraft for at frembringe fortjente kandidater til landets højeste embede. På et tidspunkt betragtede forfatningskonventionen faktisk en plan om at få vælgere fra hele landet til at mødes et enkelt sted og hash ting ud som et organ.

Det er også bemærkelsesværdigt, at vælgerne i den originale version af Electoral College ikke specificerede en kandidat til præsident og en til næstformand, som de gør i dag. I stedet satte de deres stemmesedler på to navne til præsidenten, hvoraf mindst et skulle være uden for deres stat. På denne måde, tænkte indrammerne, kunne vælgerne tilfredsstille deres lokale loyaliteter med den ene stemme og bruge den anden til at genkende en mand med national fremtrædelse. I henhold til dette system, hvis førstepladsen blev navngivet på et flertal af stemmesedlerne, ville han blive præsident, og andenpladsen-uanset om han blev navngivet på et flertal af stemmesedlerne-ville blive næstformand.

Men det skulle ikke ske ret tit. Det vigtigste punkt at forstå om valgkollegiet er dette: Grundlovens rammer har faktisk aldrig forventet, at det skulle vælge præsidenten. George Mason fra Virginia troede, at vælgerne ville give et flertal til en enkelt kandidat kun en gang i 20 gange senere ændrede han dette tal til 1 ud af 50. Sådan sjældent troede de fleste indrammere, at nogen ville være velkendt og respekteret nok i hele landet .

Næsten altid, forventede de, at valgkollegiet ville fungere som et nomineringsudvalg, hvorved et stort antal kandidater blev nedbragt til de fem bedste stemmeafgivere (reduceret til tre i 1804), fra hvem Repræsentanternes Hus ville træffe det endelige valg. Rammerne så derefter valgkollegiet hovedsageligt som en mekanisme til at bringe kandidater til landsdækkende fremtrædelse. Det lyder meget besværligt og ineffektivt, indtil du ser på, hvordan vi gør det samme i dag.

Dette forklarer, hvorfor forfatningskonventionen brugte så meget tid på at diskutere, hvilket kongreshus der ville vælge præsidenten, hvis ingen havde et flertal i valgkollegiet. I dag er det en eftertanke, noget der ikke er sket siden 1824, men rammerne forventede at det ville være det normale hændelsesforløb. Efter betydelig diskussion blev det endelige valg givet til huset i stedet for det formodentlig aristokratiske senat. For at berolige de små stater fik hver stat dog en enkelt stemme uden hensyn til dens størrelse.

Under ratifikationsdebatten inspirerede valgkollegiet bemærkelsesværdigt lidt kontroverser. Som Alexander Hamilton skrev i The Federalist nr. 68, ”Udnævnelsesmåden for chefmagistraten i USA er næsten den eneste del af systemet [dvs. i hele den foreslåede forfatning], af enhver konsekvens, der er sluppet uden alvorlig mistillid, eller som har modtaget det mindste tegn på godkendelse fra sine modstandere. ” Nok gik de to første præsidentvalg mere eller mindre som forventet. Hver vælger brugte en af ​​sine stemmer til et nationalt fremtrædende tal (i dette tilfælde George Washington, selvom det ikke var forventet, at der altid ville være et så overvældende indlysende valg), og de anden stemmer blev spredt blandt en lang række lokale og nationale tal. Ved begge valg vandt John Adams det næsthøjeste antal stemmer og dermed næstformandskabets tvivlsomme ære.

Selv mens Washington var i embedet, skete der imidlertid en ændring, der gjorde en latterliggørelse af fremstillernes vision om uinteresserede vise mænd, der omhyggeligt afvejede de nomineredes fordele. Dette var udviklingen af ​​politiske partier. Madison havde i sin klassiske federalist nr. 10 rost forfatningens "tendens til at bryde og kontrollere fraktionens vold" og forudsagde, at der i et land så stort og mangfoldigt som USA sandsynligvis ikke ville danne landsdækkende fraktioner eller partier . Alligevel gik al teori ud af vinduet næsten lige så snart den første kongres samledes. Hvad Madison og hans medrammere ikke indså var, at selve eksistensen af ​​en regering får folk til at indrette sig på en eller anden måde, pro eller con, som jernfilter under påvirkning af en magnet. Hver gang du har ins, vil du også have outs, og fester dannes spontant omkring disse to poler.

