In this week’s episode of Constitutionally Speaking, Jay and Luke discuss the Electoral College, the Rube Goldberg device the Founding Fathers created to select the president. The Electoral College was a compromise between multiple factions at the Convention—free and slave states, large and small states, federalists and anti-federalists. But unlike the Great Compromise, which apportioned the House and Senate differently, this one did not work very well. The Founders did not anticipate the rise of party politics, which necessitated a change in the Electoral College after the Election of 1800. In the Jacksonian Era, the rise of democratic politics obviated its original intentions. Today, the Electoral College remains as a way to apportion the strength of popular votes for president—which Luke and Jay both think is a better alternative than a nationwide popular vote.
- United States Constitution, Article II, Section 1
- United States Constitution, Amendment XII
- James Caesar, Presidential Selection