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AIR DATE: Monday, December 17, 2012
Tracey Van Dusen on Teaching the Electoral College (6 min.)
Pioneer High School teacher and C-SPAN Senior Fellow Tracey Van Dusen talked about how she teaches the Electoral College and uses C-SPAN Classroom resources at her school.
KEYWORDS: Campaigns & Elections, Campaigns, Electoral College.

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Should the Electoral College Be Reformed?

Every four years the American people go to the polls to vote for president. However, the American people do not vote directly for president; instead, it is the fifty states, plus Washington, DC, that directly elect the president. This is due to the Electoral College, adopted by the Framers at the Constitutional Convention of 1787 as a compromise between large and small states.

Since the adoption of the Electoral College system, supporters of the Electoral College argue candidates must build a popular base that is geographically broader and more diverse in voter interests than either a simple national plurality or majority. Critics, however, have cited a myriad of flaws. Due to the fact that the national popular vote does not decide the presidency, there exists the possibility that the loser of the popular vote can ascend to the presidency. Out of sixty presidential elections in the history of the U.S., this has happened five times, and two out of the last five elections, including the most recent one. Currently, there are proposals on the table to modify or even to abolish the Electoral College.

Should the Electoral College be reformed in the United States?

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