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View Diary: The Electoral College is an Anacronism (21 comments)

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  •  Two Reasons for the electoral college (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Bisbonian, Kevskos

    First, so that the states would not be pressured into granting the vote to all white males, and remain unpressured to continue to restrict the right to vote to white male property owners only.  Each of the 13 states was guaranteed its electoral votes based on the total population of all men, women and children, except for Indians not taxed and 3/5 of "all other persons" - slaves, so states could be free to restrict their franchise to a few thousand very wealthy property owners.  Were it not for the electoral college, one of the 13 states could have opened up the franchise to all white males, and that state could have cast the majority of votes in a direct election for president and elect the president just by the vote of one state.  Then all the other states would have been pressured to follow suit and open up their franchises as well.  By 1842, all states but South Carolina had adopted universal white adult franchise, but the electoral college did delay this step towards democracy.

    Second, the electoral college, based on the number of representatives in Congress, incorporated the 3/5 clause into presidential elections, as slave states got their bonus 3/5 votes for each slave.

    "We have always known that heedless self-interest was bad morals, now we know that it is bad economics." Franklin Delano Roosevelt, Jan. 20, 1937

    by Navy Vet Terp on Sat Sep 07, 2013 at 05:59:47 PM PDT

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