As some of you may know I write for 17 newspapers across Kansas, Missouri, Nebraska, and Iowa. I author a legal advice article in which people will write in with legal questions. The website is www.newspaperatttorney.com, this question was submitted by three different people so I thought I would also answer it on this blog as well.
Q: Why do we have the electoral college for presidential elections?
let me preface this by saying its not the type of question I generally
answer, it is not exactly a legal question. That being said three
different people submitted this question so... I'll do my best.
The electoral college was installed for two primary reasons: (1) It was
a compromise between very populated states and states without a large
population. It was a compromise between big states and small states.
It was supposed to keep small states from getting dominated by large
states. The idea was to keep candidates from just going to the populous
states and leaving out the small states. (2) You have to remember when
the system was set up over 200 years ago the political, economic, and
well everything was different than it it now. The United States didn't
have 20 channels of 24/7 news covering everything and broadcasting it out
in HD to your TV, computer, and cell phone. People were worried that
some rouge but wealthy, "crazy person" would trick the electorate into
voting for them. The founders were worried that the average man wasn't
smart enough to vote. They set up the electoral college to act as a
buffer between the common man and electing the president. The idea
being to save the people from the people.