Faithless electors are those who either cast electoral votes for someone other than the candidate of the party that they pledged to vote for or who "abstain. Twenty-nine states plus the District of Columbia have passed laws to punish faithless electors, although none have ever been enforced. Many constitutional scholars claim that state restrictions would be struck down if challenged based on Article II and the Twelfth Amendment. In 1952, the constitutionality of state pledge laws was brought before the "Supreme Court in "Ray v. Blair, "343 "U.S. 214 (1952). The Court ruled in favor of state laws requiring electors to pledge to vote for the winning candidate, as well as removing electors who refuse to pledge. As stated in the ruling, electors are acting as a functionary of the state, not the federal government. Therefore, states have the right to govern the process of choosing electors. The constitutionality of state laws punishing electors for actually casting a faithless vote, rather than refusing to pledge, has never been decided by the Supreme Court. However, in his dissent in Ray v. Blair, Justice Robert Jackson wrote: "no one faithful to our history can deny that the plan originally contemplated what is implicit in its text – that electors would be free agents, to exercise an independent and nonpartisan judgment as to the men best qualified for the Nation's highest offices."
While many laws only punish a faithless elector after the fact, states like "Michigan also specify a faithless elector's vote be voided.
As electoral slates are typically chosen by the political party or the party's presidential nominee, electors usually have high loyalty to the party and its candidate: a faithless elector runs a greater risk of party censure than criminal charges.
In "2000, elector "Barbara Lett-Simmons of "Washington, D.C. chose not to vote, rather than voting for Al Gore as she had pledged to do. In "2016, seven electors voted contrary to their pledges. Faithless electors have never changed the outcome of any presidential election.
Joint session of Congress and contingencies
The "Twelfth Amendment mandates Congress assemble in joint session to count the electoral votes and declare the winners of the election. The session is ordinarily required to take place on January 6 in the calendar year immediately following the meetings of the presidential electors. Since the "Twentieth Amendment, the newly elected Congress declares the winner of the election; all elections before "1936 were determined by the outgoing House.
The meeting is held at 1:00 pm in the Chamber of the U.S. House of Representatives. The sitting vice president is expected to preside, but in several cases the "President pro tempore of the Senate has chaired the proceedings. The vice president and the "Speaker of the House sit at the podium, with the vice president in the seat of the Speaker of the House. Senate pages bring in the two mahogany boxes containing each state's certified vote and place them on tables in front of the senators and representatives. Each house appoints two tellers to count the vote (normally one member of each political party). Relevant portions of the Certificate of Vote are read for each state, in alphabetical order.
Members of Congress can object to any state's vote count, provided objection is presented in writing and is signed by at least one member of each house of Congress. An objection supported by at least one senator and one representative will be followed by the suspension of the joint session and by separate debates and votes in each House of Congress; after both Houses deliberate on the objection, the joint session is resumed. A state's certificate of vote can be rejected only if both Houses of Congress vote to accept the objection. In that case, the votes from the State in question are simply ignored. The votes of Arkansas and Louisiana were rejected in the "presidential election of 1872.
Objections to the electoral vote count are rarely raised, although it did occur during the vote count in 2001 after the close 2000 presidential election between Governor George W. Bush of Texas and the Vice President of the United States, Al Gore. Gore, who as vice president was required to preside over his own Electoral College defeat (by five electoral votes), denied the objections, all of which were raised only by several representatives and would have favored his candidacy, after no senators would agree to jointly object. Objections were again raised in the vote count of the 2004 elections, and on that occasion the document was presented by one representative and one senator. Although the joint session was suspended, the objections were quickly disposed of and rejected by both Houses of Congress. If there are no objections or all objections are overruled, the presiding officer simply includes a state's votes, as declared in the certificate of vote, in the official tally.
After the certificates from all states are read and the respective votes are counted, the presiding officer simply announces the final result of the vote and, provided the required absolute majority of votes was achieved, declares the names of the persons elected president and vice president. This announcement concludes the joint session and formalizes the recognition of the president-elect and of the vice president-elect. The senators then depart from the House Chamber. The final tally is printed in the Senate and House journals.
Contingent presidential election by House
The "Twelfth Amendment requires the "House of Representatives to immediately go into session to vote for a president if no candidate for president receives a majority of the electoral votes (since 1964, 270 of the 538 electoral votes).
In this event, the House of Representatives is limited to choosing from among the three candidates who received the most electoral votes for president. Each state delegation votes en bloc – each delegation having a single vote; the District of Columbia does not receive a vote. A candidate must receive an absolute majority of state delegation votes (i.e., at present, a minimum of 26 votes) in order for that candidate to become the President-elect. Additionally, delegations from at least two-thirds of all the states must be present for voting to take place. The House continues balloting until it elects a president.
The House of Representatives has chosen the president only twice: in "1801 under Article II, Section 1, Clause 3 and in "1825 under the Twelfth Amendment.
Contingent vice presidential election by Senate
If no candidate for vice president receives an absolute majority of electoral votes, then the "Senate must go into session to elect a vice president. The Senate is limited to choosing from the two candidates who received the most electoral votes for vice president. Normally this would mean two candidates, one less than the number of candidates available in the House vote. However, the text is written in such a way that all candidates with the most and second most electoral votes are eligible for the Senate election – this number could theoretically be larger than two. The Senate votes in the normal manner in this case (i.e., ballots are individually cast by each senator, not by state delegations). However, two-thirds of the senators must be present for voting to take place.
Additionally, the Twelfth Amendment states a "majority of the whole number" of senators (currently 51 of 100) is necessary for election. Further, the language requiring an absolute majority of Senate votes precludes the sitting vice president from breaking any tie which might occur, although some academics and journalists have speculated to the contrary.
The only time the Senate chose the vice president was in "1837. In that instance, the Senate adopted an alphabetical "roll call and voting aloud. The rules further stated, "[I]f a majority of the number of senators shall vote for either the said "Richard M. Johnson or "Francis Granger, he shall be declared by the presiding officer of the Senate constitutionally elected Vice President of the United States"; the Senate chose Johnson.
Section 3 of the "Twentieth Amendment specifies if the House of Representatives has not chosen a president-elect in time for the inauguration (noon "EST on January 20), then the vice president-elect becomes "acting president until the House selects a president. Section 3 also specifies Congress may statutorily provide for who will be acting president if there is neither a president-elect nor a vice president-elect in time for the inauguration. Under the "Presidential Succession Act of 1947, the "Speaker of the House would become acting president until either the House selects a president or the Senate selects a vice president. Neither of these situations has ever occurred.
Current electoral vote distribution
|EV × States||States*|
|3 × 8 = 24||Alaska, Delaware, District of Columbia*, Montana, North Dakota, South Dakota, Vermont, Wyoming|
|4 × 5 = 20||Hawaii, Idaho, Maine**, New Hampshire, Rhode Island|
|5 × 3 = 15||Nebraska**, New Mexico, West Virginia|
|6 × 6 = 36||Arkansas, Iowa, Kansas, Mississippi, Nevada, Utah|
|7 × 3 = 21||Connecticut, Oklahoma, Oregon|
|8 × 2 = 16||Kentucky, Louisiana|
|9 × 3 = 27||Alabama, Colorado, South Carolina|
|10 × 4 = 40||Maryland, Minnesota, Missouri, Wisconsin|
|11 × 4 = 44||Arizona, Indiana, Massachusetts, Tennessee|
|12 × 1 = 12||Washington|
|13 × 1 = 13||Virginia|
|14 × 1 = 14||New Jersey|
|15 × 1 = 15||North Carolina|
|16 × 2 = 32||Georgia, Michigan|
|18 × 1 = 18||Ohio|
|20 × 2 = 40||Illinois, Pennsylvania|
|29 × 2 = 58||Florida, New York|
|38 × 1 = 38||Texas|
|55 × 1 = 55||California|
|= 538||Total electors|
- * The "Twenty-third Amendment grants electors to DC as if it were a state, but not more than the least populous state. This has always been three.