I erkendelse af denne virkelighed indførte den tolvte ændring, ratificeret i 1804, den eneste store ændring, som valgkollegiet nogensinde har set. På det tidspunkt var fiaskoen i grundlæggernes vision klar i 1796, og 1800 vælgere havde kørt som Adams -mænd eller Jefferson -mænd, i stedet for at stå på deres egne meritter, som det var forventet. Selvom forestillingen om en præsident-/vicepræsidentbillet havde udviklet sig, skulle vælgerne stadig sætte to navne på deres stemmesedler, begge officielt kandidater til præsident.

I 1800 vandt duoen Jefferson og Aaron Burr valget med 73 valgstemmer mod 65 for Adams -billetten. Problemet var, at Jefferson og Burr hver fik præcist 73 stemmer, fordi hver Jefferson -vælger havde navngivet begge mænd på sin stemmeseddel. Valget gik til Repræsentanternes Hus, hvor Jeffersons modstandere formåede at forhindre et flertal, indtil de endelig gav efter på den seksogtredive afstemning. (I dette tilfælde var huset begrænset til at bryde slipset mellem Jefferson og Burr frem for at vælge blandt de fem bedste stemmeafgivere, som det ville have gjort, hvis ingen havde fået flertal.)

For at undgå en gentagelse af en sådan fiasko krævede det tolvte ændringsforslag, at vælgerne specificerede separate kandidater til præsident og næstformand. (En lignende plan havde været genstand for repræsentant Smiths forslag fra 1797.) Uden for denne ændring blev resten af ​​valgkollegiet imidlertid efterladt. De fleste amerikanere så ingen grund til at åbne en dåse orme ved at designe en ny procedure fra bunden.

Efter spændingen i 1800 oplevede de næste fem valg lidt kontroverser, med 1812 den eneste, der overhovedet var tæt på. Alligevel var valgkollegiets utilstrækkeligheder - selv i sin nye, forbedrede form - tydelige. Da Adams gamle føderalistiske parti opløste, og nye fraktioner begyndte at krystallisere, lovede valget i 1824 at blive splintret, og nogle observatører spekulerede på, om forfatningens skørne gamle maskiner ville klare opgaven. I 1823 skrev senator Thomas Hart Benton fra Missouri: “Enhver grund, der fik konventionen til at indføre vælgere, har mislykkedes. De er ikke længere til nogen nytte og kan være farlige for folks friheder. ” Samme år indrømmede James Madison, forfatningens far, ærligt, at hans elskede afkom svigtede og foreslog at opdele staterne i distrikter og få hvert distrikt til at vælge sin egen vælger.

Faktisk fungerede valget i 1824 tættest på, hvad rammejerne havde i tankerne, og det var et forfærdeligt rod. Fire kandidater - Andrew Jackson, John Quincy Adams, William Crawford og Henry Clay - modtog valgstemmer, hvor ingen havde flertal. Three New York electors who were supposedly pledged to Clay voted for other candidates, while two Clay supporters in the Louisiana legislature were unable to vote for electors after falling from their carriage on the way to the capital. This combination of treachery and bad luck bumped Clay down to fourth place, eliminating him from the balloting in the House, of which he was the Speaker.

At this point the normally fastidious Adams, who had finished second to Jackson in the electoral vote, put aside his scruples and began making deals for all he was worth. Adams won the House vote on the first ballot by a bare majority and immediately made Clay—whose support had swung Kentucky’s House delegation into the Adams column, though the citizens of that state had chosen Jackson—his Secretary of State. This led many to accuse the two men of a “corrupt bargain.”

Jackson, it is often pointed out, won the most popular votes in this election. But 1824 was the first year popular votes were widely recorded, and the figures are of questionable accuracy. The reported turnout was a derisory 27 percent nationwide and less than 15 percent in some states where the race was one-sided. On top of that, in 6 of the 24 states, the legislature chose the electors, so there was no popular vote.

The 1824 election was the last gasp for legislative selection, though. In 1828 only South Carolina and tiny Delaware still used it, and by 1836 every state except South Carolina (which would stubbornly retain legislative selection until the Civil War) had adopted the popular vote, winner-take-all method. Give or take a few small anomalies, then, the electoral system in place by the 1830s was identical to the one we are still using.

