This chapter considers another set of justifications about the electoral college—this time based on maintaining the harmony and cohesion of the Republic. Instead of emphasizing what the electoral college does for the country, advocates call attention to alleged harm that alternative methods of presidential selection, especially direct election, would cause the nation. To begin, defenders of the electoral college charge that direct election of the president would encourage electoral fraud and vote recounts, sow national disharmony, and deny the president a mandate for governing. Most supporters of the electoral college also maintain that it is an essential bulwark of federalism and that electing the president directly would undermine the entire federal system. The chapter thus examines these charges and explores whether the electoral college actually has the benefits its advocates claim for it.
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