The Election Process

Student Excerpts from a 2000-2001
Harry Singer Foundation National
High School Essay Contest




The Election Process




Should The Electoral College Be Replaced
By The Direct Vote System?
Why And Why not?




Margaret Bohannon-Kaplan, Editor

Wellington Publications
W-P Carmel, California




The non-partisan Harry Singer Foundation was established in 1988
to promote greater individual participation in government and
involvement in social issues. The views expressed here are those of
the various students who chose to enter our essay contest and do not
necessarily represent the views of the board members and staff of the
Foundation.

















First Printing
Copyright 2008 by Wellington Publications
Printed in USA

All rights reserved. No part of this book may be reproduced or
utilized in any form or by any means, electronic or mechanical,
including photocopying, recording or by any information storage
and retrieval system, without permission from the publisher.
Inquiries should be addressed to Wellington Publications P.O. Box
223159 Carmel, California 93922

LCCN: 2008934922
ISBN: ISBN 978-0-915915-46-0









Editor's Note:

In most cases, students gave the Foundation citations for the material
that was quoted in their papers. Because of space constraints, we
generally did not include those citations here. Also, in rare instances,
material was quoted by students and incorporated in their papers
without giving proper credit. We apologize, but must disclaim
responsibility as we cannot always tell when a student is quoting
from another writer unless quotation marks are used. This is purely
an educational exercise.

This copy is distributed by the Harry Singer Foundation without
charge as part of its commitment to inform and encourage
participation in public policy.






Who is Harry Singer?
Most people have never heard of Harry Singer. He wasn't a famous
politician, a philanthropic industrialist, a creative artist, a martyred
preacher or a great inventor-humanitarian. Harry Singer was a common
man.
Harry was an immigrant. He came to this country in 1912 from a small
village in Russia. He settled in Chelsea, Massachusetts where with his wife
and five children he ran a tiny neighborhood grocery store.
Harry could have been your uncle, your brother-in-law, your next door
neighbor. He had no lust for power, no great ambitions. He was just a
good, kind, quiet man with a keen sense of justice who would jump in
when he felt something was wrong. Harry was an egalitarian who showed
respect for all men and who was respected in return.
It is fitting that a foundation dedicated to encouraging the common man's
participation in public policy decisions should be named after Harry. For it
is to the Harry Singers of a new generation that we must look if we are to
keep America competitive and strong in the world of the twenty-first
century.
The Harry Singer Foundation came into being because the descendants of
the humble egalitarian believe today what President Woodrow Wilson said
back in 1912:
"Every country is renewed out of the unknown ranks and not out of
the ranks of those already famous and powerful and in control."

About The Harry Singer Foundation (HSF)
The Harry Singer Foundation is a non-profit 501(c) 3 private operating
foundation (IRC: 4942 j 3) located in Carmel, California whose purpose is
to promote responsibility and involve people more fully in public policy
and their communities. It was founded in 1987. It actively conducts
programs, and is not a grant-making foundation.

The founders believe many people base their decisions on erroneous or too
little factual information about public policy, private and public programs,
and the effort and goodwill of their fellow citizens. The Harry Singer
Foundation has developed programs to help correct this situation, and
would like to join with you in helping to make this nation a stronger and
better place to live and grow for this generation and generations of
Americans to come.

The Foundation's focus is on the too often forgotten average citizen. We
are not consciously looking to attract future leaders; we feel that job is
being handled adequately by a variety of existing foundations. Our goal is
to minimize the polarization we see developing in this country between the
doers and those done to — the rulers and the ruled. We strive to make
everyone feel that their thoughts and ideas count; to let them know that they
are listened to and that they matter. We want our fellow citizens to
understand that a person doesn't have to be brilliant or a great
communicator in order to make a difference in America. A person does
have to care and does have to participate.

Action

It is not enough to think, write and talk about the problems—we must show
by active example what people are capable of achieving. The goal is to
find out what works within a desired framework. When participants learn
how to choose what to do without sacrificing the best American ideals to
expediency, the Foundation will provide the opportunity to put some of
their ideal choices to the test.

