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9780190060152


Parution : 01/2020
Editeur : Oxford University Press
ISBN : 978-0-1900-6015-2
Site de l'éditeur

Presidential Elections and Majority Rule

The Rise, Demise, and Potential Restoration of the Jeffersonian Electoral College

Edward B. Foley

Présentation de l'éditeur

The Electoral College that governs America has been with us since 1804, when Thomas Jefferson's supporters redesigned it for his re-election. The Jeffersonians were motivated by the principle of majority rule. Gone were the days when a president would be elected by acclamation, as George Washington had been. Instead, given the emergence of intense two-party competition, the Jeffersonians wanted to make sure that the Electoral College awarded the presidency to the candidate of the majority, rather than minority, party. They also envisioned that a candidate would win by amassing a majority of Electoral College votes secured from states where the candidate's party was in the majority. 

For most of American history, this system has worked as intended, producing presidents who won Electoral College victories derived from state-based majorities. In the last quarter-century, however, there have been three significant aberrations from the Jeffersonian design: 1992, 2000, and 2016. In each of these years, the Electoral College victory depended on states where the winner received only a minority of votes. 

In this authoritative history of the American Electoral College system, Edward Foley analyzes the consequences of the unparalleled departure from the Jeffersonians' original intent-and delineates what we can do about it. He explains how states, by simply changing their Electoral College procedures, could restore the original Jeffersonian commitment to majority rule. There are various ways to do this, all of which comply with the Constitution. If only a few states had done so before 2016, the outcome might have been different. Doing so before future elections can prevent another victory that, contrary to the original Jeffersonian intent, a majority of voters did not want.

Edward B. Foley directs the election law program at Ohio State University, where he also holds the Ebersold Chair in Constitutional Law.

 

Sommaire

Preface
Introduction

Part One: The Rise of the Jeffersonian Electoral College
1: The Electoral College of 1787
2: The First Four Elections
3: The Electoral College of 1803

Part Two: The Demise of the Jeffersonian Electoral College
4: The Jeffersonian Electoral College in the 19th Century
5: The Jeffersonian Electoral College in the 20th Century

Part Three: The Potential Restoration of the Jeffersonian Electoral College
7: A Recommitment to Majority Rule
8: An Exploration of Alternatives
9: A Feasible Reform

256 pages.  $29.95


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