- ** Maine's four electors and Nebraska's five are distributed using the Congressional district method.
Source: Presidential Elections 1789–2000 at Psephos (Adam Carr's Election Archive)
Note: In 1788, 1792, 1796, and 1800, each elector "cast two votes for president.
Alternative methods of choosing electors
Before the advent of the short ballot in the early 20th century, as described above, the most common means of electing the presidential electors was through the general ticket. The general ticket is quite similar to the current system and is often confused with it. In the general ticket, voters cast ballots for individuals running for presidential elector (while in the short ballot, voters cast ballots for an entire slate of electors). In the general ticket, the state canvass would report the number of votes cast for each candidate for elector, a complicated process in states like New York with multiple positions to fill. Both the general ticket and the short ballot are often considered at-large or winner-takes-all voting. The short ballot was adopted by the various states at different times; it was adopted for use by "North Carolina and "Ohio in 1932. "Alabama was still using the general ticket as late as 1960 and was one of the last states to switch to the short ballot.
The question of the extent to which state constitutions may constrain the legislature's choice of a method of choosing electors has been touched on in two U.S. Supreme Court cases. In McPherson v. Blacker, "146 "U.S. 1 (1892), the Court cited Article II, Section 1, Clause 2 which states that a state's electors are selected "in such manner as the legislature thereof may direct" and wrote these words "operat[e] as a limitation upon the state in respect of any attempt to circumscribe the legislative power". In Bush v. Palm Beach County Canvassing Board, "531 "U.S. 70 (2000), a Florida Supreme Court decision was vacated (not reversed) based on McPherson. On the other hand, three dissenting justices in "Bush v. Gore, "531 "U.S. 98 (2000), wrote: "[N]othing in Article II of the Federal Constitution frees the state legislature from the constraints in the State Constitution that created it."
Appointment by state legislature
In the earliest presidential elections, state legislative choice was the most common method of choosing electors. A majority of the states selected presidential electors by legislation in both 1792 (9 of 15) and 1800 (10 of 16), and half of the states did so in 1812. Even in "the 1824 election, a quarter of states (6 of 24) chose electors by legislation. In that election, "Andrew Jackson lost in spite of having pluralities of both the popular and electoral votes, with the outcome being decided by the six state legislatures choosing the electors. Some state legislatures simply chose electors, while other states used a hybrid method in which state legislatures chose from a group of electors elected by popular vote. By 1828, with the rise of "Jacksonian democracy, only "Delaware and "South Carolina used legislative choice. Delaware ended its practice the following election (1832), while South Carolina continued using the method until it seceded from the Union in December 1860. South Carolina used the popular vote for the first time in the "1868 election.
Excluding South Carolina, legislative appointment was used in only four situations after 1832:
- In 1848, "Massachusetts statute awarded the state's electoral votes to the winner of the at-large popular vote, but only if that candidate won an absolute majority. When the vote produced no winner between the "Democratic, "Free Soil, and "Whig parties, the state legislature selected the electors, giving all 12 electoral votes to the Whigs.
- In 1864, "Nevada, having joined the Union only a few days prior to Election Day, had no choice but to appoint.
- In 1868, the newly reconstructed state of "Florida appointed its electors, having been readmitted too late to hold elections.
- Finally, in 1876, the legislature of the newly admitted state of "Colorado used legislative choice due to a lack of time and money to hold a popular election.
Legislative appointment was brandished as a possibility in the "2000 election. Had the recount continued, the Florida legislature was prepared to appoint the Republican slate of electors to avoid missing the federal safe-harbor deadline for choosing electors.
The Constitution gives each state legislature the power to decide how its state's electors are chosen and it can be easier and cheaper for a state legislature to simply appoint a slate of electors than to create a legislative framework for holding elections to determine the electors. As noted above, the two situations in which legislative choice has been used since the Civil War have both been because there was not enough time or money to prepare for an election. However, appointment by state legislature can have negative consequences: "bicameral legislatures can deadlock more easily than the electorate. This is precisely what happened to New York in 1789 when the legislature failed to appoint any electors.
Another method used early in U.S. history was to divide the state into electoral districts. By this method, voters in each district would cast their ballots for the electors they supported and the winner in each district would become the elector. This was similar to how states are currently separated by congressional districts. However, the difference stems from the fact every state always had two more electoral districts than congressional districts. As with congressional districts, moreover, this method is vulnerable to "gerrymandering.
Under such a system, electors would be selected in proportion to the votes cast for their candidate or party, rather than being selected by the statewide plurality vote.
Congressional district method
There are two versions of the congressional district method: one has been implemented in Maine and Nebraska; another has been proposed in Virginia. Under the implemented congressional district method, the electoral votes are distributed based on the popular vote winner within each of the states' "congressional districts; the statewide popular vote winner receives two additional electoral votes.
In 2013, a different version of the congressional district method was proposed in Virginia. This version would distribute Virginia's electoral votes based on the popular vote winner within each of Virginia's congressional districts; the two statewide electoral votes would be awarded based on which candidate won the most congressional districts, rather than on who won Virginia's statewide popular vote.
The congressional district method can more easily be implemented than other alternatives to the winner-takes-all method, in view of major party resistance to relatively enabling third parties under the proportional method. State legislation is sufficient to use this method. Advocates of the congressional district method believe the system would encourage higher "voter turnout and incentivize presidential candidates to broaden their campaigns in non-competitive states. Winner-take-all systems ignore thousands of popular votes; in Democratic California there are Republican districts, in Republican Texas there are Democratic districts. Because candidates have an incentive to campaign in competitive districts, with a district plan, candidates have an incentive to actively campaign in over thirty states versus seven "swing" states. Opponents of the system, however, argue candidates might only spend time in certain battleground districts instead of the entire state and cases of "gerrymandering could become exacerbated as political parties attempt to draw as many safe districts as they can.
Unlike simple congressional district comparisons, the district plan popular vote bonus in the 2008 election would have given Obama 56% of the Electoral College versus the 68% he did win, it "would have more closely approximated the percentage of the popular vote won [53%]".
Of the 43 states whose electoral votes could be affected by the congressional district method, only "Maine and "Nebraska apply it today. Maine has four electoral votes, based on its two representatives and two senators. Nebraska has two senators and three representatives, giving it five electoral votes. Maine began using the congressional district method in the "election of 1972. Nebraska has used the congressional district method since the "election of 1992. Schwartz, Maralee (April 7, 1991). "Nebraska's Vote Change". The Washington Post. Michigan used the system for the "1892 presidential election, and several other states used various forms of the district plan before 1840: Virginia, Delaware, Maryland, Kentucky, North Carolina, Massachusetts, Illinois, Maine, Missouri, and New York.
The congressional district method allows a state the chance to split its electoral votes between multiple candidates. Prior to 2008, neither Maine nor Nebraska had ever split their electoral votes. Nebraska split its electoral votes for the first time in 2008, giving John McCain its statewide electors and those of two congressional districts, while Barack Obama won the electoral vote of "Nebraska's 2nd congressional district. Following the 2008 split, some Nebraska Republicans made efforts to discard the congressional district method and return to the winner-takes-all system. In January 2010, a bill was introduced in the Nebraska legislature to revert to a winner-take-all system; the bill died in committee in March 2011. Republicans had also passed bills in 1995 and 1997 to eliminate the congressional district method in Nebraska, but those bills were "vetoed by Democratic Governor "Ben Nelson.