The Foundation first concentrated on young people because they are open
and eager to learn, are not saddled with a myriad of other social
responsibilities (like raising a family and making their own living) and they
will be around the longest and therefore have the best opportunity to make
i
their projects work. They are ideal experimenters because time is on their
side.
Pilot Projects
We bring people together to network at our headquarters in Carmel,
California. When participants come up with ideas, HSF provides the
opportunity to put to the test, those ideas that garner the most enthusiastic
response. We do this via pilot projects and interacting with grant-making
entities as well as far-sighted businesses. Most businesses rightly have
more than altruistic motives. Their main concerns are about maintaining a
stable and growth-oriented economy and finding responsible employees. As
a side benefit, many of our projects foster these, as well as purely altruistic
goals.
We know a pilot project has been successfully launched when it attracts
enthusiastic volunteers that we call Champions. Champions are drawn to a
specific pilot project because they share its objectives. Therefore they are
eager to jump at the opportunity to bring aspirations to fruition by adding
their own unique approach to managing and expanding the project without
having to worry about funding. Of course HSF continues to provide
guidance in addition to monetary support. Singer Kids 4 Kids was once a
pilot project and Transition to Teaching was a pilot project renamed and
adopted by the state of California and adapted to use in securing science
and math mentors for California’s classrooms.
The HSF Mission
The Harry Singer Foundation mission is to prepare participants for a future
where there may be less government and a weaker safety net. Such a future
would require greater individual character, responsibility and knowledge.
There may be a need for responsible people able to care for themselves and
their less fortunate neighbors.
The Foundation offers materials online, free of charge, which can be
printed and used in the classroom or for individual education or research.
The Workbook section of the HSF web site features data to encourage
logical thinking and attention to the unintended consequences that often
accompany government or personal solutions to perceived problems. HSF
believes that society has encouraged technology and management while
ii
neglecting principles. We need to consider not only can we do, but should
we do. To that end you will find an introduction to the seldom taught
subject of logic in this section along with frequently updated ethical
dilemmas.
Before one can either reflect or help others, one must survive. HSF has
archived the thoughts of teens over a twenty year period in the Teens Speak
Out and the Archived by State forums as well as in the published books that
resulted from 41 of the 46 essay contests the Foundation conducted
between 1988 and 2007. Although many of these teen authors now are
adults with children of their own, their reflections are relevant to today's
youth who must learn to make successful personal and social choices
regarding their own ideology and careers. They too must withstand the peer
pressure of gangs, violence, irresponsible sex and addictive substances.
People change but the social issues remain.
The HSF Mission 1988-2008
The following article was written in 1995 by Amy Davidson, a free lance
writer and linguistics student at the University of California at Berkeley at
the time. This is the result of her observation of the Harry Singer
Foundation during winter break her sophomore year.
Thought, Words and Action
One wouldn't think of Carmel, California, a small coastal town south of
Monterey, as a hotbed for community action. However, nestled between the
Cypress trees and the crashing surf, the small group of dedicated people at
the Harry Singer Foundation are providing opportunities for Americans to
make positive changes in their own communities, across the nation.
Programs, designed for the general public but currently focusing on
teachers and high school students -- including essay contests, community
service project-development, online services, research materials, and
curricula development-- all are ways that members of the non-profit Harry
Singer Foundation are making a tangible difference in our nation.
Founded to preserve both the ideal and the practice of freedom, "HSF aims
to help people develop the skills and knowledge essential to the task,"
according to co-Founder Margaret Bohannon-Kaplan. "Our focus is on the
iii
average citizen, and our goal is to motivate him or her to make positive
differences in America."
Martha Collings, a teacher at Plainview High School in Ardmore,
Oklahoma, whose high school students participate in annual HSF essay
contests, praised them as "a refreshing change from the usual boring ones
we are asked to enter."
Her sentiment probably arose from the complex and educationally
stimulating components of the contest. Students must incorporate first and
second-hand research, classroom discussion, individual analysis, and come
up with their own conclusions to timely topics like health care, the media's
role in national elections, the government's role in child care, and the
importance of responsibility to the proper functioning of the nation..
"This was one of the most challenging and thought-provoking contests my
students have entered," said Janet Newton, a teacher from Freeman High
School, Rockford, Washington.
Another teacher, Jerry McGinley of DeForest High School in DeForest,
Wisconsin agreed, saying, "My students put in a great deal of time and
effort reading and discussing the various articles, writing out discussion the
questions, and writing the essays."
It is likely that these teachers also put in a great deal of time. The HSF
contest includes materials and support (through online services, texts, and
personnel from the foundation) for an entire lesson plan based around
issues raised by the essay topic for a given year. HSF aims to have teachers
discuss the topic with their students extensively before the actual writing
begins.
Teacher Mary Ellen Schoonover of Strasburg High school in Strasburg,
Colorado spent a considerable amount of time on assignments and
discussions related to the 1994 topic "Responsibility: Who has It and Who
Doesn't and What This Means to the Nation."
"I felt the Singer essay was a valuable instructional tool," she said. "I
incorporated the materials into class by distributing the required reading
essays and questions to use as homework assignments with class discussion
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following each week for four weeks. After discussing the essays, students
chose a topic, and classes did library research."
The result of this kind of preparation is thousands of well-researched
analyses of a topic. The essays are judged by a variety of ordinary citizens
and, depending on the topic, a large sampling of attorneys, academics,
politicians, financial wizards, other teens and senior citizens. This works
because schools are not judged against each other, but only internally, so
each school ends up with awards. "That's the big attraction of our contest,"
explains board member, Donna Glacken. "Every school is a winner. That
and the fact that we publish excerpts from the contest and distribute the
hard copy book to all 535 members of congress and their state and
community politicians and home town media."
Community Involvement Occurred Gradually

In the 1992-93 school year, the Harry Singer Foundation extended the reach
of its programs. More than five thousand official candidates for national
office (most of them unknown) were polled, along with schools and
members of the media. Participants were able to see a comparison of poll
results among the three categories.

The 1993-94 subject of our essay contest: Responsibility: Who Has It and
Who Doesn't and What That Means To The Nation, generated such an
enthusiastic response that we decided to offer this contest as an annual
option. According to contest rules, students were to include in their papers
examples of five responsible acts and three irresponsible acts — we were
trying to accentuate the positive. That first contest resulted in three
feedback-books.

The first book, The White Hats, featured the responsible acts. Numerous
students offered more than their quota of irresponsible acts, many in the
form of outrageous lawsuits which are the primary subject of the second
book: Responsibility: Who Has It and Who Doesn't and What That Means
To The Nation. Concealed among all the required examples was the subject
of the third book titled, Doesn't Any One Care About The Children?. It is
our plea to you in response to the cry we heard from over a thousand
teenagers. Our readers were at times overwhelmed by the anguish, despair,
rage and hopelessness found in many of the opinions and stories embedded
in those essays.

v
In 1995 the Foundation had students poll their communities and question
politicians, members of the local media, attorneys and others for their
opinions regarding social needs as determined by the results of those polls.
Solutions for "local governments struggling with limited resources" were
judged by a dozen governors, and a small group consisting of U.S. senators,
congressmen and big city mayors.
The National High School Essay Contest Comes to an End
For twenty years HSF offered recognition and incentives to every high
school submitting at least ten essays covering a specified topic involving
public policy and the role of government. Students have studied and written
about social security, term limits for the United States Congress,
government's role in child-care, government's role in health care, the
media's role in choosing our candidates for national office, responsibility
and even encouraged young people to work with local government to find
alternatives to old ways of servicing citizen needs.

Many students, and especially teachers, put an enormous amount of work
into our programs. Students were given reading assignments and asked to
answer twenty questions before they began their essays. Submittals were
judged on how well the topic was covered and evidence of serious thinking,
rather than on writing skill. In the fall excerpts were published in a book
and distributed back to the schools as well as to members of Congress and
to others interested in public policy. This allowed students to see how their
peers across the country handled the subject matter.
We launched www.singerfoundation.org in the fall of 1994. As more and
more schools gained Internet access they were able to receive and transfer
materials which we could put directly on our web site. Essays sent in digital
form via email freed us from having to recruit volunteers who used the
keyboard to input the work of students that used to arrive by mail as hard
copy. In 2001 we began putting entire essays online, delaying publication
of books like the one you are reading. At the end of 2006 we decided to
resume publishing the students work in hard copy and to phase out the
Foundation’s essay contest era. On our web site www.singerfoudation.org
you will find the complete text of every HSF book published since 1990,
often including the rules and required reading for the particular contest.
You may browse, print the entire book or request a hard copy from the
Foundation by using the contact information provided.
vi
We certainly have not lost interest in the goals of the HSF national essay
contests. We are particularly proud of our attempt to encourage students to
gather facts and think logically. The Harry Singer Foundation continues to
share the goal of those who teach students how to think, not what to think.
To that end we have posted links to some of, what we consider to be, the
best online essay contests offered by other organizations.

2008 Begins a New Era
Current Foundation programs continue to seek and encourage the exchange
of ideas. We took two years to renovate our web site which hosts the
Foundation’s history. Twenty years worth of student’s research and
opinions may now be accessed by topic (Teens Speak Out) or by clicking
on a state in the Archive forum and finding student ideas by school, teacher
or participant. We have presented this information in a way that we believe
visitors to our web site will find useful.

