The Electoral College remains in place over two centuries after the framers of the Constitution empowered it to select presidents. Though occasionally maligned, this system of electing a chief executive has been incredibly successful for the American people.
Many modern voters might be surprised to learn that when they step into a ballot box to select their candidate for president, they actually are casting a vote for fellow Americans called electors. These electors, appointed by the states, are pledged to support the presidential candidate the voters have supported. The Electoral College holds its vote the Monday after the second Wednesday in December following the election.
The Founding Fathers created the Electoral College after much debate and compromise, but it has provided stability to the process of picking presidents. Though the winner of the national popular vote typically takes the presidency, that vote failed to determine the winner in four elections: 1824, 1876, 1888, and 2000.
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