In 2010, Republicans in Pennsylvania, who controlled both houses of the legislature as well as the governorship, put forward a plan to change the state's winner-takes-all system to a congressional district method system. Pennsylvania had voted for the Democratic candidate in the five previous presidential elections, so some saw this as an attempt to take away Democratic electoral votes. Although Democrat "Barack Obama won Pennsylvania in "2008, he won only 55% of Pennsylvania's popular vote. The district plan would have awarded him 11 of its 21 electoral votes, a 52.4% that is closer to the popular vote yet still overcoming Republican gerrymandering. The plan later lost support. Other Republicans, including Michigan state representative "Pete Lund, "RNC Chairman "Reince Priebus, and Wisconsin Governor "Scott Walker, have floated similar ideas.
Arguments between proponents and opponents of the current electoral system include four separate but related topics: indirect election, disproportionate voting power by some states, the winner-takes-all distribution method (as chosen by 48 of the 50 states), and federalism. Arguments against the Electoral College in common discussion mostly focus on the allocation of the voting power among the states. Gary Bugh's research of congressional debates over proposed constitutional amendments to abolish the Electoral College reveals reform opponents have often appealed to a traditional version of representation, whereas reform advocates have tended to reference a more democratic view.
Non-determinacy of popular vote
The elections of "1876, "1888, "2000, and "2016 produced an Electoral College winner who did not receive at least a "plurality of the nationwide "popular vote. In "1824, there were six states in which electors were legislatively appointed, rather than popularly elected, so it is uncertain what the national popular vote would have been if all presidential electors had been popularly elected. When no candidate received a majority of electoral votes in 1824, the election was decided by the "House of Representatives and so could be considered distinct from the latter four elections in which all of the states had popular selection of electors. The true national popular vote was also uncertain in the "1960 election, and the plurality for the winner depends on how votes for Alabama electors are allocated.
Opponents of the Electoral College claim such outcomes do not logically follow the normative concept of how a democratic system should function. One view is the Electoral College violates the principle of political equality, since presidential elections are not decided by the one-person one-vote principle. Outcomes of this sort are attributable to the federal nature of the system. Supporters of the Electoral College argue candidates must build a popular base that is geographically broader and more diverse in voter interests than either a simple national plurality or majority. Neither is this feature attributable to having intermediate elections of Presidents, caused instead by the "winner-takes-all method of allocating each state's slate of electors. Allocation of electors in proportion to the state's popular vote could reduce this effect.
Elections where the winning candidate loses the national popular vote typically result when the winner builds the requisite configuration of states (and thus captures their electoral votes) by small margins, but the losing candidate secures large voter margins in the remaining states. In this case, the very large margins secured by the losing candidate in the other states would aggregate to a plurality of the ballots cast nationally. However, commentators question the legitimacy of this national popular vote; pointing out that the national popular vote observed under the Electoral College system does not reflect the popular vote observed under a National Popular Vote system; as each electoral institution produces different incentives for, and strategy choices by, presidential campaigns. Because the national popular vote is irrelevant under the electoral college system, it is generally presumed candidates base their campaign strategies around the existence of the Electoral College; any close race has candidates campaigning to maximize electoral votes by focusing their get-out-the-vote efforts in crucially needed swing states and not attempting to maximize national popular vote totals by using limited campaign resources to run up margins or close up gaps in states considered "safe" for themselves or their opponents, respectively. Conversely, the institutional structure of a national popular vote system would encourage candidates to pursue voter turnout wherever votes could be found, even in "safe" states they are already expected to win, and in "safe" states they have no hope of winning.
Educational YouTuber "CGP Grey, who has produced several short videos criticizing the Electoral College, has illustrated how it is technically possible to win the necessary 270 electoral votes while winning only 22% of the overall popular vote, by winning the barest simple majority of the 40 smallest states and the District of Columbia. Though the current political geography of the United States makes such an election unlikely (it would require winning both reliably Democratic jurisdictions like Massachusetts and D.C. and reliably Republican states like Utah and Alaska), he argues that a system in which such a result is even remotely possible is "indefensible".
The United States is the only country that elects a politically powerful president via an electoral college and the only one in which a candidate can become president without having obtained the highest number of votes in the sole or final round of popular voting.— George C. Edwards, 2011
Exclusive focus on large swing states
According to this criticism, the Electoral College encourages political campaigners to focus on a few so-called "swing states" while ignoring the rest of the country. Populous states in which pre-election poll results show no clear favorite are inundated with campaign visits, saturation television advertising, get-out-the-vote efforts by party organizers and debates, while "four out of five" voters in the national election are "absolutely ignored", according to one assessment. Since most states use a "winner-takes-all arrangement in which the candidate with the most votes in that state receives all of the state's electoral votes, there is a clear incentive to focus almost exclusively on only a few key undecided states; in recent elections, these states have included "Pennsylvania, "Ohio, and "Florida in 2004 and 2008, and also "Colorado in 2012. In contrast, states with large populations such as "California, "Texas, and "New York, have in recent elections been considered "safe" for a particular party – "Democratic for California and New York and "Republican for Texas – and therefore campaigns spend less time and money there. Many small states are also considered to be "safe" for one of the two political parties and are also generally ignored by campaigners: of the 13 smallest states, six are reliably Democratic, six are reliably Republican, and only New Hampshire is considered as a swing state, according to critic George C. Edwards III. In the 2008 election, campaigns did not mount nationwide efforts but rather focused on select states.
Discouragement of turnout and participation
Except in closely fought swing states, voter turnout is largely insignificant due to entrenched political party domination in most states. The Electoral College decreases the advantage a political party or campaign might gain for encouraging voters to turn out, except in those swing states. If the presidential election were decided by a national popular vote, in contrast, campaigns and parties would have a strong incentive to work to increase turnout everywhere. Individuals would similarly have a stronger incentive to persuade their friends and neighbors to turn out to vote. The differences in turnout between swing states and non-swing states under the current electoral college system suggest that replacing the Electoral College with direct election by popular vote would likely increase turnout and participation significantly.
Obscuring disenfranchisement within states
According to this criticism, the electoral college reduces elections to a mere count of electors for a particular state, and, as a result, it obscures any voting problems within a particular state. For example, if a particular state blocks some groups from voting, perhaps by "voter suppression methods such as imposing reading tests, poll taxes, registration requirements, or legally "disfranchising specific minority groups, then voting inside that state would be reduced. But the state's electoral count would be the same. So disenfranchisement has no effect on the overall electoral tally. Critics contend that such disenfranchisement is partially obscured by the Electoral College. A related argument is the Electoral College may have a dampening effect on voter turnout: there is no incentive for states to reach out to more of its citizens to include them in elections because the state's electoral count remains fixed in any event. According to this view, if elections were by popular vote, then states would be motivated to include more citizens in elections since the state would then have more political clout nationally. Critics contend the electoral college system insulates states from negative publicity as well as possible federal penalties for disenfranching subgroups of citizens.