You will also find on our web site new projects such as Kids 4 Kids and
Transition to Teaching (T2T) which were mentioned earlier. Kids 4 Kids is
expanding under the expert guidance of our Champion, Steve Platt and is
now a full fledged program. While the science and math portion of T2T is
in good hands, HSF is working to place volunteer mentors in subjects that
are not on the State’s agenda. With the help of future Champions we expect
the program to be picked up by states other than California. We are looking
for Champions to contact engineering companies and societies, local artists,
athletes and alumni associations to find members who are willing to donate
time and energy to teach what they love including music, art and athletics,
subjects that don’t necessarily have to be taught in a classroom. The
Foundation wants to join with the numerous other groups and individuals
who are trying to bring this uncovered talent into the school system as
mentors, teacher-aids and accredited teachers. We already have a program
of accreditation that can be completed with only one day a month class
attendance for 12 months.
The Philanthropy Project is collaboration between the Harry Singer
Foundation and the Templeton Foundation. It is a national, multimedia
public service campaign aimed at the general public, legislators, opinion
leaders and the media. By using film and television to tell compelling
stories about the good works, conducted by mostly small and unrecognized
charitable foundations, the Philanthropy Project seeks to introduce
philanthropy to young people and to promote the spirit of philanthropy in
communities across the country.
vii
viii
Media Watch is a revision of an inspirational program for students initiated
by the Harry Singer Foundation in 1994. The goal is to uncover good news
in communities, feed it to local media outlets and monitor publication. Over
the life of the project, the good news should increase in relation to the bad
news, with both kinds being carefully documented.
Another Way is the culmination of over twenty years of Foundation
experience. We know most adults underestimate the capabilities of young
people and their idealism, energy and eagerness to be productive members
of their communities. Another Way gives young people an opportunity to
prove their competence.
Problem Solvers is a pilot project geared towards college and high school
campuses. Students debate local and national issues using media (radio,
TV, newspapers). Not only do the students learn, but their nonpartisan
information would be a boon to the many in our society that find that
regulations and even laws have been passed without their knowledge and
opportunity to contribute to the discussion or dissent.
The goal of the goal of the Human Nature project is not modest. The goal is
to improve the chances that man will discover how to live with his kind in
peace and tolerance, creating a free, stable environment. Once he figures
out the necessary rules of conduct, the next step would be to figure out how
to enforce these rules while preserving maximum individual and group
freedom of thought and action.
We invite you to take advantage of opportunities to participate in, or better
yet, to Champion these pilot programs by visiting our newly renovated web
site at www.singerfoundation.org.


Contents


About the Harry Singer Foundation

Contents

Foreword

Section One-Identifying the Issues
The Background
The Electoral College
Reforming the Electoral College

Section Two-Student Opinions
Pro Direct Vote System
Pro Electoral College System
Electoral College With Reforms

Section Three-United States Presidential Campaigns
Campaign Financing
Campaign Spending
Campaign Finance Reform

Section Four-A Call To Action!
American Must Signify Responsibility
Vote!

Student and Teacher Participants
Appendix A The Constitution of the United States of America
Appendix B Amendment XII,XX,XXII and XXV
Appendix C The Federalist Papers : No. 68
Appendix D Campaign Contributions -Updates 1971-2003
Appendix E Federal Funds for Presidential Candidates 2008
Appendix F U.S. Code Title 3 Section 1- Electoral Votes
Appendix G FEC Summary Party Financial Activity
Appendix H Tax Treatment of Political Contributions
Appendix J McCain-Feingold Act
Appendix K How Individual States Choose Their Electors
Appendix L Spending limits; yes—contribution limits; no
i

1

3


7
11
17

29
31
50
67

73
75
88
91

101
103
104

107
113
129
133
137
141
143
145
147
149
159
167
1


2

Foreword for the Election Process

Before beginning this book I had to remind myself what the
Foundation intended to accomplish by offering the Election Process
as the 2000-2001 essay contest. The instructions required students to
decide whether they favored a Direct Vote election or the continued
use of the Electoral College system. They were to defend their
choice. They were also to include in their essay a description of a
campaign reform discussed in 2000, but not mentioned in their
required reading, and explain why they thought the reform they
picked should become law. They were to use the Internet for their
research and footnote the various urls (Internet addresses) they
consulted. Answers to the questions relevant to the required reading
were to accompany their essays.

As usual, the goal was to encourage research on more than one side
of an issue and objective personal analysis of the subject. They were
to use reasoned arguments to defend their own personal conclusions;
not come up with a report telling us what others think about the
issues we asked them to confront.

At the end of all forty-four of our contests I liked to reassure myself
that the teachers understood the project and that was it clear to the
students. I particularly wanted to know if the Harry Singer
Foundation had accomplished its purpose in conducting this essay
contest and decided to format the book to satisfy my curiosity.
My questions are answered in several sections in this book including
Identifying the Issues, Students’ Personal Opinions, Pro and Con
both the Electoral College and the most popular reform, Direct Vote
elections, Presidential Campaigns, Reforms and all the sub-
categories under each. Who best followed the instructions is one
determinant that was used during the judging process in 2001.
Another is the enthusiasm and determination to do something about
the issue presented. In the very brief Section Four I included only a
few examples of the indignation, activism and gratitude we found.

Over twenty years I have found that the majority of students defend
their own preconceptions of the issues even when confronted with
3

new facts and opinions. That is not necessarily bad and can be
attributed to any of the following: (1) having well reasoned beliefs
before hand, (2) having had the opportunity to test their lightly held
opinions with other options and learned during the course of the
exercise to defend them against attack or (3) been exposed to issues
and facts of which they were previously unaware and been
convinced of the opinions they now can express with a confidence
stemming from knowledge.

In the past few years we have gotten requests from a few students,
now in their thirties and often prominent in their chosen careers, to
remove their essays, or their connection to these essays from our web
site. When their names are googled the positions they took and their
writing ability as a teen sometimes causes embarrassment. Just as
often an adult student lets us know how overjoyed they are to find
their work exhibited on our web site and recall the experience
fondly. However, since names cannot be removed as easily from a
printed book and we have no way of knowing in advanced who
might be embarrassed, we thought it prudent to eliminate individual
names attributed to the excerpts used in this book. However the
actual names of the participants can be found on pages 107-112.

Change is slow and so the election process continues to be relevant.
For that reason I have added Appendices, to update some of the
legislation but also because it is apparent in this election year how
many adults no little or nothing about the Electoral College and how
our election system works .As several students point out, change in
the American election process has been discussed for over two
hundred years and the need for considered action continues.
Hopefully the students, and those who read this book, will be more
equipped to add the knowledge exhibited here to determine what, if
any, reforms become a reality.

