Taming the Electoral College

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Stanford University Press, 2006 - Political Science - 270 pages
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Taming the Electoral College explores poorly understood aspects of the electoral college, including two possibilities in particular that could pose the most serious danger for American democracy. These are, first, determination of the president by "faithless electors" who ignore the popular vote 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 both of them seriously and take action now to prevent them from occurring. Both possibilities could be dealt with by constitutional amendment, but amendment is difficult to achieve, particularly as it bears on the electoral college process. This engaging book instead offers nonconstitutional solutions to the two possibilities, as well as to a variety of other problems that lurk in the shadows of the electoral college process. It also offers a way to work toward popular election of the president without a constitutional amendment.

 

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Contents

Introduction
1
From
12
Operating Under the Twelfth Amendment
27
The Nationwide Popular Vote
46
The Contingent Procedure for Selection of the President by
74
The Case of Two Candidates Ending Up in an Electoral College Tie
86
The Problem of Faithless Electors
95
Electoral Votes for ThirdParty or Independent Candidates
122
Miscellaneous Pitfalls in the Electoral College Process
144
Popular Election of the President Without a Constitutional
161
Conclusion
179
Notes
191
Index
259
Copyright

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About the author (2006)

Robert W. Bennett is the Nathaniel L. Nathanson Professor of Law and former Dean of the School of Law at Northwestern University. He is the author of Talking It Through: Puzzles of American Democracy (2002).

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