Electoral College (West's Encyclopedia of American Law)
Nominated persons, known as electors, from the states and the District of Columbia, who meet every four years in their home state or district and cast ballots to choose the president and vice president of the United States.
In the popular election, the American people actually vote for electors, not for the candidates themselves. The candidate who receives the majority of votes from electors takes office. Although the Constitution allows the electors to vote for any candidate, they usually vote for the candidate of the political party that nominated them. In a limited number of instances, the structure of the Electoral College has led to unusual election results.
The republican basis of the Electoral College stems from the Constitution. When the founders of the United States set out to secure a system of political representation, many among them feared mob rule. Elections based on representative blocks of votes would implement checks within the system. The Framers took into consideration that large numbers of regional candidates could appeal to the interests of various select groups, and thus the populace could be divided widely, and disturbances in the succession of power could ensue. They surmised that Congress should have the power to settle issues that are not resolved in a popular election, and thus they created the Electoral College. As a contributor to this system,...
(The entire section is 1982 words.)
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