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Presidential Elections and Majority Rule – The Rise, Demise, and Potential Restoration of the Jeffersonian Electoral College - Oxford Scholarship Online
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Presidential Elections and Majority Rule: The Rise, Demise, and Potential Restoration of the Jeffersonian Electoral College

Edward B. Foley

Abstract

The Electoral College governing America today was adopted by Thomas Jefferson’s supporters, after the 1800 election almost derailed his presidency. The Jeffersonians were motivated by majority rule. Given the emergence of two-party competition between Federalists and themselves, the Jeffersonians intended the Electoral College to award the presidency to the majority party. Given the federal structure of the United States, they envisioned the Electoral College as implementing a compound form of majority rule: a candidate would win by amassing a majority of electoral votes from states where the ... More

Keywords: Jefferson, majoritarian, democracy, runoff, Ranked Choice Voting, presidency, elector, reform, plurality, federalism, winner-take-all

Bibliographic Information

Print publication date: 2020 Print ISBN-13: 9780190060152
Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: January 2020 DOI:10.1093/oso/9780190060152.001.0001

Authors

Affiliations are at time of print publication.

Edward B. Foley, author
Professor of Law, Ohio State University

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