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Let the people pick the president : the case for abolishing the Electoral College

by Wegman, Jesse,

Format: Print Book 2020
Availability: Available at 7 Libraries 7 of 12 copies
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Braddock Carnegie Library Non Fiction 324.63 WEG
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"Wegman combines in-depth historical analysis and insight into contemporary politics to present a cogent argument that the Electoral College violates America's 'core democratic principles' and should be done away with..." -- Publishers Weekly

The framers of the Constitution battled over it. Lawmakers have tried to amend or abolish it more than 700 times. To this day, millions of voters, and even members of Congress, misunderstand how it works. It deepens our national divide and distorts the core democratic principles of political equality and majority rule. How can we tolerate the Electoral College when every vote does not count the same, and the candidate who gets the most votes can lose?

Twice in the last five elections, the Electoral College has overridden the popular vote, calling the integrity of the entire system into question--and creating a false picture of a country divided into bright red and blue blocks when in fact we are purple from coast to coast. Even when the popular-vote winner becomes president, tens of millions of Americans--Republicans and Democrats alike--find that their votes didn't matter. And, with statewide winner-take-all rules, only a handful of battleground states ultimately decide who will become president.

Now, as political passions reach a boiling point at the dawn of the 2020 race, the message from the American people is clear: The way we vote for the only official whose job it is to represent all Americans is neither fair nor just. Major reform is needed--now. Isn't it time to let the people pick the president?

In this thoroughly researched and engaging call to arms, Supreme Court journalist and New York Times editorial board member Jesse Wegman draws upon the history of the founding era, as well as information gleaned from campaign managers, field directors, and other officials from twenty-first-century Democratic and Republican presidential campaigns, to make a powerful case for abolishing the antiquated and antidemocratic Electoral College. In Let the People Pick the President he shows how we can at long last make every vote in the United States count--and restore belief in our democratic system.

Published Reviews
Publisher's Weekly Review: "New York Times editorial board member Wegman combines in-depth historical analysis and insight into contemporary politics to present a cogent argument that the Electoral College violates America's "core democratic principles" and should be done away with. According to Wegman, the system of voting for state electors who then cast their ballots for president was established by America's founders at a time when most citizens were ill-informed about politics and traveling to voting locations was onerous--circumstances that are no longer relevant. He notes that the Constitution's framers explicitly linked the Electoral College to slavery, and examines elections in which the Electoral College and popular vote winners haven't matched, including the 1876 contest between Samuel Tilden and Rutherford B. Hayes, the 2000 race between George W. Bush and Al Gore, and President Trump's 2016 victory over Hillary Clinton. Wegman refutes several "myths" about the Electoral College's potential repeal, including that it can only be done through a constitutional amendment and that small and rural states would lose out if presidents were selected by direct vote. His extensive research and careful consideration of the issue from all angles reveal the current system's defects, though the path to reform in the face of fierce political opposition remains somewhat unclear. Nevertheless, this urgent and lucidly presented plea for change will resonate with progressives. (Mar.)"
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Additional Information
Subjects Presidents -- United States -- Election.
Electoral college -- United States.
Voting -- United States.
Publisher New York :2020
Edition First edition.
Language English
Description viii, 296 pages ; 22 cm
Bibliography Notes Includes bibliographical references (pages 266-286) and index.
ISBN 9781250221971
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