Legal scholars "Akhil Amar and "Vikram Amar have argued the original Electoral College compromise was enacted partially because it enabled the southern states to disenfranchise its slave populations. It permitted southern states to disfranchise large numbers of slaves while allowing these states to maintain political clout within the federation by using the "three-fifths compromise. They noted that constitutional Framer "James Madison believed the question of counting slaves had presented a serious challenge but that "the substitution of electors obviated this difficulty and seemed on the whole to be liable to the fewest objections." Akhil and Vikram Amar added that:
The founders' system also encouraged the continued disfranchisement of women. In a direct national election system, any state that gave women the vote would automatically have doubled its national clout. Under the Electoral College, however, a state had no such incentive to increase the franchise; as with slaves, what mattered was how many women lived in a state, not how many were empowered ... a state with low voter turnout gets precisely the same number of electoral votes as if it had a high turnout. By contrast, a well-designed direct election system could spur states to get out the vote.— Akhil and Vikram Amar
Lack of enfranchisement of U.S. territories
"Territories of the United States, such as "Puerto Rico, the "Northern Mariana Islands, the "U.S. Virgin Islands, "American Samoa, and "Guam, are not entitled to electors in presidential elections. Constitutionally, only U.S. states (per "Article II, Section 1, Clause 2) and "Washington, D.C. (per the "Twenty-third Amendment) are entitled to electors. Guam has held non-binding "straw polls for president since the 1980s to draw attention to this fact. This means that roughly 4 million Americans do not have the right to vote in presidential elections. Various scholars consequently conclude that the U.S. national-electoral process is not fully democratic.
Advantage based on state population
Researchers have variously attempted to measure which states' voters have the greatest impact in such an indirect election.
Each state gets a minimum of three electoral votes, regardless of population, which gives low-population states a disproportionate number of electors per capita. For example, an electoral vote represents nearly four times as many people in California as in Wyoming. Sparsely populated states are likely to be increasingly overrepresented in the electoral college over time, because Americans are increasingly moving to big cities, most of which are in big states. This analysis gives a strong advantage to the smallest states, but ignores any extra influence that comes from larger states' ability to deliver their votes as a single block.
Countervailing analyses which do take into consideration the sizes of the electoral voting blocks, such as the "Banzhaf power index (BPI) model based on "probability theory lead to very different conclusions about voters relative power.["clarification needed] It was found that based on 1990 census and districting, individual voters in California, the largest state, had 3.3 times more individual power to choose a President than voters of Montana, the largest of the minimum 3 elector states.["clarification needed] Because Banzhaf's method ignores the demographic makeup of the states, it has been criticized for treating votes like independent coin-flips. More empirically based models of voting yield results which seem to favor larger states less.
Disadvantage for third parties
In practice, the winner-take-all manner of allocating a state's electors generally decreases the importance of minor parties. However, it has been argued the Electoral College is not a cause of the two-party system, and that it had a tendency to improve the chances of third-party candidates in some situations.
Prevention of an urban-centric victory
Proponents of the Electoral College claim that it prevents a candidate from winning the presidency by simply winning in heavily populated "urban areas, and pushes candidates to make a wider geographic appeal than they would if they simply had to win the national popular vote. They believe that adoption of the popular vote would shift the disproportionate focus to large cities at the expense of rural areas.
Proponents of a national popular vote for president dismiss such arguments, pointing out combined population of the 50 biggest cities (not including "metropolitan areas) only amounts to 15% of the population, and that candidates in popular vote elections for governor and U.S. Senate, and for statewide allocation of electoral votes, do not ignore voters in less populated areas. In addition, it is already possible to win the required 270 electoral votes by winning only the 11 most populous states; what currently prevents such a result is the organic political diversity between those states (three reliably Republican states, four swing states, and four reliably Democratic states), not any inherent quality of the Electoral College itself. If all of those states came to lean reliably for one party, than the Electoral College itself would bring about an urban-centric victory.
Maintenance of the federal character of the nation
The United States of America is a federal coalition which consists of component states. Proponents of the current system argue the collective opinion of even a small state merits attention at the federal level greater than that given to a small, though numerically equivalent, portion of a very populous state. The system also allows each state the freedom, within constitutional bounds, to design its own laws on voting and enfranchisement without an undue incentive to maximize the number of votes cast.
For many years early in the nation's history, up until the "Jacksonian Era, many states appointed their electors by a vote of the "state legislature, and proponents argue that, in the end, the election of the President must still come down to the decisions of each state, or the federal nature of the United States will give way to a single massive, centralized government.
In his book "A More Perfect Constitution, Professor "Larry Sabato elaborated on this advantage of the Electoral College, arguing to "mend it, don't end it", in part because of its usefulness in forcing candidates to pay attention to lightly populated states and reinforcing the role of the state in federalism.
Enhancement of the status of minority groups
Instead of decreasing the power of "minority groups by depressing voter turnout, proponents argue that by making the votes of a given state an all-or-nothing affair, minority groups can provide the critical edge that allows a candidate to win. This encourages candidates to court a wide variety of such minorities and "advocacy groups.
Encouragement of stability through the two-party system
Proponents of the Electoral College see its negative effect on "third parties as beneficial. They argue the two party system has provided stability because it encourages a delayed adjustment during times of rapid political and cultural change. They believe it protects the most powerful office in the country from control by what these proponents view as regional minorities until they can moderate their views to win broad, long-term support across the nation. Advocates of a national popular vote for president suggest that this effect would also be true in popular vote elections. Of 918 elections for governor between 1948 and 2009, for example, more than 90% were won by candidates securing more than 50% of the vote, and none have been won with less than 35% of the vote.
Flexibility if a presidential candidate dies
According to this argument, the fact the Electoral College is made up of real people instead of mere numbers allows for human judgment and flexibility to make a decision, if it happens that a candidate dies or becomes legally disabled around the time of the election. Advocates of the current system argue that human electors would be in a better position to choose a suitable replacement than the general voting public. According to this view, electors could act decisively during the critical time interval between when ballot choices become fixed in state ballots until mid-December when the electors formally cast their ballots. In the "election of 1872, losing "Liberal Republican candidate "Horace Greeley died during this time interval which resulted in disarray for the "Democratic Party, who also supported Greeley, but the Greeley electors were able to split their votes for different alternate candidates. A situation in which the winning candidate died has never happened. In the "election of 1912, "Vice President "Sherman died shortly before the election when it was too late for states to remove his name from their ballots; accordingly, Sherman was listed posthumously, but the eight electoral votes that Sherman would have received were cast instead for "Nicholas Murray Butler.
Isolation of election problems
Some supporters of the Electoral College note that it isolates the impact of any election fraud, or other such problems, to the state where it occurs. It prevents instances where a party dominant in one state may dishonestly inflate the votes for a candidate and thereby affect the election outcome. For instance, recounts occur only on a state-by-state basis, not nationwide. Results in a single state where the popular vote is very close – such as Florida in 2000 – can decide the national election.
Efforts to abolish
The closest the United States has come to abolishing the Electoral College occurred during the "91st Congress (1969–1971). The "presidential election of 1968 resulted in "Richard Nixon receiving 301 electoral votes (56% of electors), "Hubert Humphrey 191 (35.5%) and "George Wallace 46 (8.5%) with 13.5% of the popular vote. However, Nixon had only received 511,944 more popular votes than Humphrey, 43.5% to 42.9%, less than 1% of the national total.
Representative "Emanuel Celler (D – New York), Chairman of the "House Judiciary Committee, responded to public concerns over the disparity between the popular vote and electoral vote by introducing House Joint Resolution 681, a proposed Constitutional amendment which would have replaced the Electoral College with simpler plurality system based on the national popular vote. With this system, the pair of candidates who had received the highest number of votes would win the presidency and vice presidency providing they won at least 40% of the national popular vote. If no pair received 40% of the popular vote, a runoff election would be held in which the choice of President and vice president would be made from the two pairs of persons who had received the highest number of votes in the first election. The word "pair" was defined as "two persons who shall have consented to the joining of their names as candidates for the offices of President and Vice President".
