The purpose of the electoral college is to be a compromise between election of the president by the vote of Congress and the popular vote of the people. The founding fathers established the electoral college in the United States Constitution, believing that it would be both a buffer and provide fair power to all states regardless of size.Know More
The electoral college consists of 538 electors, and of those, a candidate needs 270 votes to become president. Although the Founding Fathers wanted the people to have a say, there was concern that a charismatic tyrant could manipulate public opinion and come into power. Alexander Hamilton briefly addressed these concerns in the Federalist Papers. The idea was that the electors would be a group of people who would ensure that a qualified person would become president.
The first design of the electoral college allowed each state the same number of electors as senators, which was always two, plus the same number of its U.S. Representatives. Each elector met within its own state rather than one large meeting altogether. The founding fathers believed this would prevent bribery, corruption and secret dealings. The candidate with the most electoral votes, provided it was the majority, became president. The candidate with the second most electoral votes became vice president. This lasted through the first four presidential elections when the powers that be realized ties were inevitable. The process was changed to include one vote for president and a separate vote for vice president, but still required a majority vote in order for a candidate to take office.Learn more about Elections
Andrew Jackson lost the election of 1824 because, though he received a majority of the popular and electoral votes, his margin was not great enough for a win, and the constitution directed that the election had to be decided by Congress. Henry Clay, one of the candidates, gave his support to John Quincy Adams, another candidate, and Adams won the Congressional vote.Full Answer >
Websites such as Vote411.org and Votesmart.org compile information about political candidates that allows voters to make comparisons among the candidates. Both websites include data for candidates running for national, state or local office.Full Answer >
There are different arguments for and against the continued use of the electoral college in elections. Those in favor of the electoral college maintain that it better represents the choices of the nation as a whole and eliminates the need to recount the votes of the entire country, lessening the chances for election fraud.Full Answer >
The Electoral College is a process established for the purpose of electing U.S. presidents in which each state and the District of Columbia have a certain number of electoral votes, based on the number of U.S. Representatives and Senators from the state. Electors are chosen from each state and cast ballots on the first Monday after the second Wednesday in December of an election year.Full Answer >