Margaret Bohannon-Kaplan
Carmel, California
September, 2008



4

The Election Process


Identifying the Issues

Thoughts about reforming the Electoral College are not new:
“From 1787 when our founding fathers met in Philadelphia until
now—our nation has been [debating its] election system. Reforms
have been [proposed] to control financing for federal election
campaigns and to make the nominating process more open and
democratic…. As a nation we struggle to improve an election
process that continues to be criticized but not changed.”
A High School Participant in the Election Process Contests

“The Electoral College is a widely misunderstood system. Stated
simply, it is made up of a slate of electors appointed by each state
[and] based on its population. In most states, whichever candidate
receives the most votes on Election Day is awarded all of that state’s
electoral votes. The Electoral College meets in December to cast
these votes. The candidate with the most electoral votes wins.”
A High School Participant in the Election Process Contests

“Over the past 200 years, over 700 proposals have been introduced
in Congress to reform or eliminate the Electoral College. Public
opinion polls have shown Americans favored abolishing it by
majorities of 58 percent in 1967; 81 percent in 1968; and 75 percent
in 1981.”
A High School Participant in the Election Process Contests

Our President serves only with the consent of the public:
“In the decade between 1964 and 1974, the nation was faced with
many problems. It was rocked by assassination, the most forlorn war
in the nation’s history, abuse of power at the highest levels, the first
presidential resignation, and the controversy of the first man ever to
become president without the popular vote of the election. It is no
wonder that these years generated a national debate on limiting the
5

powers of the president and creating new methods to ensure that
valid and reliable men fill the office.
In August 1974, for the first time in the history of the Republic, a
man who had not been confirmed by a national election occupied the
office of President. Gerald Ford, thirty-eighth President of the
United States, attained office on the resignation of his predecessor.
Unlike Vice Presidents before him, Gerald Ford was nominated by
his predecessor and confirmed by the vote of Congress under the
provisions for filling Vice-Presidential vacancies in the Twenty-fifth
Amendment to the Constitution. In his inaugural address Ford said,
‘I am acutely aware that you have not elected me as your President
by your ballots.’ In making this statement, the President clearly
realized the uniqueness of his situation and expected the attacks that
might be made on his right to govern. The consent of the general
public is necessary for the selection of leaders in a democracy. A
democracy requires that consent be formally given in frequent and
free elections.”
A High School Participant in the Election Process Contests

“Elections are a fundamental part of the American system of
government, which was founded on the principle that the power to
govern depends on the people’s choice. Elections provide the means
by which Americans delegate their power to elected representatives.
By voting for government officials, the public makes choices about
the policies, programs, and future directions of government
action.…. It’s up to elected officials…to take into account popular
interests and the wishes of those they represent. Otherwise they risk
being voted out of office. This system depends primarily on the
voters. The electoral process can only work if people participate.”
A High School Participant in the Election Process Contests

“When the Electoral College was first founded at the Constitutional
Convention, it was a compromise that allowed states to be fairly
represented and still let the people have a say by letting them choose
their electors. The original thinking was that people would be more
familiar and trusting of a well informed local candidate, who would
then pick the leader, instead of choosing one far-off national
6

candidate. Obviously, this idea is no longer true. With all the mass
communication available, people see and know their candidates
more up close and personal than ever before.”
A High School Participant in the Election Process Contests

“People do not understand that we have to work as a team, meeting
in the middle to fulfill the needs of everybody. They do not under-
stand the concept of the electoral vote, and in order to appreciate the
reasons for the Electoral College it is essential to understand its
historical context and the problem that the Founding Fathers were
trying to solve.”
A High School Participant in the Election Process Contests

“Before the election controversy in 2000, I didn’t pay much attention
to the way the American voting system functioned. I have always
assumed that everyone’s vote was counted and the candidate with the
most votes became the next President. I know now that it is not that
simple.”
A High School Participant in the Election Process Contests

Background

What’s so important about the election process?
“Hundreds of years ago, our forefathers faced a predicament. How
were they to set up a system to elect the President? They were forced
to develop a system to suit a nation that was composed of thirteen
large and small states jealous of their own rights and powers and
suspicious of any central national government. [It] contained only
4,000,000 people spread up and down a thousand miles of Atlantic
seaboard barely connected by transportation or communication. [The
people] believed that political parties were mischievous...and felt
that gentlemen should not campaign for public office.”
A High School Participant in the Election Process Contests

“Since British political thinkers still had an influence on the young
nation, Americans thought that political parties were downright evil.
Some believed, ‘The office should seek the man, the man should not
seek the office.’ They thought campaigning for public office was
7

fake and unreal. But choosing a President without political parties,
without national campaigns, and without upsetting the carefully
designed balance between the Presidency and the congress leaves us
with one question. Who would win?”
A High School Participant in the Election Process Contests

“This group of highly intelligent men, [the founding fathers] some
even geniuses, pondered several options. Should they let Congress
choose the President? No. This might upset the delicate balance of
power in the government or cause hard feelings. Should they have
the state legislatures select the President? No. This might leave the
President highly beholden to the state legislatures and undermine the
whole idea of a federation. Should they elect the President through
the citizens’ votes, by a direct election? No. This would not work,
not because the people were not intelligent, but because they were
afraid that the voters, without sufficient information about the
candidates, would elect someone without any thought, just choosing
a popular favorite among friends and relatives.”
A High School Participant in the Election Process Contests

“When they had seen the pitfalls of two systems, a third
compromising system evolved the electors. This third system was to
have electors that could not be a member of Congress vote for the
President. Most of the arguments made in support of the elector
system were nothing more than negative arguments of the other two
systems.”
A High School Participant in the Election Process Contests
“Because of their past [experience] which did not favor direct
power, they believed that no one branch, the people or the
government, should have ultimate unlimited power. Their top
priority was the separation of powers, the principle that still guides
the U.S. today. They believed that the Electoral College would allow
the people direct power in voting without most of the disadvantages
of a Direct Vote system.”
A High School Participant in the Election Process Contests
8

“It is clear that the founders wanted moderating voices between the
electorate and the various branches of government. They were
concerned that the more populated states would dominate the vote.”
A High School Participant in the Election Process Contests

“The elector system was voted down twice, once as the electors to
be chosen by state legislatures and the other time as the electors to be
chosen by direct vote. It was passed under the system of letting state
legislatures decide how to choose the electors. Finally they had
chosen a system of electing a President. Winston Churchill had
said, ‘The electoral college system is probably the worst possible
method of choosing a president-except for all the others.’”
A High School Participant in the Election Process Contests

“[It was] during the Constitutional Convention that this group of
men, known as the Committee of Eleven, came up with the idea of an
indirect election through a College of Electors. They planned that
only the most sophisticated or knowledgeable citizens from each
state would vote for president, based on merit and disregarding
political parties.”
A High School Participant in the Election Process Contests

“This was not a new idea, but was very similar to the way the Roman
Catholic Church selects the Pope and also similar to the Centurial
Assembly system that was used in the Roman Republic. The idea
was that the most knowledgeable and informed people would be
selecting the president.”
A High School Participant in the Election Process Contests

Katie, below, also noted the similarities to Rome in her essay:
“The structures of the Electoral College and the Centurial Assembly
system of the Roman Republic are similar in many ways. Adult male
citizens of Rome were divided into groups of 100 according to their
wealth. Each group of 100 were entitled to cast only one vote either
in favor or against proposals submitted to them by the Roman
Senate. In the Electoral College system the states serve as the 100
people. The number of votes per state [has varied over the years].”
A High School Participant in the Election Process Contests
9