On April 29, 1969, the House Judiciary Committee voted 28 to 6 to approve the proposal. Debate on the proposal before the full House of Representatives ended on September 11, 1969 and was eventually passed with bipartisan support on September 18, 1969, by a vote of 339 to 70.
On September 30, 1969, President Richard Nixon gave his endorsement for adoption of the proposal, encouraging the Senate to pass its version of the proposal which had been sponsored as Senate Joint Resolution 1 by Senator "Birch Bayh (D – Indiana).
On October 8, 1969, the New York Times reported that 30 state legislatures were "either certain or likely to approve a constitutional amendment embodying the direct election plan if it passes its final Congressional test in the Senate". Ratification of 38 state legislatures would have been needed for adoption. The paper also reported that 6 other states had yet to state a preference, 6 were leaning toward opposition and 8 were solidly opposed.
On August 14, 1970, the Senate Judiciary Committee sent its report advocating passage of the proposal to the full Senate. The Judiciary Committee had approved the proposal by a vote of 11 to 6. The six members who opposed the plan, Democratic Senators "James Eastland of Mississippi, "John Little McClellan of Arkansas and "Sam Ervin of North Carolina along with Republican Senators "Roman Hruska of Nebraska, "Hiram Fong of Hawaii and "Strom Thurmond of South Carolina, all argued that although the present system had potential loopholes, it had worked well throughout the years. Senator Bayh indicated that supporters of the measure were about a dozen votes shy from the 67 needed for the proposal to pass the full Senate. He called upon President Nixon to attempt to persuade undecided Republican senators to support the proposal. However, Nixon, while not reneging on his previous endorsement, chose not to make any further personal appeals to back the proposal.
On September 8, 1970, the Senate commenced openly debating the proposal and the proposal was quickly "filibustered. The lead objectors to the proposal were mostly Southern senators and conservatives from small states, both Democrats and Republicans, who argued abolishing the Electoral College would reduce their states' political influence. On September 17, 1970, a motion for "cloture, which would have ended the filibuster, received 54 votes to 36 for cloture, failing to receive the then required two-thirds majority of senators voting. A second motion for cloture on September 29, 1970 also failed, by 53 to 34. Thereafter, the Senate Majority Leader, "Mike Mansfield of Montana, moved to lay the proposal aside so the Senate could attend to other business. However, the proposal was never considered again and died when the 91st Congress ended on January 3, 1971.
On March 22, 1977, President Jimmy Carter wrote a letter of reform to Congress that also included his expression of essentially abolishing the Electoral College. The letter read in part:
My fourth recommendation is that the Congress adopt a Constitutional amendment to provide for direct popular election of the President. Such an amendment, which would abolish the Electoral College, will ensure that the candidate chosen by the voters actually becomes President. Under the Electoral College, it is always possible that the winner of the popular vote will not be elected. This has already happened in three elections, 1824, 1876, and 1888. In the last election, the result could have been changed by a small shift of votes in Ohio and Hawaii, despite a popular vote difference of 1.7 million. I 'do not recommend a Constitutional amendment lightly. I think the amendment process must be reserved for an issue of overriding governmental significance. But the method by which we elect our President is such an issue. I will not be proposing a specific direct election amendment. I prefer to allow the Congress to proceed with its work without the interruption of a new proposal.
President Carter's proposed program for the reform of the Electoral College was very liberal for a modern President during this time, and in some aspects of the package, went beyond original expectations. Newspapers like "The New York Times saw President Carter's proposal at that time as "a modest surprise" because of the indication of President Carter that he would be interested in only eliminating the electors but retaining the electoral vote system in a modified form.
Newspaper reaction to President Carter's proposal ranged from some editorials praising the proposal to other editorials, like that in the "Chicago Tribune, criticizing the President for proposing the end of the Electoral College.
In a letter to The New York Times, Representative Johnathan B. Bingham highlighted the danger of the "flawed, outdated mechanism of the Electoral College" by underscoring how a shift of less than 10,000 votes in two key states would have led to President Gerald Ford being reelected despite Jimmy Carter's nationwide 1.7 million-vote margin.
On January 5, 2017, Representative "Steve Cohen introduced a "joint resolution proposing a constitutional amendment that would replace the Electoral College with the popular election of the President and Vice President. Unlike the Bayh–Celler amendment 40% threshold for election, Cohen's proposal only requires a candidate to have the "greatest number of votes" to be elected.
National Popular Vote Interstate Compact
Several states plus the District of Columbia have joined the National Popular Vote Interstate Compact. Those jurisdictions joining the "compact agree to pledge their electors to the winner of the national "popular vote. The Compact will not come into "effect until the number of states agreeing to the Compact equals a majority (at least 270) of all electors. As of 2017, 10 states and the "District of Columbia have joined the compact; collectively, these jurisdictions control 165 electoral votes, which is 61% of the 270 required for the Compact to take effect. Only strongly ""blue" states have joined the compact, each of which returned large victory margins for Barack Obama in the 2012 election.
The Compact is based on the current rule in "Article II, Section 1, Clause 2 of the Constitution that gives each state legislature the "plenary power to determine how it chooses its electors, though some have suggested that "Article I, Section 10, Clause 3 of the Constitution requires "congressional consent before the Compact could be enforcible. Some scholars note that any attempted implementation of the NPV interstate compact would face court challenges to its constitutionality. Not only are states forbidden to enter into any agreement or compact with another state without consent of Congress, but it would overturn the Constitutional provision of electing a president of the United States by the people state by state.
- "County Unit System
- Lists of United States presidential electors: "2000, "2004, "2008, "2012, "2016
- United States presidential elections: "1824, "1876, "1888, "2000, "2016
- "United States presidential election maps
- "Voter turnout in the United States presidential elections
- "List of U.S. states and territories by population
- "Number of Electoral Votes Per Popular Vote
- "Associated Press Interactive". Associated Press. Retrieved November 10, 2016.
Updated: Nov. 10, 2016 6:42 p.m. EST
- Bromwichnov, Jonah Engel (November 8, 2016). "How Does the Electoral College Work?". The New York Times.
- Black, Eric (October 17, 2012). "Why the Constitution's Framers didn't want us to directly elect the president". MinnPost.
- Kuroda, Tadahisa (1994). The Origins of the Twelfth Amendment: The Electoral College in the Early Republic, 1787-1804. Greenwood. p. 168. "ISBN "978-0-313-29151-7. "OCLC 29518703.
- "U. S. Electoral College: Roles and Responsibilities".
- "Article II, Section 1, Clause 2 of the Constitution
- Zak, Dan (November 16, 2016). "The electoral college isn't a real place. But someone has to answer all the angry phone calls these days.". Washington Post. Retrieved November 21, 2016.
- Gore, D'Angelo (December 23, 2016). "Presidents Winning Without Popular Vote". "FactCheck.org.
- Morris, Irwin L. (2010). The American Presidency: An Analytical Approach. Cambridge University Press. p. 67. "ISBN "978-1-139-49162-4. "OCLC 607985767.
- "The Electoral College – Maine and Nebraska".
- "Appointment of 2004 Electors for President and Vice President of the United States".
- Many states have laws designed to ensure electors vote for their pledged candidate, but the constitutionality of these laws has never been positively established. See The Green Papers
- Library of Congress – Election Process
- "Electoral College Fast Facts – US House of Representatives: History, Art & Archives".
- "Debates in the Federal Convention of 1787: May 29". Avalon Project. Retrieved April 13, 2011.
- "Debates in the Federal Convention of 1787: June 2". Avalon Project. Retrieved April 13, 2011.
- "Debates in the Federal Convention of 1787: September 4". Avalon Project. Retrieved April 13, 2011.
