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Why the Electoral College Is Bad for AmericaThird Edition$
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George C. Edwards

Print publication date: 2019

Print ISBN-13: 9780300243888

Published to Yale Scholarship Online: January 2020

DOI: 10.12987/yale/9780300243888.001.0001

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How the Electoral College Works

How the Electoral College Works

(p.12) Chapter 2 How the Electoral College Works
Why the Electoral College Is Bad for America

George C. Edwards III

Yale University Press

This chapter discusses how the electoral college works. It shows that the popular election every fourth November is only the first step in a complex procedure that should culminate in the formal declaration of a winner two months later. In fact, under the Constitution, the November election is not for the presidential candidates themselves but for the electors who subsequently choose a president. All that the Constitution says of this stage of the election process is that “each state shall appoint, in such manner as the legislature thereof may direct, a number of electors, equal to the whole number of Senators and Representatives to which the state may be entitled in Congress.” The chapter thus discusses the roles and functions of the electors and Congress, as well as extreme cases such as when disputed votes occur or when a presidential candidate or president-elect dies.

Keywords:   electors, Congress, U.S. Constitution, presidential candidates, election process

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