About the Electoral College
A recent letter about the Electoral College (“Was Hancock Wrong?”) contained a common but mistaken assumption. As an author on the topic, I’d like to clear it up.
The author claims that the Framers of the Constitution created the Electoral College because they did not trust ordinary Americans. What was really expressed was concern that most voters would not have any direct knowledge of the candidates — something that remains true today. Few people have any first-hand information about the people they vote for, especially at the national level. Recognizing that limitation is hardly elitist.
In fact, the real reason for the Electoral College was geographic balance. Delegates from small states like Delaware worried that they could be permanently ignored in a direct election. The parliamentary systems in other countries provide the same kind of geographic balance.
Trent England, is author of “Why We Must Defend the Electoral College.”