When Alexander Hamilton spoke of the Electoral College, he said: “[If] the manner of it be not perfect, it is at least excellent.” Today, some are more doubtful, to say the least. The New York Times editorial board calls the system a “quadrennial ritual born in the economics and politics of slavery and the quill-pen era.” Some Americans want to move to a direct national election so badly that they have created an effort to do exactly that, but without a constitutional amendment. The National Popular Vote effort asks state legislatures to award their electors to the winner of the national popular vote. If states holding a majority of electors comply, then the presidential election will operate as a national direct election. This panel will discuss presidential election from several perspectives: Is the Electoral College an antiquated institution or is it an essential element of America’s republican democracy? If the Electoral College needs to be replaced with a direct election system, is NPV an appropriate route to change? Or does its interstate compact constitute an end-run around the constitutional amendment process?
- Prof. George C. Edwards III, University Distinguished Professor of Political Science, Texas A&M University
- Mr. Trent England, Vice President of Policy, The Freedom Foundation
- Dr. John R. Koza, Author, Every Vote Equal: A State-Based Plan for Electing the President by National Popular Vote
- Ms. Tara Ross, Author, Enlightened Democracy: The Case for the Electoral College
Call begins at 12:00 noon Eastern Time.
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