Why does the U.S. have an Electoral College?

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Author's Note: Why does the U.S. have an electoral college?

Despite the fact that I'm well-informed about political candidates, vote in every election and have campaigned for local office, I know very little about the Electoral College. And while I certainly know more now than I did a few weeks ago, what still seems strange is the elector selection process. How exactly does one become an ideal candidate for the Electoral College? The idea of selecting someone without any clear-cut qualifications and with potential personal ties to candidates is fishy at worst and mysterious at best. At any rate, I think it deserves a much closer look, especially since we're voting for the electors -- whoever they are -- every time we cast a presidential ballot.

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  • England, Trent. "Eliminating the Electoral College Would Corrupt Our Elections." US News. Oct. 1, 2012. (Oct. 13, 2012) http://www.usnews.com/opinion/articles/2012/10/01/eliminating-the-electoral-college-would-corrupt-our-elections
  • Gore, D'Angelo. "Presidents Willing Without Popular Vote." Fact Check. March 24, 2008. (Oct. 13, 2012) http://www.factcheck.org/2008/03/presidents-winning-without-popular-vote/
  • History. "Electoral College." (Oct. 12, 2012) http://www.history.com/topics/electoral-college
  • League of Women Voters. "Who Will Elect the President? The Electoral College System." (Oct. 13, 2012) http://www.lwv.org/content/who-will-elect-president-electoral-college-system
  • Saad, Lydia. "Americans Would Swap Electoral College for Popular Vote." Gallup. Oct. 24, 2011. (Oct. 13, 2012) http://www.gallup.com/poll/150245/americans-swap-electoral-college-popular-vote.aspx
  • U.S. National Archives and Records Administration. "Constitution of the United States." (Oct. 11, 2012) http://www.archives.gov/exhibits/charters/constitution_transcript.html
  • U.S. National Archives and Records Administration. "What is the Electoral College?" (Oct. 12, 2012) http://www.archives.gov/federal-register/electoral-college/about.html
  • U.S. National Archives and Records Administration. "What is the Electoral College? State Laws and Requirements." (Oct. 12, 2012) http://www.archives.gov/federal-register/electoral-college/laws.html

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