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Should the United States abolish the Electoral College?

In the United States, the Electoral College places votes every four years to elect the president and vice president. However, it allows for a presidential candidate to lose the popular vote but still go on to win the presidency, something that has happened five times in our nation’s history - twice in the 21st century. George W. Bush and Donald Trump both became president without winning the popular vote, reinvigorating the debate about whether we should consider abolishing the Electoral College. Some proponents argue that the Electoral College supports the notion of American federalism, while critics say it takes power away from voters. Should the United States graduate from the Electoral College?


Supreme Court Rules State 'Faithless Elector' Laws Constitutional

Additional resources to think about

National Archives: About the electors
A page detailing the qualifications, selection process, roles, and restrictions for electors from the National Archives.

2020 Presidential Election Interactive Map
See how electors are broken down by state, and how various combinations of election outcomes by state would allow a presidential candidate from either party to win using this interactive Electoral College map.

Civics101: Electoral College
This episode of the Civics101 podcast features two political science professors and a former elector to help listeners understand the electoral process.

Crash Course Government and Politics: Election Basics
In this episode, Craig gives an overview of how U.S. elections work, including the Electoral College.

iCivics: Win the White House Game
Run your own presidential campaign and learn about the Electoral College, the popular vote, and how candidates have to balance both during their run for the Oval Office.

The History of Race and the Electoral College
Hear how race and racism impacted the creation and efforts to reform the Electoral College process.

Ron's Office Hours: The Electoral College
NPR's Ron Elving tells us what we need to know about the Electoral College, how it works, and if it's fair.

Why Do We Still Have The Electoral College?
This video from NPR's Throughline takes us through the history and future of the Electoral College after the 2020 election.


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How might different people understand this message differently from me?

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5 Key Questions of Media Literacy used with permission from the Center for Media Literacy.
Copyright 2002-2021, Center for Media Literacy,


Should the United States abolish the Electoral College?

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