The topic of discussion for this Constitution Monday comes from Article II, Section 1, Clause 2: "Each State shall appoint … a Number of Electors …: but no Senator or Representative, or Person holding an Office of Trust or Profit under the United States, shall be appointed an Elector." The Framers of the Constitution inserted this provision in order to guarantee that the electors would be chosen from among the general population of the state rather than a group of government officials.
"It will be observed that the theme of the entire Constitution is to protect the people from the concentration of political power in the government. All human history, and the experience of the
during the past two
hundred years, has demonstrated that concentrated governmental power is the
greatest threat to individual freedom and states rights. The Founders did everything possible to
prevent the federal government from becoming involved in anything other than
the `few things' assigned to it. United States
"Protecting the electoral system from conquest and occupation by the agencies of the federal government was the purpose of this provision" (W. Cleon Skousen in The Making of America - The Substance and Meaning of the Constitution, p. 526).
"At the Constitutional Convention in 1787, delegates had expressed concern that a meeting of a single body in the nation's capital to elect a President opened the door to intrigue and undue influence by special interests, foreign governments, and political factions. Meeting in their home states, electors would find it difficult to collude or buy and sell votes.
"A more difficult problem was how to structure the voting within the Electoral College…. James Madison proposed that every individual voter cast three votes for president, at least two for persons from a state other than his own.
's idea later resurfaced, and the
Convention applied it in modified form to the presidential electors of the
Electoral College…. Madison
"The creation of the office of Vice President appears to have been directly related to the mode of choosing the President. The Constitution gives to the Vice President only two specific constitutional responsibilities: he is President of the Senate, and he receives and opens the electoral votes…" (Tadahisa Kuroda in The Heritage Guide to the Constitution, pp. 186-187).