The presidential election was held yesterday

The Electoral College cast its ballots on Monday.  The results won’t be official, though, until Congress counts the vote on January 6.

Electoral college set to vote on President Obama’s reelection – The Washington Post.

Is this an anachronism or wisdom from our nation’s Founders?  Could the process for choosing a president be improved?  What if state legislatures simply chose the electors from each state, cutting the public out of it, as was apparently the original intention?  Would this result in a de-politicized chief executive, and might this be a good thing?

About Gene Veith

Professor of Literature at Patrick Henry College, the Director of the Cranach Institute at Concordia Theological Seminary, a columnist for World Magazine and TableTalk, and the author of 18 books on different facets of Christianity & Culture.

  • http://homewardbound-cb.blogspot.com ChrisB

    I think the general idea of the electoral college — that each state gets a vote, and the winner has to carry the majority of the states — is a good one. I think the idea of the electors is a horrible one. As politicized as the process is, I don’t think we want our leader to be chosen solely by another group of politicians.

  • http://homewardbound-cb.blogspot.com ChrisB

    I think the general idea of the electoral college — that each state gets a vote, and the winner has to carry the majority of the states — is a good one. I think the idea of the electors is a horrible one. As politicized as the process is, I don’t think we want our leader to be chosen solely by another group of politicians.

  • http://thinkingwithareformedmind.blogspot.com Steven Mitchell

    Another group of politicians? Hardly. In fact, the Constitution provides that ‘no Senator or Representative, or Person holding an Office of Trust or Profit under the United States, shall be appointed an Elector.’ Now, they may hold local or state office, sure — looking at the list of Ohio electors from 2008, many are county commissioners or such — but I wouldn’t bunch them in as ‘another group of politicians’.

    And when most of the states bind their electors to vote in a particular way, does the identity of the electors matter? Is there a particular — and plausible — scenario that you have in mind?

    Either way, I do think it rather hilarious that someone might be concerned that the process for selecting persons for political office might be too political.

  • http://thinkingwithareformedmind.blogspot.com Steven Mitchell

    Another group of politicians? Hardly. In fact, the Constitution provides that ‘no Senator or Representative, or Person holding an Office of Trust or Profit under the United States, shall be appointed an Elector.’ Now, they may hold local or state office, sure — looking at the list of Ohio electors from 2008, many are county commissioners or such — but I wouldn’t bunch them in as ‘another group of politicians’.

    And when most of the states bind their electors to vote in a particular way, does the identity of the electors matter? Is there a particular — and plausible — scenario that you have in mind?

    Either way, I do think it rather hilarious that someone might be concerned that the process for selecting persons for political office might be too political.

  • http://facebook.com/mesamike Mike Westfall

    So, why is our president elected by a bunch of college students who are studying electricity?

  • http://facebook.com/mesamike Mike Westfall

    So, why is our president elected by a bunch of college students who are studying electricity?

  • mikeb

    I’m not sure I would advocate for the state legislators picking who the electors go to, but that might be one way for the states to get back some of their sovereignty and to reduce the Federally mandated spending.

  • mikeb

    I’m not sure I would advocate for the state legislators picking who the electors go to, but that might be one way for the states to get back some of their sovereignty and to reduce the Federally mandated spending.

  • Spaulding

    I would like to seethe states get away from winner take all. In the state I live in I may as well vote for Mickey Mouse for all my votes is going to count towards the electoral collage. Plus the media can’t possibly call the election before HI has voted which would be desirable.

  • Spaulding

    I would like to seethe states get away from winner take all. In the state I live in I may as well vote for Mickey Mouse for all my votes is going to count towards the electoral collage. Plus the media can’t possibly call the election before HI has voted which would be desirable.

  • David M.

    I say we make the electors run for their position. Then the many electors voted in for their intelligence and wisdom from their local areas can choose who they feel is the best candidate. But that wouldn’t be sensational enough for the media.

  • David M.

    I say we make the electors run for their position. Then the many electors voted in for their intelligence and wisdom from their local areas can choose who they feel is the best candidate. But that wouldn’t be sensational enough for the media.

  • Joe

    I don’t might consider supporting the idea that the state legislatures select the president. It is inline the idea of federalism that permeates the constitution. But, if restoring the proper balance between state and fed is the purpose, then we need to repeal the 17th amendment. The 17th ended the original practice of the state legislatures selecting a state’s senator. Under the old system this yielded at least one chamber of the congress whose interest was in protecting the sovereignty of the states. The change to direct election simply meant the federal gov’t’s sole check preventing the fed from overstepping its authority and invading the sphere of the states was lost.

  • Joe

    I don’t might consider supporting the idea that the state legislatures select the president. It is inline the idea of federalism that permeates the constitution. But, if restoring the proper balance between state and fed is the purpose, then we need to repeal the 17th amendment. The 17th ended the original practice of the state legislatures selecting a state’s senator. Under the old system this yielded at least one chamber of the congress whose interest was in protecting the sovereignty of the states. The change to direct election simply meant the federal gov’t’s sole check preventing the fed from overstepping its authority and invading the sphere of the states was lost.


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