- Records of the Federal Convention, p. 57 Farrand's Records, Volume 2, A Century of Lawmaking for a New Nation: U.S. Congressional Documents and Debates, 1774–1875, Library of Congress
- "Debates in the Federal Convention of 1787: September 6". Avalon Project. Retrieved April 13, 2011.
- Madison, James (1966). Notes of Debates in the Federal Convention of 1787. The Norton Library. p. 294. "ASIN B003G6AKX2.
- Patrick, John J.; Pious, Richard M.; Ritchie, Donald A. (2001). The Oxford Guide to the United States Government. Oxford University Press, USA. p. 208. "ISBN "978-0-19-514273-0.
- "The Federalist 39". Avalon Project. Retrieved April 13, 2011.
- Hamilton. The Federalist Papers: No. 68 The Avalon Project, Yale Law School. viewed November 10, 2016.
- The "Twelfth Amendment changed this to the top three candidates
- The Federalist Papers: Alexander Hamilton, James Madison, John Jay The New American Library, 1961
- "U. S. Electoral College: Frequently Asked Questions".
- Chang, Stanley (2007). "Updating the Electoral College: The National Popular Vote Legislation". Harvard Journal on Legislation. Cambridge, MA: President and Fellows of Harvard College. 44 (205, at 208).
- Describing how the Electoral College was designed to work, Alexander Hamilton wrote, "A small number of persons, selected by their fellow-citizens from the general mass, will be most likely to possess the information and discernment requisite to such complicated investigations [decisions regarding the selection of a president]." (Hamilton, Federalist 68). Hamilton so strongly believed this was to be done district by district, and when states began doing otherwise, he proposed a constitutional amendment to mandate the district system (Hamilton, Draft of a Constitutional Amendment). Madison concurred, "The district mode was mostly, if not exclusively in view when the Constitution was framed and adopted." (Madison to Hay, 1823)
- "The Avalon Project : Federalist No 68".
- "Resolves of the General Court of the Commonwealth of Massachusetts: Passed at Their Session, which Commenced on Wednesday, the Thirty First of May, and Ended on the Seventeenth of June, One Thousand Eight Hundred and Twenty. Published Agreeably to Resolve of 16th January, 1812. Boston, Russell & Gardner, for B. Russell, 1820; [repr". Boston Book Company. January 1, 1820 – via Google Books.
- Devin McCarthy (Ph.D. Polysci, Duke), "How the Electoral College Became Winner-Take-All"
- Chief Justice Robert Jackson, Ray v. Blair, dissent, 1952
- "Founders Online: James Madison to George Hay, 23 August 1823".
- "Founders Online: Draft of a Resolution for the Legislature of New York for the …".
- "1788 Election For the First Term, 1789-1793". U. S. Electoral College. U.S. National Archives. Retrieved April 19, 2017. New York, North Carolina and Rhode Island did not participate in the election. New York's electors deadlocked and abstained; North Carolina and Rhode Island had not yet ratified the Constitution. "United States presidential election of 1789". Encyclopedia Britannica. September 19, 2013. Retrieved April 19, 2017.
- Presidential Elections 1789-1996. Congressional Quarterly, Inc. 1997, "ISBN 978-1-5680-2065-5, p.9-10
- Presidential Elections 1789-1996. Congressional Quarterly, Inc. 1997, "ISBN 978-1-5680-2065-5, p.10-11
- Presidential Elections 1789-1996. Congressional Quarterly, Inc. 1997, "ISBN 978-1-5680-2065-5, p.11
- THE FOURTEENTH AMENDMENT from America Book 9 (archived from the original on 2011-10-27)
- The selected papers of Thaddeus Stevens, v.2, Stevens, Thaddeus, 1792–1868, Palmer, Beverly Wilson, 1936, Ochoa, Holly Byers, 1951, Pittsburgh: University of Pittsburgh, Digital Research Library, 2011, pp. 135–36
- McCarthy, Devin. "How the Electoral College Became Winner-Take-All". Fairvote. Retrieved 22 November 2014.
- The present allotment of electors by state is shown in the Electoral vote distribution section.
- The number of electors allocated to each state is based on "Article II, Section 1, Clause 2 of the Constitution, subject to being reduced pursuant to "Section 2 of the Fourteenth Amendment.
- Congressional Apportionment. 2010 Census Briefs U.S. Census.
- Table 1. Annual Estimates of the Population for the United States, Regions, States, and Puerto Rico: April 1, 2010 to July 1, 2011 in State Totals: Vintage 2011, United States Census Bureau.
- "How is the president elected? Here is a basic guide to the electoral college system".
- Sabrina Eaton (October 29, 2004). "Brown learns he can't serve as Kerry elector, steps down" (PDF). Cleveland Plain Dealer (reprint at Edison Research). Archived from the original (PDF) on July 10, 2011. Retrieved January 3, 2008.
- Darrell J. Kozlowski (2010). Federalism. Infobase Publishing. pp. 33–34. "ISBN "978-1-60413-218-2.
- "3 U.S.C. § 1 A uniform national date for presidential elections was not set until 1845, although the Congress always had constitutional authority to do so. — Kimberling, William C. (1992) The Electoral College, p. 7
- "Electoral College Instructions to State Officials" (PDF). National Archives and Records Administration. Retrieved 22 January 2014.
- District of Columbia Certificate of Ascertainment (archived from the original on 2006-03-05)
- "Twelfth Amendment". "FindLaw. Retrieved August 26, 2010.
- "Twenty-third Amendment". "FindLaw. Retrieved August 26, 2010.
- "U.S.C. § 7 : US Code – Section 7: Meeting and vote of electors". "FindLaw. Retrieved August 26, 2010.
- "U.S. Electoral College – For State Officials". National Archives and Records Administration. Retrieved November 7, 2012.
- "Associated Press (January 9, 2009). "Congress meets to count electoral votes". "MSNBC. Retrieved April 5, 2012.
- Barrow, Bill (November 19, 2016). "Q&A: Electors almost always follow the vote in their state". "The Washington Post. Retrieved November 19, 2016.
- "Michigan Election Law Section 168.47". Legislature.mi.gov. Retrieved August 26, 2010.
- "The Green Papers". The Green Papers. Retrieved August 26, 2010.
- Boccagno, Julia (December 21, 2016). "Which candidates did the seven "faithless" electors support?". "CBS News. Retrieved January 8, 2017.
- "The President of the Senate shall, in the presence of the Senate and House of Representatives, open all the certificates and the votes shall then be counted." Constitution of the United States: Amendments 11–27, National Archives and Records Administration
- "3 U.S.C. § 15, Counting electoral votes in Congress
- David A. McKnight (1878). The Electoral System of the United States: A Critical and Historical Exposition of Its Fundamental Principles in the Constitution and the Acts and Proceedings of Congress Enforcing It. Wm. S. Hein Publishing. p. 313. "ISBN "978-0-8377-2446-1.
- "RL30804: The Electoral College: An Overview and Analysis of Reform Proposals, L. Paige Whitaker and Thomas H. Neale, January 16, 2001". Ncseonline.org. Archived from the original on June 28, 2011. Retrieved August 26, 2010.
- Longley, Lawrence D.; Pierce, Neal R. (1999). "The Electoral College Primer 2000". New Haven, CT: Yale University Press: 13.
- "Election evolves into 'perfect' electoral storm". USA Today. December 12, 2000. Archived from the original on May 15, 2006. Retrieved June 8, 2016.
- "Senate Journal from 1837". Memory.loc.gov. Retrieved August 26, 2010.