“Establishing an electoral body was a clever means of dodging
potential flaws in the voting system by way of constructing a broader
national consensus.”
A High School Participant in the Election Process Contests

Voting Procedures for Electors
“In the beginning the candidate with the most votes became
President and the candidate with the next highest votes became the
Vice President.”
A High School Participant in the Election Process Contests

“In the election of 1796, John Adams a federalist was elected as
President and Thomas Jefferson a Republican as Vice-President.
[This was the result of] Article 11, Section 1:2 of the Constitution
which provided that the candidate with the most votes should be
elected President and the runner-up Vice-President.”
Alisha Parrott, Paoli High School, Paoli, Oklahoma

“The results from each state were couriered to Congress under seal
and opened on the House floor. This method was only used for three
elections.”
A High School Participant in the Election Process Contests

“In the nation’s third presidential election in 1800, Aaron Burr was
defeated by Thomas Jefferson. They tied with 73 electoral votes
each. Then the decision was tossed into the House of Represen-
tatives where each state’s delegation voted as one unit. This is when
Alexander Hamilton came into the picture and swayed the vote
Jefferson’s way. Ironically, Burr killed Hamilton in a duel. A duel
to the death is a great example of what an election controversy can
cause.”
A High School Participant in the Election Process Contests

“The leaders decided that they did not wish for this sort of tie to
happen again so they ratified the 12
th
amendment, which in short
states that the President and Vice President would be elected as a
team rather than separately.”
A High School Participant in the Election Process Contests
10

“In 1808, the President by lot was to be chosen. The President by lot
meant that the presidential candidate was to be a retiring senator.
[That was a requirement] in order to be in the presidency by lot.”
A High School Participant in the Election Process Contests

The Electoral College.

It may be easiest to understand the way Americans choose their
presidents and vice presidents if you think of it in three stages.
The first stage is the primary where eligible citizens cast their
votes to determine the nominees for the political party of their
choice. The second stage is the general election where ordinary
citizens vote for one of the two major party candidates chosen in
the first stage. The third stage is where the electors vote in
Washington DC to determine the new President and Vice
President. That is what we are discussing—the third stage—the
Electoral College.
How exactly does the Electoral College system work?
“The Electoral College system was established in Article II, section
I, of the U. S. Constitution and has been modified mainly by the 12
th

Amendment.” [See Appendix A p.113 & Appendix B129]
A High School Participant in the Election Process Contests

“The Constitution leaves the selection of electors to the state
legislatures, stipulating only that their number equal that of the
congressional delegation and that officers of the federal government
are not eligible. Candidates for elector usually are nominated by
Party conventions, in primary elections, or by Party organizations.”
A High School Participant in the Election Process Contests

“[A state’s congressional delegation is equal in number] to the
number of its U.S. Representatives plus its two U. S. Senators. That
number fluctuates according to each state’s population which is set
every ten years by the United States Census. On the first Monday
after the second Wednesday in December in election years, each
state’s electors assemble [in Washington, DC] to cast their votes.”
A High School Participant in the Election Process Contests
11

“The electors, popularly elected on Election Day, vote by ballot
separately for president and vice president. At least one of the
candidates for whom they vote must not be a resident of the electors’
own state.”
A High School Participant in the Election Process Contests

“These groups of electors [are expected] to vote for the nominees of
their party yet they are not required to do so. When we [American
citizens] vote for the President and Vice President, we are actually
voting for these groups of electors. The electoral vote of each state is
cast as a unit therefore the victorious presidential and vice
presidential nominees in each state win the state’s entire electoral
vote.”
A High School Participant in the Election Process Contests

“The votes are counted, confirmed, stamped and then sent to the
President of the Senate.”
A High School Participant in the Election Process Contests

“Certified lists of votes cast for the two offices have been transmitted
to the president of the U. S. Senate since 1950 through the General
Services Administration. On the second Tuesday in January, the
President of the Senate, presiding at a joint session of Congress,
opens the certificates and the votes are counted by tellers. The
election is decided by a majority of the total Electoral College vote.
In the absence of a majority of electoral votes for President, the
House of Representatives proceeds quickly to elect by ballot from
the three candidates standing highest in electoral votes. [This time]
each state has only one vote, cast as a majority of its Representatives
determines. A majority of all the states is necessary for election. For
vice president, if a majority is lacking in the Electoral College, the
Senate elects from the two highest candidates. A majority vote is
necessary for election.” [See Appendix F on page 143]
A High School Participant in the Election Process Contests

“The Speaker of the House will temporarily be the President until the
election is resolved.”
A High School Participant in the Election Process Contests
12

“Once the winners are known their names are recorded in the record
books of both the House of Representatives and the Senate. After all
of this, objections are called for and finally a concluding affirmation
is made. The President and Vice-President are truly elected on that
Tuesday in January, not in the general election in November.”
A High School Participant in the Election Process Contests

A Little History
As the country grew it changed and the Electoral College system
had to adjust:
“When the founding fathers designed the Electoral College system
for the election of Presidents they had no idea of how chaotic this
system would become. This system was designed before political
parties were established. It was also before very many people had
the right to vote.”
A High School Participant in the Election Process Contests

“When our Constitution was first written our nation was vastly
different. Only white, male property owners could vote.”
A High School Participant in the Election Process Contests

Kim continues:
“Until the 1820s most states chose their electors in the state
legislatures. In the 1820s and 1830s, a political reform movement
swept the country and led to several changes in how we nominated
and elected a President. The most important of these changes were
the extension of the right to vote to the common man.”
A High School Participant in the Election Process Contests

Jeff explains:
“In 1870 the 15
th
Amendment gave black men the right to vote, in
1913 the 17
th
Amendment provided for direct popular election of the
Senate, and in 1920 the 19
th
Amendment gave women the right to
vote. Finally, in 1971 the 26
th
amendment established the right of
citizens 18 years of age and older the right to vote. Times [continue
to] change.”
A High School Participant in the Election Process Contests

13

Presidential Primaries
“The national convention system of nominating candidates for
president came along with the extension of the right to vote.
In the early twentieth century, during the Progressive period, a
new system of selecting delegates emerged. It became the dominant
method by the 1970’s.