The dismay and outrage that have greeted the 2000 election were nothing compared with the public’s reaction to the 1824 disaster. When the next Congress assembled, a flood of schemes was offered to reform America’s procedure for electing a President. None of them got anywhere. And the pattern has repeated itself through the years: After a one-sided election, everyone shrugs off the Electoral College, and after a close election, everyone makes a fuss for a year or two, and then the issue fades away.

Through the years, numerous inadequacies of the Electoral College have come to the fore: potentially fractured multi-party elections (including 1912, 1924, 1948, and 1968) contested results (Hayes-Tilden in 1876 and Bush-Gore in 2000, plus a near-miss with Nixon-Kennedy in 1960) “minority” Presidents (1824, 1876, 1888, and 2000, with near-misses in 1960 and 1976) and “faithless” electors voting for candidates other than the ones they were chosen to vote for (as some Southern electors threatened to do in 1948 and 1960).

It’s safe to say that if you were designing an election method from scratch, it wouldn’t look like the Electoral College. Yet it’s worth pointing out what’s not wrong with our current system before we think about fixing what is. The famous 1876-77 Hayes-Tilden fiasco, for example, is not a good argument for abolition it was the result of outright fraud and corruption, which could occur under any system. Indeed, the present Electoral College decreases the possibility for vote fraud (while admittedly increasing the payoff if it’s successful) by restricting it to a few states where the vote is close. In a direct nationwide popular election, votes could be stolen anywhere, including in heavily Democratic or Republican states where no one would bother under the current rules. In this way, the Electoral College acts as a firewall to contain electoral tampering.

It is also often said that under the Electoral College a popular-vote winner can be an electoral-vote loser. But this “problem” dissolves upon closer examination. Popular-vote totals are not predetermined if they were, there would be no use for campaign consultants and political donations. Rather, the popular vote is an artifact of the electoral system. With a winner-take-all Electoral College, candidates tailor their messages and direct their spending to swing states and ignore the others, even when there are lots of votes to be had.

In the recent election, for example, neither presidential candidate made more than a token effort in New York, which was known to be safely in Gore’s pocket. To residents, it seemed as if neither man visited the state at all except to ask for money. Gore ended up receiving around 3.7 million votes to Bush’s 2.2 million. Now suppose Bush had campaigned in New York enough to induce 170,000 of those Gore voters, or less than 5 percent, to switch. He would have made up the nationwide popular-vote gap right there. Instead, both candidates spent enormous amounts of time and money fighting over handfuls of uncommitted voters in Florida, Michigan, and a few other states. That’s why in a close election, it doesn’t make sense to compare nationwide popular-vote totals when popular votes don’t determine the winner. You might just as well point out that the losing team in a baseball game got more hits.

As for faithless electors, not since the anomalous situation of 1824 have they made a difference in a presidential election. There is some reason to believe that if an elector broke his or her trust in a close race today, the switch would be ruled invalid. In any case, this problem can easily be eliminated with state laws or an act of Congress. These laws could also be tailored to take account of what happens if a candidate dies before the Electoral College meets or if a third-party candidate wishes to give his or her votes to another candidate. Flexible electors can even sometimes be useful, as in the three-way 1912 race, when some Theodore Roosevelt electors said before the election that if Roosevelt could not win, they would switch their votes to William Howard Taft.

Nonetheless, the flaws of the Electoral College, however exaggerated they may be, are clear. It magnifies small margins in an arbitrary manner it distorts the campaign process by giving tossup states excessive importance it gives small states a disproportionate number of votes and perhaps worst of all, many people don’t have a clue about how it works.

Each of these except the last can be turned around and called an advantage by traditionalists: Magnified margins yield a “mandate” (though have you ever heard anyone who wasn’t a journalist talk about presidential mandates?) the need to pander to a diverse set of constituencies makes candidates fashion platforms with broad appeal and after all, small states deserve a break. Still, nobody really loves the Electoral College—until a specific alternative is proposed.

