The Electoral College and the Vote…Why An Electoral College?
Americans have no constitutionally protected right to vote in a federal election.
We have the right to not be discriminated against in voting, based on race, color, previous condition of servitude (15th amendment), sex (19th amendment), failure to pay a poll tax (24th amendment) or age, if at least 18 (26th amendment). But there is no right to vote in a federal election.
How the electors for President are chosen is determined by each state’s legislature
Following the 2000 presidential election, there was a dispute as to how votes were to be counted and recounted in Florida. The case went to the U.S. Supreme Court, twice.
In one of those cases, entitled Bush v. Gore, the U.S. Supreme Court majority noted that initially, the electors from several of the states were chosen by that state’s legislature, rather than by a popular vote. The majority opinion also noted that this method is still permissible under the Constitution.
The Constitution also does not require a popular vote for U.S. Representatives or U.S. Senators.
Those who elect members of the House of Representatives must have “the same Qualifications requisite for Electors of the most numerous Branch of the State Legislature.” Under the 17th amendment, the language for those who choose Senators is virtually the same. So, if a state decided to have the mayors of the state choose the members of the lower house of the state legislature, the mayors would also choose the U.S. Representatives and Senators.
If it decided the Township trustees should select the members of the lower house of the state legislature, the Township Trustees would also choose the U.S. Representatives and Senators. If it decided to have the members of the upper house of the state legislature (except Nebraska which has unicameral or one house legislature) choose the members of the lower house of the state legislature, the members of the upper house would also choose the U.S. Representatives and Senators. The federal Constitution leaves that entirely to the states.
The next question is what form of government do we have in the United States.
I will answer that in the next installment.