The Electoral College

This morning, John Fortier, John Anderson, Jack Rackove, and Birch Bayh joined Diane Rehm on the first hour of her show for a discussion of the electoral college. Some are calling for an agreement or compact among states to cast their electoral votes in conformity with the national popular vote in the presidential election. If enough states sign on, this measure would eliminate the difficulty of the electoral college result occasionally differing from the result of the popular vote, as happened in the 2000 election. The upside is that it wouldn’t require a constitutional amendment, as outright abolishing the electoral college would. Supporters say that among the advantages of the proposal would be that (1) each individual person’s vote would be counted more equally than is currently the case, and (2) candidates would have more of an incentive to run a truly national campaign, rather than focusing so much attention on swing states. The proposal does, of course, raise the further question of whether it’s the states or the citizens that ought to have the final word in presidential elections. In any event, it’s an interesting discussion. NPR doesn’t make the show available as a podcast, but it is available via streaming audio. The Windows Media version is available here, and the Real Audio version can be found here.

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