This new method was called the Presidential
Primary in which the nominees for the two main political parties run
against each other for both President and Vice President. Registered
citizens vote for the best pair to represent their nation.”
A High School Participant in the Election Process Contests

“The Electoral College…obligates the candidate to gain support in
more than one region of the United States. Instead of campaigning
in only the most populated area of the country, a candidate must win
state by state. [Our leaders] wanted the presidential race to be more
than just a popularity contest.”
A High School Participant in the Election Process Contests

Close elections pose special problems for the Electoral College
system:
“In the election of 1824, John Quincy Adams received fewer popular
votes than his opponent, Andrew Jackson. Because Jackson failed to
win a majority of Electoral College votes, the House of
Representatives decided the election [as described earlier]. On
several occasions the popular vote [awarded presidential candidates]
has been razor thin or even questionable. One instance was when
John F. Kennedy beat Richard M. Nixon in 1960, by a very slim
margin. There was a large amount of speculation at the time.”
A High School Participant in the Election Process Contests

“In two [other] elections, a presidential candidate lost the popular
vote but won the majority of electoral votes. In 1876, Samuel J.
Tilden received 4,284,757 popular votes and 184 electoral votes,
while Rutherford B. Hayes received only 4,033,950 popular votes
and 185 electoral votes. Consequently, but not rightly, Hayes won
the election. In 1888, Benjamin Harrison received only 5,444,337
popular votes and 233 electoral votes compared to Grover Cleveland,
14

who received 5,540,050 popular votes and only 168 electoral votes.
Harrison was elected.”
A High School Participant in the Election Process Contests

“Fifteen elections have been so close, in fact, that a shift of a mere
one percent of the overall national vote would have elected the
candidate who lost the popular vote. The closest margin of victory
occurred in 1880 when William Garfield was declared president by a
margin of just 0.1 percent of the overall popular vote.”
A High School Participant in the Election Process Contests

Ashley, below, is confused about resolving the voting issues
involved in the 2000 election:
“The system will work just fine, as long as there is not a slim margin
between the numbers of votes. The reason for the delay in
determining the victors of the 2000 Election was the requirement that
the election go into the House of Representatives to determine the
President and into the Senate to determine the Vice President. This
will only come into effect if the Electoral College fails to reach a
majority.”
A High School Participant in the Election Process Contests

The 2000 issue involved the voting system used in Florida during
the general election, stage two, and was settled by a Supreme
Court ruling and not the Congress which only steps in at stage
three if the electors fail to reach a majority.
In the essay excerpts that follow, students describe the 2000
issue:
“With the election of 2000, Florida had a close race between George
W. Bush and Albert Gore. Florida’s vote was split between the two
major party candidates with less than a 500-vote margin. Since
Florida uses the winner-take-all system Bush received all of the
electoral votes and won the presidency”
A High School Participant in the Election Process Contests

Of course not everyone agreed that G.W. Bush should have
received all of Florida’s votes. Below Megan and Rachel
elaborate:
15

“A significant problem with the voting process was revealed [during
the 2000 presidential election.] Palm Beach County in Florida…used
a butterfly ballot that caused major confusion among the voters.
Some say that people who were trying to vote for Gore inadvertently
voted for the wrong candidate because of the way the ballot was set
up.”
A High School Participant in the Election Process Contests

“If Palm Beach County in Florida hadn’t used the punch hole
method, there would not have been such a big mess….The
Democrats claimed that some votes in Florida had never been
counted, but Republicans claimed that some votes were counted two
or three times…. If every state were to use the same voting method
this might eliminate confusion and voting problems in the future.”
A High School Participant in the Election Process Contests

Lindsey was dismayed:
“Because Al Gore lost by such a small margin in Florida and a few
other states, he demanded a recount. This is just another example of
how terrible the Electoral College is for our nation. It is disturbing
when the citizens of this nation can’t even find out who their
president is on the day of the election.”
A High School Participant in the Election Process Contests

Remember we are talking about the third stage in the process
when the election is decided by the electors when the gather in
Washington DC every four years in January.
Below, Anthony urges caution:
“In evaluating the present Electoral College system, we must realize
that close popular contests are not always close electoral contests. In
seven of fifteen close elections between 1848 and 1968, a reversal of
five to eight states would have been necessary to change the outcome
of the election, and in eleven of those close elections a reversal of at
least three states would have been required. It would be very
difficult, if not impossible, for any candidate to illegally sway the
vote of three or more states in an election.”
A High School Participant in the Election Process Contests
16

“The Electoral College is a unique old way of electing the president
of the most powerful nation in the world, but some citizens feel that
the system is outdated. They feel that since it is more than 200 years
old that it doesn’t efficiently meet the needs of our world today.
Some think that it is just plain silly that we still use such an old
system.”
A High School Participant in the Election Process Contests

Reforming the Electoral College

Let’s start from the beginning:
“Reform started in 1816 when Pennsylvania Senator Abner Lacock
suggested the Direct Vote Plan. Under this plan the popular vote by
the people elected the candidate. [No need for an Electoral College.]
It came up again in 1820 and 1822, [and in numerous years since
then but to no avail]. In 1826, the Automatic Plan was introduced
whereby all of a state’s electoral votes would automatically go to the
candidate with the highest popular vote. [This plan continues today.]
In 1848 William Lawerence suggested another plan for electing a
president, referred to as the Proportional Plan.”
A High School Participant in the Election Process Contests

“The Proportional Plan allows for the winner of the popular vote in
each state to win but still allows for the other votes to be represented
in the national scheme. This method is good because it makes the
votes in every state more important.”
A High School Participant in the Election Process Contests

Below, more students weigh in on this plan:
“The Proportional Plan would allocate a state’s electoral votes to
each candidate according to the percentage of votes that candidate
received within that state. Although it is said that this would make
the popular vote more important, it would simply distort the popular
vote on the national scale.”
A High School Participant in the Election Process Contests

“The Proportional plan would allow us to keep the Electoral College
but would change the number of votes that got to a certain
17

candidate…. For example, Florida has twenty-seven Electoral votes.
In my mock election there are four candidates running: candidate 1,
candidate 2, candidate 3, and candidate 4. After [all votes were in]
candidate 1 got 39 percent, candidate 2 got 30 percent, candidate 3
got 12 percent, and candidate 4 got 8 percent. In the Proportional
plan all the electoral votes would be split up instead of all going to
Candidate 1. The candidates would get a rounded decimal percent of
the votes. Candidate 1 would get 11.53 electoral votes. Candidate 2
would get 9.1 electoral votes. Candidate 3 would get 4.24 electoral
votes. Candidate 4 would get 3.16 electoral votes.”
A High School Participant in the Election Process Contests

“The plan that will best remedy our current situation is a propor-
tional-popular vote plan. Elections will be decided by the popular
vote in each state multiplied by the extra percent of the national vote
that the state would have received under the Electoral College. With
this plan, the people should be able to speak for themselves, there
will also be no chance that whomever they decide should be our next
president will not actually get to
become president.”
A High School Participant in the Election Process Contests

The District Plan
“Other methods have been proposed over the years such as the
District Plan. Under this plan electoral votes would be allocated by
individual districts within a state. One of the problems with such a
plan is that it would reduce the traditional large margin of victory,
which could lead to more decisions regarding presidential elections
being made by Congress. Also this would increase the trouble with
gerrymandering, the process of drawing district lines within a state to
favor one political party over the other.”
A High School Participant in the Election Process Contests

