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Representation and the Electoral College$
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Robert M. Alexander

Print publication date: 2019

Print ISBN-13: 9780190939427

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: April 2019

DOI: 10.1093/oso/9780190939427.001.0001

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(p.1) 1 Introduction
(p.iii) Representation and the Electoral College

Robert M. Alexander

Oxford University Press

This chapter examines common arguments surrounding the Electoral College. Many of these arguments were present with the 2016 presidential election. The election marked the sixth time the popular vote winner did not win the Electoral College vote. It also witnessed the largest number of faithless votes for president in history. Lastly, it marked the second time in the last three elections that a state split its electoral vote total. Each represents a common criticism of the institution. Proponents of the body suggested the institution worked as it should—especially in regard to protecting the interests of less populated states and supporting the two-party system. All arguments over the Electoral College ultimately relate to issues over representation. The chapter concludes by examining historical controversies relating to the Electoral College and several reform efforts aimed at the body.

Keywords:   2016 presidential election, electoral college, electoral college reforms, national popular vote plan, representation, two-party system

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