The lack of agreement among would-be reformers has allowed the Electoral College’s vastly outnumbered supporters to defend it successfully against all attacks for nearly two centuries. Before the Civil War, slavery, called by its polite name of States’ Rights, stymied electoral reform in the same way it stymied so many other things: The Southern states would not consider any reform that did not increase their region’s importance in national elections, Oddly enough, by losing the war, the South got the influence it had always wanted.

From the end of Reconstruction into the 1940s, Democrats could count on a sure 100 to 120 electoral votes from the Solid South—the 11 states of the old Confederacy. Though the three-fifths rule was gone with the abolition of slavery, it had been replaced by something even worse, for while blacks were effectively disenfranchised in most of the South, their states now got full credit for their black populations in the House of Representatives and thus in the Electoral College. This allowed Southern whites not only to keep blacks from voting but in effect to vote for them. For most of a century after the 1870s, then, the Electoral College was a racket for the Democratic party.

Today the Solid South is a thing of the past. Nonetheless, since 1804 no electoral reform amendment has even made it through Congress. Hvorfor ikke? Who benefits from the Electoral College? Briefly put, two groups benefit: big states and small states. The winner-take-all feature favors the first of these groups, while the disproportionate allotment of electors favors the second.

With their tempting heaps of electoral votes, the big states attract by far the greatest bulk of the candidates’ attention. If you consider having politicians descend upon your state a benefit, the winner-take-all feature is a big plus. In 1966, in fact, Delaware sued New York (which then had the most electoral votes) and other states in hopes of forcing them to abandon the winner-take-all policy. A dozen other states soon climbed on board. Although the suit, which was based on the novel theory that a provision of the Constitution can be unconstitutional, was summarily rejected by the Supreme Court, it revealed the frustration that the small fry have always felt. In response, the small states cling to their three or four electoral votes the way an infant clings to its blanket. Since no one pays any attention to them anyway, they feel entitled to an extra vote or two.

Partisan considerations persist as well, this time on the Republican side. Today a group of Plains and Mountain states (Kansas, Nebraska, the Dakotas, Montana, Wyoming, Idaho, and Utah) can be thought of as a Solid West, reliably delivering most or all of their 32 electoral votes (as of 2000) to the Republican ticket, though their combined population is about equal to that of Michigan, which has only 18. As we have recently seen, those few extra votes can make a big difference if the election is close and if the election isn’t close, any electoral system will do.

It’s impossible to say definitively whether the big-state or small-state advantage predominates, though that hasn’t stopped generations of political scientists from trying. But these two opposing factors explain how the 1970s notion of “urban liberal bias” and the 1980s notion of a “Republican electoral lock” can both be correct: The former results from winner-take-all, while the latter results from disproportionality.

Through all the analysis, reform proposals keep coming. They generally fall into three classes: a straightforward nationwide popular vote election by districts, with the Electoral College retained but each congressional district choosing its own elector (and, in most such schemes, the statewide winner getting a bonus of two) and proportional representation, with electoral votes determined by each candidate’s percentage of the popular vote in a given state. Any of these would probably be better than what we have now, but each one has imperfections. Since every change would hurt someone, the chances of getting through all the hoops needed to pass a constitutional amendment—a two-thirds vote in each house of Congress plus approval by three-quarters of the states—look dim.

Direct popular election? First of all, there’s the question of what to do if no candidate receives a majority. Would there be a runoff, which would make the campaign season last even longer and might encourage third parties? Would the top vote-getter always be the winner—a system that could elect a candidate opposed by a majority of citizens? Would we mystify voters by asking for second and third choices?

Moreover, a nationwide election—something that has never taken place in America—would require a nationwide electoral board, with all the rules, forms, and inspectors that go along with it. Would states be allowed to set different times for opening and closing their polls? Would North Dakota be allowed to continue to have no form of voter registration, as it does now? Would a state seeking more influence be allowed to lower its voting age below 18? Then there is the potential discussed above for stolen or suppressed votes. Combine all these problems with the inevitable effect of concentrating candidates’ time, resources, and money on populous areas, and the case for a small state to support direct election looks mighty shaky.

