Frequently Asked Questions:

“Wasn’t the Electoral College created to prevent ‘mob rule?'”
”Wasn’t the Electoral College created to protect smaller states from larger states?”

ANSWER:  No … That’s NOT correct. The Electoral College was not created for either of those reasons. There is literally nothing, not one word, about mob rule or protection of smaller states in the records surrounding the creation of the Electoral College.  The historical records actually indicate the Electoral College was created for 3 reasons:
i.   the Founding fathers felt that average citizens did not have access to sufficient information, and were not educated enough  to be able to make an informed selections
ii.   there was a conflict among those who favored decentralizing power through states-rights, vs. those who favored centralizing power in a federal government
iii.  there  was an agreement, called the “three-fifths compromise”,  under which slaveholder states were permitted to count their slaves as three-fifths of a person for Electoral College population purposes, even though slaves were not permitted to vote.

This gave slaveholder states more representation through the Electoral College than they would have had under a popular vote of all free (i.e., voting) persons. Under a national popular vote, slaveholder states “could have no influence in the election on the score of Negroes,” argued James Madison.  As Paul Finkelman concluded, in his 2002 paper “THE PROSLAVERY ORIGINS OF THE ELECTORAL COLLEGE” (you can read the entire 13 page paper here)  “one of the central purposes of the electoral college … was to insure that what was then the largest state, Virginia, would be able to influence the election of the national president, and that the slaveholder states would be able to use their slave population to have a disproportionate influence on the election of the president.” The three-fifths compromise was, at the time, clearly a politically necessary compromise in order to pass the Constitution, which almost certainly would not have been passed without this agreement.

But the notion that it was somehow designed to prevent mob rule and/or protect the interests of smaller states is utterly and completely preposterous.

The Electoral College no longer serves any of the original purposes for which it was created. Support Share with your friends.  One Person One Vote.