Taming the Electoral College
Northwestern University Law School
Robert Bennett, TAMING THE ELECTORAL COLLEGE, Stanford University Press, 2006
Northwestern Public Law Research Paper No. 885202
"Taming the Electoral College" is a book to be published by Stanford University Press in the spring of 2006. It explores poorly understood aspects of the electoral college, including two possibilities in particular that pose the most serious danger for American democracy. These are, first, determination of the president by faithless electors who ignore the popular votes in their states and, second, choice of the president in the House of Representatives, which is required if no electoral college majority votes in favor of a single candidate. In any given election neither of these outcomes is likely, but the 2000 election showed that we would do well to take each seriously and act now to prevent them from occurring. Both possibilities could be dealt with through constitutional amendment, but amendment is difficult to achieve, and all the more so for electoral college reform. With this in mind the book offers non-constitutional solutions to the electoral college processes. It also offers a way to work toward popular election of the president without a constitutional amendment. The book provides a short critical history of the electoral college, and deploys political and constitutional theory as aids to understanding.
Accepted Paper Series
Date posted: February 16, 2006
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