Election by districts sounds appealing, but it would replace 51 separate races with about 480. Swing states would lose their all-or-nothing leverage, so candidates might concentrate on major population centers even more than they do now. (Under the present system, each new election gives a different group of swing states their moment in the spotlight, whereas with any other system, the big states would always get the bulk of the attention.) The effects of gerrymandering would be amplified, and third-party candidates would find it easier to win a single district than an entire state. Also, the small-state advantage would remain (and in fact be reinforced, since in most cases—all the time for the three-vote minnows—they would continue to function as units) while the big-state advantage from winner-take-all would vanish. In fact, if the 1960 election had been contested by districts and the popular vote had been exactly the same (a questionable assumption, to be sure), Richard Nixon would have won.

Proportional division of electors would be even worse, combining all the disadvantages of a direct popular vote with none of the advantages. Under this method, if a state has 10 electoral votes and Candidate A wins 53.7 percent of the popular vote in that state, then Candidate A is credited with 5.37 electoral votes. In essence, proportional division amounts to a direct popular vote, except that the votes of small-state residents are given added weight. And that’s the problem: By stripping the veil of illusion and ceremony and tradition from the Electoral College, this extra weighting makes the small-state advantage nakedly apparent, which infuriates one-person-one-vote fundamentalists.

But from the small-state point of view, proportional division would dilute the already tiny influence that goes with controlling three or four votes in a single lump. Also, there is a significant element of the public that views anything involving decimals as un-American—except baseball statistics, of course. Yet restricting the division of electors to whole numbers would be far more confusing, with different mathematical rules and minimum requirements in each state and often arbitrary results (if your state has four votes and the popular margin is 55-45, how do you divide them?). Proportional division would be fine for student-council elections at MIT, but to most American voters, it would amount to a mystifying black box.

To be fair, much worse ideas have been proposed. In the mist beyond proportional representation lies the wreckage of dozens of too-clever schemes, such as one cooked up in 1970 by Sen. Thomas Eagleton and Sen. Robert Dole (each of whom would within a few years take a personal interest in presidential elections). Ifølge Den nye republik , this plan provided that “a President would be elected if he (1) won a plurality of the national vote and (2) won either pluralities in more than 50 percent of the states and the District of Columbia, or pluralities in states with 50 percent of the voters in the election. . . . ” And it went on from there.

In reviewing the history of the Electoral College, it quickly becomes clear how little anybody has to offer that is new. All the plausible reform ideas, and all the arguments for and against them, have been debated and rehashed for well over a century, in terms that have remained virtually unchanged. What has killed all the reform efforts has been the lack of a single alternative that all the reformers can agree on. As the politicians say, you can’t beat somebody with nobody, and you can’t beat one plan with three.

Moreover, the present system at least has the benefit of familiarity. Any change would be attended with an element of uncertainty, and politicians don’t like that. Opinions differ widely about who would gain or lose from electoral reform, but too many states and interest groups think they would lose and too few are sure that they would gain. After all, as we have seen, the original Electoral College functioned nothing like what its designers had expected.

In the end, Americans are likely to do what they have always done about the Electoral College: nothing. Every reform or abolition scheme works to the disadvantage (or possible disadvantage) of some special interest, and when a good-government issue collides with special interests, you know who’s going to win. Outside of academia and government, there is no obvious constituency for reform since most people don’t understand how the Electoral College works, most of them don’t understand the case for changing it. The lack of exact numerical equality and other supposed biases have always bothered political scientists much more than the average citizen, who may endorse reform when questioned by a pollster but will hardly ever feel strongly about the issue.

So we’re probably stuck with the Electoral College until the next close election, when reformers and abolitionists of various stripes will once again surge forth, only to end up annihilating each other. To break this pattern, someone will have to either find a novel and compelling set of arguments for reform and waste enormous amounts of political capital to pass a measure that arouses no public passion and has no clear-cut beneficiary, or else devise a new scheme that is simple enough to be grasped by the average citizen yet has never been advanced before. Good luck.


Kilder

Hamilton, Alexander. “Federalist No. 68.” The Federalist Papers [1788]. Accessed at The Library of Congress Web site. 28 Jan. 2008.

Madison, James. “Federalist No. 10.” The Federalist Papers [1787]. Accessed at The Library of Congress Web site. 28 Jan. 2008.

de Tocqueville, Alexis. Democracy in America, vol. 1. Accessed at the University of Virginia Department of American Studies Web site. 28 Jan. 2008.

