Americans Against the Electoral College, America Votes for It


Translated by Ollie Richardson for Fort Russ

28th June, 2016


Probably, it’s not a secret for anyone that US presidential elections are not national. However, as practice shows, the American establishment and our pro-Westerners tend not to notice that in a country that aspires leadership in the interpretations of democracy, there is still the archaic institution of the Electoral College, substituting real national will.

Moreover, due to the lack of sufficient information, there is even a misconception about the full compliance of this institution with the needs of American society.

Why is it wrong?

Yes, because for several decades US citizens opposed the Electoral College, however, despite all attempts to change the situation, it is more favourable to leave the system as it as is.

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Since the late 1940’s, the authoritative American research center Gallup has captured the negative attitude of the majority of American voters towards the Electoral College institute and the desire to change things. But this desire is not reflected in the legal framework.

In 1948, 56% of Americans were for the abolition of the Electoral College. Between 1967 and 1968, the number of such people ranged from 58-80%.

The peak of legislative activity fell on the same time. In particular, by adopting the relevant constitutional amendment, democrat senator Birch Bayh from the State of Indiana, with assistance of the American association of lawyers, was engaged in the replacement of an Electoral College with direct universal suffrage.

However, he did not manage to get the proposition off the ground until 1977, despite the unambiguous public opinion on this issue. At the time, three quarters of Americans were opponents of the Electoral College.

The attitude of American voters has not changed today, and during the last survey in 2013, 63% of Americans said that they would vote for a law that would end this archaic practice.

So when someone says to you that American democracy is the most democratic democracy in the world, remind them, please, that this democracy (read – system) consciously and for many years opposed the desire of the majority for a direct election of their own President.

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