Anthony explains the reduction in the margin of victory:
“The winner-take-all system distorts the election results to widen the
margin of victory in the Electoral College, thus delivering a clear-cut
winner in the election.”
A High School Participant in the Election Process Contests
18

“[The District Plan] would establish definite party lines within each
state, thus dividing any given state’s electoral votes proportionally.
[Suppose] for example, Candidate A receives forty percent of the
electoral votes, and Candidates B and C receive thirty percent of the
electoral votes each. Under a winner-takes-all system, Candidate A
ends up with everything while sixty percent of the votes are not
represented. In a state with ten electoral votes, the previous example
concerning Candidates A, B, and C would result in all ten electoral
votes for Candidate A (assuming that Candidate is not a resident of
that state). Under the proportionality system, Candidate A would
receive four electoral votes while Candidates B and C would receive
three votes each. In contrast to the current system, minorities are
encouraged to campaign on a leveled playing field.”
A High School Participant in the Election Process Contests

Editor’s comments regarding previous example: A = 40% electoral
votes, B = 30% and C = 30% with winner-take-all means 60% disenfranchised]

Ryan and Justin explain yet another option; Runoff Elections:
“A runoff election will ensure a candidate gets at least fifty percent
of the popular vote by allowing voters to rank all the candidates by
preference. It would solve the wasted vote problem for those who
support a third party. It works by having voters rank their prefer-
ences. All of the first choice votes are counted first. If no one gets
fifty percent of the votes then the candidate in last place is
eliminated. If a person voted for the eliminated candidate then their
second choice would be counted. If a candidate has fifty percent
after that, then they win the election. If not then the candidate with
the lowest number of votes is eliminated, and so on.”
A High School Participant in the Election Process Contests

“Instant runoff voting is rapidly growing in popularity around the
world and the United States…. It is already used to elect Australia’s
Parliament, Ireland’s President, and London’s Mayor. Instant runoff
voting is a form of the winner-take-all system, except that it ensures
that a winning candidate will receive a majority of votes. [In our
current Electoral College system] each voter gets one vote, and the
candidate has to win the popular vote of a state to get the electoral
19

votes of that state, and then they have to get a majority of the
electoral votes of the United States to win the election. …
Instant runoff voting ensures that the candidate that is elected is
the one that was preferred by the most voters. It also eliminates the
problem of third party candidates taking votes away from the major
candidates because if they get the least amount of votes, they are
eliminated. Because it may require second and third choices to win,
candidates have to focus on lots of issues, and it will force them to
take a position Since instant runoff voting is only one round, election
officials and taxpayers don’t have to pay for a second round, and it
also means that candidates may not have to raise as much money as
they would have to in the winner-take-all system. Instant runoff
voting is very simple and easy because all the voter has to do is rank
the candidates in order of how they like them. Also, after comparing
many other countries that use instant runoff voting, it was seen that
the voter turnout increased with the system because the voters have a
wider range of choices. Instant runoff voting is a powerful reform in
itself, but it may also pave the way for proportional representation
and many other reforms.”
A High School Participant in the Election Process Contests

More proposals for reform:
“In 1970 Senator Thomas Engleton proposed that the winning
candidate should be required to carry not only the electoral but also
the popular vote. However, it is quite crucial to realize that any
reformation immediately preceding or following a major election
could be detrimental to the structural foundation of the American
democracy. To change something so drastically suggests that any
well-known truth or law can be challenged.”
A High School Participant in the Election Process Contests

“The disputed 2000 election brought the desire to either reform or
remove the Electoral College to the forefront of people’s minds.”
A High School Participant in the Election Process Contests

Votes for the nation’s President and Vice President are actually
cast, not by the people, but by their representatives, the electors:
20

“The United States of America is a democratic republic. That means
that it is a country governed by the people who elect officials to
represent them….With the Electoral College method, people can
vote, but [they vote for electors to represent their vote and] in the end
their vote may not count.”
A High School Participant in the Election Process Contests

Most voters don’t comprehend the role electors play in our
election process and those that do want the system reformed:
“Many attempts have been made to reform or even scrap the
Electoral College; the most recent one being in 1997 when Congress
debated a Constitutional Amendment to replace the Electoral College
system with a Direct Vote system. However the Electoral College
still remains virtually unchanged [except for the number of
electors].”
A High School Participant in the Election Process Contests

Matt’s reported the 1997 attempt at reform and the
disappointment that followed:
“On September 4, 1997 a bill was proposed that would have
abolished the Electoral College and changed our system to a direct
vote [system]. I think this would have been a monumental
accomplishment, but unfortunately it did not pass.”
A High School Participant in the Election Process Contests

Kristy offers a reason to be optimistic for the future:
“We need to adopt a better system. What is a better proposal?
Currently, the plan for a Direct Vote election is most widely favored.
This plan has been around for quite some time but has been rejected
by legislators throughout history because of issues that are no longer
a problem today.”
A High School Participant in the Election Process Contests

Reform via the Direct Vote system is most well known. Perhaps
that’s why it’s most people’s favorite.


21

“A Direct Election is relatively simple. It solves nearly all of the
problems associated with the Electoral College.”
A High School Participant in the Election Process Contests
“The Direct Vote plan, rather than change the way the electoral vote
is decided, would simply make the national popular vote the sole
means for electing the president.”
A High School Participant in the Election Process Contests

Thinking It Through
“There are three things to consider: How the Electoral College
works, how the Direct Vote system works, and [which] is more
representative of the people.”
A High School Participant in the Election Process Contests

Kristy has two concerns:
“There are two main problems with the [Electoral College] system:
Presidents can be elected to office even if that’s not what the people
want, and electors are not punished for being unfaithful to what they
have pledged.”
A High School Participant in the Election Process Contests

“While there are differences in how the election process should be
handled, experts generally agree on several points. First, after the
votes have been sent in, there needs to be a quick decision for a
winner. Second, the winner should be someone who has the most
popular votes. Third, the president-elect should have a mandate to
govern based on a reasonable margin of victory. The winner needs to
be clear-cut, without a doubt of his/her legitimacy. When it is clear
by the vote what the majority of people want, it gives the president
confidence in leading the country. Fourth, the system should not
undermine the two-party system that we have now.”
A High School Participant in the Election Process Contests

Crystal claims the Direct Vote will only exacerbate Heather’s
objections to the Electoral College:
“Under a Direct Election system the number of close contests would
be increased with no way of producing an obvious winner. It would
also give the loser more incentive to call for a recount than under the
22

current system. Once the loser calls for a recount, the winner will
want a recount to check the first recount and so on. This would
result in chaos around the country with the world watching our every
move. As the country learned in the [2000] election, the recount
process can take several weeks. It would most likely take much
longer under the Direct Election process because both candidates
would be ordering recounts. This would only bring more controversy
The recounts might not be done in time to announce the results
officially on the day set for the inauguration. Even if they did get the
votes recounted in time it would create a sense of distrust and
concern in the country because of the lack of security in the
authenticity of the recounts. It would result in a disputed presidential
term for the candidate who happened to come out on top. Once faith
is lost in the way votes are counted it will be very hard to restore
confidence.”
A High School Participant in the Election Process Contests