Office of the Federal Register, U.S. National Archives and Records Administration Web site, FAQ, 11 Feb. 2008.

Q: Can employers, colleges and universities require COVID-19 vaccinations?


What Is the Purpose of the Electoral College?

The Electoral College is a process that creates a buffer between a president's election through Congress and the vote of the American people. It was established by the nation's Founding Fathers.

The Electoral College was created with the intent of giving all states, and therefore their citizens, an equal say in the nation's matters, regardless of state size. The Electoral College was initially created by the 13 colonies, as they wished to vest power in themselves without influence or control by a central government. At the time of its creation, the nation struggled with a distrust of large government and the desire among its citizens to fairly elect a president. The Electoral College was seen as a compromise that promoted democracy while still allowing the government to function.

Hvordan det virker

The Electoral College refers to the process of selecting a president. The College contains 538 electors, and it requires a majority vote of 270 for a president to be elected. Each state receives an allotment of electors equal to its number of Congressional delegates. This translates to one for each member of the House of Representatives and two for the state's senators. The Electoral College provides equal rights to the District of Columbia through the 23rd Amendment of the Constitution. The Amendment grants the District of Columbia three electors. It also considers the district a state for voting purposes. In every state, each presidential candidate has a designated electoral group. Electors are usually designated based on political party. However, state laws vary in the elector selection process, and in determining what rights and responsibilities they can have.

State Rules

The process of selecting a president in the United States takes place every four years. It is traditionally held on the first Monday of November in the election year. When people go to the polls to vote for their choice of presidential candidate, they are actually helping to select an elector for their state. These electors then represent their state during the final presidential election. State laws differ on the amount of aid that electors can give to presidential candidates. Most states have an all-or-nothing system where all electors are assigned to the prevailing presidential candidate. Others, however, like Maine and Nebraska, distribute the weight of electors evenly among candidates.

The End Result

Following votes for the presidential candidate, electors convene in December to cast their votes for the president and vice presidential candidate of their choice. Each state records its electors' votes on a Certificate of Vote, which is sent to Congress as part of the official records collection and maintenance process. On January 6th of the next year, members of the House of Representatives and the Senate meet to count the votes. When results are tallied, the active vice president, who acts as the President of the Senate, officially oversees the election process. He or she officially announces which candidates have been selected as the next president and vice president to lead the nation. If all goes well, the incoming president is sworn into office on January 20th.

Over time, the Electoral College has been changed by statutory amendments. These changes, enacted at the state and federal levels, have affected the timing and process for choosing a presidential candidate, but they have not altered the basic structure or intent of the Electoral College.


How the Electoral College Works

In 1787, two things forever changed the face of American politics: First, a group of national leaders drafted the U.S. Constitution, and second, they decided the average citizen wasn't erudite enough to elect a president without the bridge of a system known as the Electoral College.

The Electoral College was created by the framers of the U.S. Constitution as a compromise for the presidential election process. At the time, some politicians believed a purely popular election was too reckless and would give too much voting power to highly populated areas in which people were familiar with a presidential candidate. Others objected to the possibility of letting Congress select the president, as some suggested. Svaret? An Electoral College system that allowed voters to vote for electors, who would then cast their votes for candidates, a system described in Article II, section 1 of the Constitution [source: Weingast].

The concept worked as expected until the 1800 election, when presidential hopefuls Aaron Burr and Thomas Jefferson each received the same amount of electoral votes. By then, political parties had become powerful influencers. Leaders of each party handpicked electors who, naturally, voted for their electing party's candidates. The tie was broken by the House of Representatives, but resulted in the Constitution's 12th Amendment, which spelled out the electoral voting process in more detail [source: Cornell University Law School].


Why Did the Framers Create the Electoral College?𔃉st in a Series

Colorado went Democrat in the last presidential election. But three of those elected as presidential electors wanted to vote for someone other than Hillary Clinton. Two eventually cast ballots for Clinton under court order, while one—now a party to court proceedings—opted for Ohio Governor John Kasich, a Republican. After this “Hamilton elector” voted, state officials voided his ballot and removed him from office. The other electors chose someone more compliant to replace him.

