Selecting the President
While many Americans believe they have a right to vote for President of the United States, they actually never cast votes for candidates themselves. They vote for electors who, in modern times, are pledged to vote for certain candidates. This process differs from what was imagined by the Founders, who designed a republican system for citizens to vote for individuals in their state who they believed were wise and prudent (electors). Electors, chosen by the people, would then themselves vote among candidates for President on behalf of their state. Despite recurrent calls for its abolition, the Electoral College has served and continues to serve as a means for presidential selection that represents the will of the people as well as the sovereignty of states.
Several times in our history, the Electoral College system was challenged as a result of unanticipated tie votes (1800), the allegation of a “corrupt bargain” among members of the House of Representatives (1826), and even conflicting sets of electoral votes submitted by states (1876). The Presidential election of 2000 was one of the most hotly contested in American history and ended with a Supreme Court decision halting the state-wide manual recount ordered by a state Supreme Court.
Electoral College - Find it on ConstitutionBee.org
The Electoral College is the body that elects the President and Vice President of the United States. It is established in Article 2, Section 1 of the Constitution. It is made up of delegations from each state: each state’s number of electors is equal to its total number of members of Congress.
When citizens in their respective states cast votes for President and Vice President of the United States, they are actually casting votes for electors, who are duty-bound to vote for those candidates. However a few “faithless electors” in American history have cast their votes for candidates other than the ones they had pledged to elect. Faithless electors have never changed the outcome of a presidential election.
The Twenty-Third Amendment granted the District of Columbia the number of electors to which it would be entitled if it were a state (but no more than the least populous state.)
Twenty-Second Amendment - Find it on ConstitutionBee.org
No one can be elected president more than two times. Anyone who has held the office of president (for example, if the previous president died in office) for more than two years can only be elected for one more term.
Want to learn more?
The resources contained on the ArticleII.org website are just the beginning! The Bill of Rights Institute curriculum, Presidents and the Constitution, explores how various presidents understood and exercised their constitutional powers. By exploring constitutional crises in American history, these interactive, hands-on lessons encourage students to analyze the actions of Presidents in light of the Constitution.
Students will engage with:
▪ 15 ready-to-use, interactive lesson plans
▪ Strong focus on primary source activities
▪ Solid content including historical narrative in each lesson
▪ Scholarly thematic essays that introduce each unit
▪ Contemporary application highlighted with an “Issues Endure” portal in each unit
James Monroe often clashed with his Secretary of State, William Crawford. In one quarrel, Crawford went to strike the President. Monroe responded by raising a set of...