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History of the United States
US Constitution
U.S. Electoral College

Why was the electoral college established by the constitutional convention?


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March 16, 2011 11:03PM

During that time, there was no formal mandatory education. Many people did not know how to read or write, and had difficulty understanding the complexities of their newly formed nation. For that reason, they needed to think about how to best elect a president. It should be recognized that most people would never leave the town in which they were born. How, then, would someone living in Virginia know how competent a person from Vermont might be?

To eliminate the possibility of electing someone who might not be the best person for the job, a solution was created the Electoral College. People would elect their representatives, who would be local. The governors would appoint the senators, who would best represent the state. These combined groups would each cast votes to elect the president. The citizens would vote first. Then, of the candidates who received the largest number of votes, the elected officials would cast their votes, thus ensuring the best leader possible became the President of the United States of America.

Many believe that the Electoral College has outlived its usefulness, since we now have the telephone, radio, television, and the Internet. Whether or not it has, frankly, is irrelevant. Written in the Constitution of the United States of America is the method we use to elect the President. We have ways to amend the document, however, that has not occurred. Until that happens, we must follow the rules and accept the role the Electoral College serves in our election process.