- "Apportionment of the U.S. House of Representatives Based on the 2010 Census" (PDF). Washington, D.C.: U.S. Census Bureau. December 21, 2010. Archived from the original (PDF) on 2011-01-24. Retrieved December 21, 2010. Each state's number of electoral votes is equal to its total congressional representation (its number of Representatives plus its two Senators).
- "2010 Census: State Population and the Distribution of Electoral Votes and Representatives". The Green Papers.
- Moore, John L., ed. (1985). Congressional Quarterly's Guide to U.S. Elections (2nd ed.). Washington, D.C.: Congressional Quarterly, Inc. pp. 254–56.
- Bush v. Gore, (Justice Stevens dissenting) (quote in second paragraph)
- Moore, John L., ed. (1985). Congressional Quarterly's Guide to U.S. Elections (2nd ed.). Washington, D.C.: Congressional Quarterly, Inc. p. 255.
- Kolodny, Robin (1996). "The Several Elections of 1824". Congress & the Presidency. 23 (2): 139–64. "doi:10.1080/07343469609507834.
- "Election 101" (PDF). Princeton Press. Princeton University Press. Retrieved 22 November 2014.
- Black, Eric (14 October 2012). "Our Electoral College system is weird – and not in a good way". MinnPost. Retrieved 22 November 2014.
- Moore, John L., ed. (1985). Congressional Quarterly's Guide to U.S. Elections (2nd ed.). Washington, D.C.: Congressional Quarterly, Inc. p. 266.
- "Legislative Action?, The NewsHour with Jim Lehrer, November 30, 2000". Pbs.org. Archived from the original on 2001-01-24. Retrieved August 26, 2010.
- Moore, John L., ed. (1985). Congressional Quarterly's Guide to U.S. Elections (2nd ed.). Washington, D.C.: Congressional Quarterly, Inc. p. 254.
- "FairVote". FairVote. Retrieved August 14, 2014.
- "Fiddling with the Rules". Franklin & Marshall College. March 9, 2005. Archived from the original on September 3, 2006. Retrieved August 26, 2010.
- Henderson, Nia-Malika; Haines, Errin (January 25, 2013). "Republicans in Virginia, other states seeking electoral college changes". washingtonpost.com. Retrieved January 24, 2013.
- "Election Reform" (PDF). Dos.state.pa.us. Archived from the original (PDF) on 2008-05-01. Retrieved August 26, 2010.
- McNulty, Timothy (December 23, 2012). "Pennsylvania looks to alter state's electoral vote system". Pittsburgh Post Gazette.
- Sabato, Larry. "A more perfect Constitution" viewed November 22, 2014. (archiveed from the original on 2016-01-02)
- Levy, Robert A., Should we reform the Electoral College? Cato Institute, viewed November 22, 2014.
- "The Electoral College – Reform Options". Fairvote.org. Retrieved August 14, 2014.
- Congressional Research Services Electoral College, p. 15, viewed November 22, 2014.
- "Articles – Upgrading The College". President Elect. September 5, 2004. Retrieved August 26, 2010.
- "Methods of Choosing Presidential Electors". Uselectionatlas.org. Retrieved August 26, 2010.
- Skelley, Geoffrey (20 November 2014). "What Goes Around Comes Around?". Sabato's Crystal Ball. Retrieved 22 November 2014.
- Egan, Paul (21 November 2014). "Michigan split its electoral votes in 1892 election". Lansing State Journal. Retrieved 22 November 2014.
- Congressional Quarterly Books, "Presidential Elections: 1789–1996", "ISBN 978-1-5680-2065-5, p. 10.
- Tysver, Robynn (November 7, 2008). "Obama wins electoral vote in Nebraska". Omaha World Herald. Retrieved November 7, 2008.
- Molai, Nabil (October 28, 2008). "Republicans Push to Change Electoral Vote System". KPTM Fox 42. Archived from the original on May 16, 2012. Retrieved November 4, 2008.
- Ortiz, Jean (January 7, 2010). "Bill targets Neb. ability to split electoral votes". Associated Press. Retrieved September 8, 2011.
- Kleeb, Jane (March 10, 2011). "Fail: Sen. McCoy's Partisan Electoral College Bill". Bold Nebraska. Archived from the original on May 31, 2012. Retrieved August 9, 2011.
- Seelye, Katharine Q. (September 19, 2011). "Pennsylvania Republicans Weigh Electoral Vote Changes" – via NYTimes.com.
- Weigel, David (September 13, 2011). "Pennsylvania Ponders Bold Democrat-Screwing Electoral Plan" – via Slate.
- GOP Pennsylvania electoral vote plan might be out of steam – The York Daily Record (archived from the original on 2012-01-31)
- Gray, Kathleen (14 November 2014). "Bill to change Michigan's electoral vote gets hearing". Detroit Free Press. Retrieved 22 November 2014.
- Jacobson, Louis (31 January 2013). "The Ramifications of Changing the Electoral College". Governing Magazine. Retrieved 22 November 2014.
- Wilson, Reid (17 December 2012). "The GOP's Electoral College Scheme". National Journal. Archived from the original on 2013-01-08. Retrieved 22 November 2014.
- Bugh, Gary E. (2016). "Representation in Congressional Efforts to Amend the Presidential Election System". In Bugh, Gary. Electoral College Reform: Challenges and Possibilities. Routledge. pp. 5–18. "ISBN "978-1-317-14527-1.
- "Op-Chart: How Much Is Your Vote Worth? Op-Chart". November 2, 2008 – via The New York Times.
- FairVote.org. "Problems with the Electoral College – Fairvote".
- Edwards III, George C. (2011). Why the Electoral College is Bad for America (Second ed.). New Haven and London: Yale University Press. pp. 1, 37, 61, 176–77, 193–94. "ISBN "978-0-300-16649-1.
- "Electoral College Mischief, The Wall Street Journal, September 8, 2004". Opinionjournal.com. Retrieved August 26, 2010.
- "Did JFK Lose the Popular Vote?". RealClearPolitics. October 22, 2012. Retrieved October 23, 2012.
- Jonathan H. Adler. "Your candidate got more of the popular vote? Irrelevant.". The Washington Post. Retrieved November 10, 2016.
- Ashe Schow. "Why the popular vote is a meaningless statistic". The Washington Examiner. Retrieved November 10, 2016.
- CGP Grey (2011-11-07), The Trouble with the Electoral College, retrieved 2017-02-11
- Pearson, Christopher; Richie, Rob; Johnson, Adam (November 3, 2005). "Who Picks the President?" (PDF). FairVote – The Center for Voting and Democracy. p. 7.
- "It's Time to End the Electoral College: Here's how.". "The Nation. November 7, 2012.
- Nivola, Pietro (January 2005). "Thinking About Political Polarization" (139). Brookings Institution Policy Brief.
- Koza, John; et al. (2006). "Every Vote Equal: A State-Based Plan for Electing the President by National Popular Vote" (PDF). p. xvii. Archived from the original (PDF) on 2006-11-13.
- Amar, Akhil; Amar, Vikram (September 9, 2004). "The Electoral College Votes Against Equality". Los Angeles Times. Archived from the original on 2010-04-15.
- Katrina vanden Heuvel (November 7, 2012). "It's Time to End the Electoral College". The Nation. Retrieved November 8, 2012.
Electoral college defenders offer a range of arguments, from the openly anti-democratic (direct election equals mob rule), to the nostalgic (we've always done it this way), to the opportunistic (your little state will get ignored! More vote-counting means more controversies! The Electoral College protects hurricane victims!). But none of those arguments overcome this one: One person, one vote.
- "Guam Legislature Moves General Election Presidential Vote to the September Primary". Ballot-Access.org. 2008-07-10. Retrieved 2014-07-24.
