The Electoral College: Why does it exist? Should it exist? What should we do about it?

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Duration 00:58:30

Brown University

Wendy Schiller is the Chair of the Political Science Department at Brown University. She is an expert in the field of the U.S. Congress and political representation, and the recipient of a National Science Foundation grant to study party conflict and factionalism in the U.S. Senate. Professor Schiller has been a guest scholar at the Brookings Institution and a six-time recipient of the Undergraduate Teaching and Research Award at Brown.


This class will focus on the Electoral College and its role in shaping presidential elections in the United States.   We will trace the actual origins of the idea of the Electoral College and discuss why it has evolved into a such a highly debated practice over time.  We’ll address the advantages (there are some) and disadvantages (there are some of those too) associated with using the Electoral College delegate count to determine the winner of presidential elections from the shaping of presidential campaigns to how presidents address the needs of individual states.  The final portion of the presentation wil outline  how alternatives modes of electing the President might be feasible, even  without needing to amend the Constitution.



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