Litigation over the issue still continues, and is likely to reach the U.S. Supreme Court. Moreover, President Trump’s victory in the Electoral College, despite losing the popular vote, remains controversial. So it seems like a good time to explore what the Electoral College is, the reasons for it, and the Constitution’s rules governing it. This is the first of a series of posts on the subject.

The delegates to the 1787 constitutional convention found the question of how to choose the federal executive one of the most perplexing they faced. People who want to abolish the Electoral College usually are unfamiliar with how perplexing the issue was—and still is.

Here are some of the factors the framers had to consider:

* Most people never meet any candidates for president. They have very little knowledge of the candidates’ personal qualities. The framers recognized this especially would be a problem for voters considering candidates from other states. In a sense, this is less of a concern today because, unlike in 1787, we have mass media through which candidates can speak directly the voters. In other ways, however, it is mere of a concern than it was in 1787. Our greater population renders it even less likely for any particular voter to be personally familiar with any of the candidates. And, as I can testify from personal experience, mass media presentations of a candidate may be 180 degrees opposite from the truth. One example: media portrayal of President Ford as a physically-clumsy oaf. In fact, Ford had been an all star athlete who remained physically active and graceful well into old age.

* Voters in large states might dominate the process by voting only for candidate from their own states.

* Generally speaking, the members of Congress would be in a much better position to assess potential candidates than the average voter. And early proposals at the convention provided that Congress would elect the president. However, it is important for the executive to remain independent of Congress—otherwise our system would evolve into something like a parliamentary one rather than a government of three equal branches. More on this below.

* Direct election would ensure presidential independence of Congress—but then you have the knowledge problem itemized above. In addition, there were (and are) all sorts of other difficulties associated with direct election. They include (1) the potential of a few urban states dictating the results, (2) greatly increased incentives to electoral corruption (because bogus or “lost” votes can swing the entire election, not just a single state), (3) the possibility of extended recounts delaying inauguration for months, and (4) various other problems, such as the tendency of such a system to punish states that responsibly enforce voter qualifications (because of their reduced voter totals) while benefiting states that drive unqualified people to the polls.

* To ensure independence from Congress, advocates of congressional election suggested choosing the president for only a single term of six or seven years. Yet this was only a partial solution. Someone elected by Congress may well feel beholden to Congress. And as some Founders pointed out, a president ineligible for re-election still might cater to Congress simply because he hopes to re-enter that assembly once he leaves leaves office. Moreover, being eligible for re-election can be a good thing because it can be an incentive to do a diligent job. Finally, if a president turns out to be ineffective it’s best to get rid of him sooner than six or seven years.

* Elbridge Gerry of Massachusetts suggested election by the state governors. Others suggested election by state legislatures. However, these proposals could make the president beholden to state officials.

* The framers also considered election of the president by electors elected by the people on a strict population basis. Unless the Electoral College were very large, however, this would require electoral districts that combined states and/or cut across state lines. In that event, state law could not effectively regulate the process. Regulation would fall to Congress, thereby empowering Congress to manipulate presidential elections.

* In addition to the foregoing, the framers had to weigh whether a candidate should need a majority of the votes to win or only a plurality. If a majority, then you have to answer the question, “What happens if no candidate wins a majority?”On the other hand, requiring only a plurality might result in election of an overwhelmingly unpopular candidate—one who could never unite the country. The prospect of winning by plurality would encourage extreme candidates to run with enthusiastic, but relatively narrow, bases of support. (Think of the possibility of a candidate winning the presidency with 23% of the vote, as happened in the Philippines in 1992.)

The delegates wrestled with issues such as these over a period of months. Finally, the convention handed the question to a committee of eleven delegates—one delegate from each state then participating in the convention. It was chaired by David Brearly, then serving as Chief Justice of the New Jersey Supreme Court. The committee consisted of some of the most brilliant men from a brilliant convention. James Madison of Virginia was on the committee, as was John Dickinson of Delaware, Gouverneur Morris of Pennsylvania, and Roger Sherman of Connecticut, to name only four of the best known.

Justice Brearly’s “committee of eleven” (also called the “committee on postponed matters”) worked out the basics: The president would be chosen by electors appointed from each state by a method determined by the state legislature. It would take a majority to win. If no one received a majority, the Senate (later changed to the House) would resolve the election.


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