The logic for a continued use of this method is, at best, archaic. Granted, states still suspect a central national government, but autonomous state legislatures safe guard states' rights.
In an essay William C. Kimberling, Deputy Director FEC Office of Election Administration, examines one of the questions debated at the Constitutional Convention of 1787: How does a young nation choose a president?
Present at the convention were delegates from thirteen large and small states who were suspicious of any central national government and jealous of their own rights. The delegates represented four million people spread up and down a thousand miles of Atlantic seaboard barely connected with a transportation and communication system. They shared a belief that political parties were innately corrupt. And that gentlemen should not seek the office of President of the United States but have the “office seek the man.”
Several methods to select a president were proposed: Congress chooses the president—rejected for fear that the winning president would be suspicious of those who voted against him and vice versa. State legislatures select the President—rejected for they would vote for their favorite son. Popular vote – rejected for it was feared that without enough information about candidates, people would vote for a “favorite son” and a president would be elected by the most populous states with little regard of smaller ones. An indirect election of a President through a College of smaller ones was agreed upon and ratified by the states on Dec 15, 1791.
The logic for a continued use of this method is, at best, archaic. Granted, states still suspect a central national government, but autonomous state legislatures safe guard states’ rights. The digital age has expedited communication. Only 6% of the 4 million could vote in 1791. In general, voting was restricted to white males who owned property, paid a specific amount of taxes, and age. Voting rights laws have expanded the voting base. 68% of the current 312 million can vote. During a presidential campaign there’s enough information—most often accurate—to make an informed decision. We vote for party electors who represent our choice for president and vice president. On the Monday following the second Wednesday of December these representatives cast their votes. The balance of power between the Presidency and the Congress is continually challenged. Without question a balance between states and the federal government continue but without the need of an Electoral College.
What the convention delegates could not anticipate was the misuse of the Electoral College with voter suppression laws and gerrymandering of congressional districts. Something is drastically wrong when 70,000 votes outweigh 2,900,000 votes. Such misuse is contested when energized voters show up to vote as they didn’t in 2016 but did in 2018. Apathetic voters, gerrymandering and laws to suppress the vote have turned the White House into the abode of presidents elected by a minority of voters—four Republicans, one Federalist and still counting.
“Amendment 12 – Election of the President and Vice President” should be repeal. In addition, H.R.1—For the People Act, would better insure that a majority will elect a president and there will be balanced representation in the House of Representatives. RESIST!
-Rev. Dr. Ira S. Williams, of Gravois Mills