Electoral College Reform: Challenges and Possibilities

  • ID: 1267957
  • May 2010
  • Region: North America
  • 306 Pages
  • Ashgate Publishing
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The United States have not updated the Electoral College system since the Twelfth Amendment was ratified in 1804, despite the majority of public opinion polls showing Americans are in favour changing or outright abolishing it. So why hasn't the United States reformed this system? Electoral College Reform brings together new essays examining all aspects of this crucial debate, including the reasons for reform, the issues surrounding a constitutional amendment, the effect of the Electoral College on political campaigns and the possibilities for extra-constitutional avenues to change. The authors consider both the Federalists' vision of balanced representation and what some consider a more democratic and equality-based ideal. These competing frameworks, perhaps more than any other factor, account for centuries of American indecision on this key issue.

By offering an unprecedented and carefully researched analysis of an always controversial subject, this volume explores the potential for changing a system that many contend is long overdue.


'The Electoral College system of selecting presidents has confused citizens and intrigued scholars for decades. This READ MORE >

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Foreword, George C. Edwards III

Part I Thinking About Electoral College Reform: Introduction: approaching electoral college reform, Gary E. Bugh
- Representation in congressional efforts to amend the presidential election system, Gary E. Bugh
- 'A mere deception – a mere ignus fatus on the people of America': lifting the veil on the electoral college, Michael T. Rogers
- 'If the manner of it be not perfect': thinking through electoral college reform, Michael J. Korzi.

Part II Challenges of Electoral College Reform: The electoral college and democratic responsiveness, Jeffrey M. Stonecash
- The challenge of contemporary electoral college reform, Gary E. Bugh
- Systemic biases affecting congressional voting on electoral college reform, Mark J. McKenzie
- Compact risk: some downsides to establishing national plurality presidential elections by contingent legislation, Brian J. Gaines
- Exploring the difficulties of electoral college reform at the state level: Maine and Nebraska lead the way, James P. Melcher
- Comparative presidential selection: a cautionary tale, Jody C. Baumgartner and Rhonda Evans Case.

Part III Possibilities of Electoral College Reform: lobbying the electoral college: the potential for chaos, Robert M. Alexander
- Electoral college incentives and presidential actions: a case for reform?, Brendan J. Doherty
- Current electoral college reform efforts among the states, Robert W. Bennett
- The good, the better, the best: improving on the 'acceptable' electoral college, Paul D. Schumaker
- Pipe dream or possibility? Amending the US constitution to achieve electoral reform, Burdett A. Loomis

Conclusion: understanding electoral college reform, Gary E. Bugh




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Gary Bugh is Associate Professor and Chair of the Political Science Department at Texas A&M University-Texarkana, where he teaches American Political Theory, Constitutional Law, Federalism, Intergovernmental Politics, the Presidency, and Political Parties.

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