- "In Guam, 'Non-Binding Straw Poll' Gives Obama A Commanding Win". NPR. 2012-11-12. Retrieved 2014-07-24.
- "The electoral college badly distorts the vote. And it's going to get worse.". Washington Post. Retrieved 2016-11-17.
- Torruella, Juan R. (1985), The Supreme Court and Puerto Rico: The Doctrine of Separate and Unequal, University of Puerto Rico Press, "ISBN "0-8477-3031-X
- José D. Román. "Puerto Rico and a Constitutional Right to vote". University of Dayton. Retrieved 2007-10-02. (excerpted from: José D. Román, "Trying to Fit an Oval Shaped Island into a Square Constitution: Arguments for Puerto Rican Statehood", 29 Fordham Urban Law Journal 1681–1713, 1697–1713 (April 2002) (316 Footnotes Omitted))
- Miroff, Bruce; Seidelman, Raymond; Swanstrom, Todd (November 2001). The Democratic Debate: An Introduction to American Politics (Third ed.). Houghton Mifflin Company. "ISBN "0-618-05452-9.
- Mark Livingston, Department of Computer Science. "Banzhaf Power Index". University of North Carolina.
- Gelman, Andrew; Katz, Jonathan; Tuerlinckx, Francis (2002). "The Mathematics and Statistics of Voting Power" (PDF). Statistical Science. 17 (4): 420–@35. "doi:10.1214/ss/1049993201.
- Jerry Fresia (February 28, 2006). "Third Parties?". Zmag.org. Retrieved August 26, 2010.
- P. Andrew Sandlin (December 13, 2000). "Why the Electoral College". Lewrockwell.com. Retrieved September 14, 2016.
- Hands Off the Electoral College by Rep. "Ron Paul, MD, December 28, 2004
- Hernandez, Carlos Felipe. "National Popular Vote – Electoral college reform by direct election of the President". archive.nationalpopularvote.com. Retrieved 2016-09-14.
- See also "List of United States cities by population
- Myths about Big Cities and Big States by National Popular Vote (archived from the original on 2009-08-05)
- CGP Grey (2016-11-11), Re: The Trouble With The Electoral College – Cities, Metro Areas, Elections and The United States, retrieved 2017-02-11
- Kimberling, William C. (May 1992). "The Electoral College" (PDF). "Federal Election Commission. Retrieved January 3, 2008.
- Sabato, Larry (2007). A More Perfect Constitution (First U.S. ed.). Walker Publishing Company. "ISBN "0-8027-1621-0. Retrieved July 30, 2009.
- Majority and Plurality in U.S. Gubernatorial Elections. FairVote.org (2010-04-09). Retrieved on 2013-07-12.
- Note: this may be a few days or even weeks before an election; many states cannot change ballots at a late stage.
- Note: the day when the electors cast their votes is the first Monday after the second Wednesday in December.
- Note: three electoral votes were still cast for Greeley despite being dead.
- Ethan Trex (November 4, 2008). "Electoral College for dummies". CNN. Archived from the original on 2013-01-20. Retrieved November 8, 2012.
... In 1872, though, Democrat Horace Greeley died just over three weeks after Ulysses S. Grant thumped him in the election. ... electors who would have voted for Greeley simply spread their 66 votes among other Democratic candidates. ... Thomas Andrews Hendricks actually came in second in the election with 42 electoral votes despite not campaigning for the presidency...
- SHELLY FREIERMAN (November 2, 2000). "NEWS WATCH; Looking for Comic Relief? Then Consider the Duke". The New York Times. Retrieved November 8, 2012.
... (In 1872, Horace Greeley, opposing Ulysses S. Grant, got zero electoral votes to Grant's 286, but five other candidates received from one to 42 votes each).
- JAMES BARRON (August 27, 2012). "When the Vice Presidency Was a Job for New Yorkers". The New York Times. Retrieved November 8, 2012.
... But Sherman died in office, less than a month before the election of 1912.... The Republican Party designated Nicholas Murray Butler ... as the candidate to receive Sherman's votes in the Electoral College...
- Darlington, Richard B. "The Electoral College: Bulwark Against Fraud". Cornell University Department of Psychology. Archived from the original on March 3, 2000. Retrieved August 26, 2010.
- "Myths about Recounts". National Popular Vote. Archived from the original on November 8, 2008.["publisher missing]
- For a more detailed account of this proposal read The Politics of Electoral College Reform by Lawrence D. Longley and Alan G. Braun (1972)
- 1968 Electoral College Results, National Archives and Records Administration
- "Text of Proposed Amendment on Voting". The New York Times. April 30, 1969. p. 21.
- "House Unit Votes To Drop Electors". The New York Times. April 30, 1969. p. 1.
- "Direct Election of President Is Gaining in the House". The New York Times. September 12, 1969. p. 12.
- "House Approves Direct Election of The President". The New York Times. September 19, 1969. p. 1.
- "Nixon Comes Out For Direct Vote On Presidency". The New York Times. October 1, 1969. p. 1.
- "A Survey Finds 30 Legislatures Favor Direct Vote For President". The New York Times. October 8, 1969. p. 1.
- "Bayh Calls for Nixon's Support As Senate Gets Electoral Plan". The New York Times. August 15, 1970. p. 11.
- Weaver, Warren (September 18, 1970). "Senate Refuses To Halt Debate On Direct Voting". The New York Times. p. 1.
- "Senate Debating Direct Election". The New York Times. September 9, 1970. p. 10.
- The Senate in 1975 reduced the required vote for cloture from two-thirds of those voting (66 votes) to three-fifths (60 votes). See United States Senate website.
- "Senate Puts Off Direct Vote Plan". The New York Times. September 30, 1970. p. 1.
- Jimmy Carter Letter to Congress, Jimmy Carter: "Election reform Message to the Congress", Online by Gerhard Peters and John T. Woolley, The American Presidency Project.
- Carter Proposes End Of Electoral College In Presidential Votes, The New York Times, March 23, 1977,Pages 1,18
- Carter v. The Electoral College, Chicago Tribune, March 24, 1977, Section 3, Page 2
- To Reform Our Presidential Election System, The New York Times, March 15, 1979, Page 22
- Brown, George (January 5, 2017). "Congressman Cohen proposes elimination of Electoral College". "WREG-TV. Retrieved January 7, 2017.
- H.J. Res. 19
- "National Popular Vote".
- "Silver, Nate (17 April 2014). "Why a Plan to Circumvent the Electoral College Is Probably Doomed". "FiveThirtyEight. "ESPN. Retrieved 17 July 2014.
- Neale, Thomas H. Electoral College Reform Congressional Research Service pp. 21–22, viewed November 23, 2014.
- Spakovsky, Hans A., Destroying the Electoral College: the Anti-Federalist Natioanal Popular Vote scheme Heritage Memorandum #73 on Legal Issues, viewed November 12, 2016.
|""||"Wikisource has the text of the 1905 "New International Encyclopedia article Electoral College.|
- U.S. Electoral College FAQ (www.archives.gov)
- Interactive U.S. Electoral Map
- Historical Documents on the Electoral College
- Electoral Vote
- 270 to win
- Winning The Electoral College
- "Math Against Tyranny"
- The Green Papers: More detailed description of reform proposals
- The Electoral College: How It Works in Contemporary Presidential Elections "Congressional Research Service
- Office of the Federal Register
- Joint Session of the 111th Congress for the purpose of certifying the Electoral College ballot count, January 9, 2009 (C-Span video)
- Introductory chapter of Electoral College Reform: Challenges and Possibilities
- Voter Turnout Data - United States Election Project