The topic of discussion for this Constitution Monday is the Electoral College and why we have it. Basically, the Electoral College is a group of electors appointed by their states. American citizens do not vote directly for president and vice president. They are represented by electors appointed by their states to cast votes in the Electoral College in election of the president and vice president.
Billy Hallowell posted an article at the Deseret News titled “Why did the Founding Fathers choose the Electoral College for electing presidents?” He asked the question in a different manner in his article: “What exactly is the Electoral College – and why did the Founding Fathers embrace it instead of creating a direct presidential voting process?”
Hallowell answered his questions by discussing some books written by Tara Ross, an attorney, an author, and a staunch defender of the Electoral College system. Ross has a new book for children titled, “We Elect a President: The Story of Our Electoral College.” It follows her nonfiction book for adults titled, “Enlightened Democracy: The Case for the Electoral College.”
Ross notes that the Founding Fathers intentionally chose not to have a direct electoral process. “The most important thing to know about (the Founders) mindset as they were crafting our entire constitution … They were not trying to create a pure democracy…. We live in a country that has democratic principles, but also republican principles (like deliberation and compromise).”
The Founding Fathers “studied history and knew that democracies could have pitfalls.” Ross explains, “They knew that in a pure democracy, 51 percent of the people can rule over 49 percent all the time without question, no matter how ridiculous their demands.”
The Founding Fathers were intelligent, well-educated men. They studied the history of numerous ancient nations and numerous other subjects. They wanted something better than a pure democracy for their new nation, and they designed a democratic republic with some democratic principles and some republican principles.