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Monday, May 19, 2008

The Electoral College Explained By KRISTINA DELL FROM Time

The founders feared a direct, winner-take-all election would be too reckless. Since travel and communication around the country was slow, they worried that citizens wouldn’t get sufficient information about candidates outside their state and would usually just pick someone from their region. With a direct popular vote, it is more likely that no candidate would receive a majority sufficient to govern a whole country, making challenges more frequent. Even if there was a clear winner, the selection of the president would often be decided by the biggest, most populous state with little attention paid to smaller ones. The Electoral College seemed like a better way to ensure the president had a wide geographic mandate.

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