Christina and several other students acknowledged the second
problem:
“Twenty-four states do not require that their electors vote the will of
the people. This allows electors to vote for whom they personally
believe should be President.”
A High School Participant in the Election Process Contests

“Right now electors decide who should run our country. They are
the ones who cast the real votes…. Many states do not have laws
dealing with electors who vote for someone other than the candidate
the majority of the [voting members of the] state wanted. Although it
has happened in the past, it has not yet changed the outcome of an
election.”
A High School Participant in the Election Process Contests

“Generally the electors cast their vote for the candidate who received
the most votes in their state, but on a few occasions the electors
bolted and voted for a different candidate. If this were to happen in
California, not only would residents’ votes count for less than in
other states, but some of the votes would be disregarded as well.
This fact puts a damper on the idea of ‘a pure democracy’, and
23

democracy is one of the things our government was founded on. It is
what draws so many immigrants here every year. It is what we have
fought wars over.”
A High School Participant in the Election Process Contests

“The Electoral College has been attacked time after time, and yet
remains a functional part of the American democracy….
Controversy comes when electors fail to vote along the same lines as
their constituents. In the election of 1796 an elector of John Adams’
party defected and voted for Thomas Jefferson. The election of 1800
resulted in Jefferson being elected by the House of Representatives
after thirty-six tied votes. These issues are what fuel the fire over
whether or not the Electoral College is archaic or a timeless
institution.”
A High School Participant in the Election Process Contests

“As current legislation stands, the electors are not restricted to vote
for the candidate to whom they are pledged. An example of these
faithless electors occurred in 1968 when a Republican elector from
Virginia voted for George Wallace instead of Richard Nixon. In
1972, another Republican elector from Virginia sided with the
Libertarian party candidate rather than Richard Nixon. In 1976, a
Republican elector from the state of Washington cast his vote for
Ronald Reagan instead of Gerald Ford. In a close race, these
defecting electors could cause a lack of confidence in the electoral
system.”
A High School Participant in the Election Process Contests

Nic shows how the Direct Vote system would not only do away
with the faithless elector problem, it would solve a lot of other
complaints also:
“In a Direct Vote election, every vote is given equal weight. A Direct
Vote system would also ‘do away with the faithless elector problem,
reduce the chance of fraud, encourage greater participation and place
the election more fully into the hands of the people.’ That’s one
definition of democracy.”
A High School Participant in the Election Process Contests
24

Jennifer, Allison, Katie and most voters, expect every vote to
count:
“A Direct Election is an election process in which every vote counts.
One may say that every vote already counts. What I mean is that
every vote counts individually; there is no more Electoral College.
With the Direct Election one’s vote counts individually. In the
process we use now, if you did not vote for the [biggest voter-getter]
in your state, your vote is as good as tossed out. However, in the
Direct Election system, your vote would have counted.”
A High School Participant in the Election Process Contests

“In the Electoral College, the electors vote according to only what
the majority of the people in their state or district want. This does not
allow [all] the votes to count. By using the Direct Vote plan,
everyone’s vote for his or her chosen candidate would be counted.”
Allison Melton, Camden High School, Camden, Tennessee
“With our present system, a lot of people feel like their votes do not
even count; which is true if their party does not win the majority of
the popular votes in their state.”
A High School Participant in the Election Process Contests

Anthony is cautious and wise:
“However, we must be careful to separate the defects that are present
in the current system from those that are present in any electoral
system.”
A High School Participant in the Election Process Contests

Kim, and David reviewed past efforts at reform to discover what
went wrong:
“An amendment to abolish the Electoral College system, almost
identical to the Bayh Plan, passed the House 339 to 70 and it looked
as if the 91
st
Congress was going to resolve this on-going issue.
However, opponents…could not accept the unfavorable impact that
the Direct Vote plan would have on the two-party system. They
thought the Direct Vote would encourage minority parties because
there would be a greater probability that two major parties would not
receive a majority. They maintained the Bayh Plan would make
actual voting more important than population and would give less
25

voice to the poor non-voters represented by the weighted urban vote.
A candidate, if elected on popular vote alone, could conceivable win
on the votes of special interests; for example, on the labor vote, the
business vote, the pro-life vote or, as Richard Nixon and Spiro
Agnew did in 1968, on the law and order vote.”
A High School Participant in the Election Process Contests

“Many different proposals to alter the presidential election process
have been offered over the years, such as direct nation-wide election
by the American people, but none have been passed by Congress and
sent to the states for ratification. A Constitutional Amendment
requiring two-thirds of the majority of both the House of
Representatives and the Senate is needed. Also it has to be voted on
and accepted by three-fourths of all the states.”
A High School Participant in the Election Process Contests

David discovered that the public would most certainly favor a
Constitutional Amendment:
“The American Institute of Public Opinion asked before and after the
1968 election, ‘Would you approve or disapprove of an
amendment…which would do away with the Electoral College and
base the election of a president on the total vote cast throughout the
nation?’ Before the 1968 election, 66 percent approved; after, 81
percent approved.”
A High School Participant in the Election Process Contests

But David did not only learn why Senator Birch Bayh
abandoned his efforts at reform, he also discovered a new ally in
the crusade to abolish the Electoral College:
“In 1968, Senator Birch Bayh…abandoned his efforts when citizens,
unwilling to follow, were already too upset with the government to
believe they could change its policies. Recently, New York Senator-
elect Hillary Clinton has voiced her opinion on the abolishment of
the Electoral College: ‘I believe strongly that in a democracy, we
should respect the will of the people and to me that means it’s time
to do away with the Electoral College and move to the popular
election of our Presidents.’”
A High School Participant in the Election Process Contests
26

“One reason for a republican form of government, as expressed in
Federalist Paper Number 10, is to actually prevent, or at least limit a
majority rule by giving the minority the ability to stop the majority.
A good example is the three-quarters vote of Congress necessary to
overturn a presidential veto. This makes one-quarter plus one vote
more powerful than the three-quarters minus one vote. A good
reason for this power of the minority is to prevent the growth of a
‘tyranny of the majority’ which could otherwise develop. The
majority would then simply be a consensus that makes otherwise
tyrannical actions appear to be legitimate. Then the majority could
enforce things upon the minority that would severely endanger their
rights. Therefore the minority has been given the ability to keep from
being trampled upon by a majority.”
A High School Participant in the Election Process Contests

Will what worked then work now?
“Since the beginning of America, the Electoral College has reigned
as the country’s choice in election policies. The country has now
evolved with that looming question: Will what worked then work
now?”
A High School Participant in the Election Process Contests

In the long run, Jennifer is not sure it really makes a difference:
“During the time I spent researching this topic I [discovered that]
people have opinions on each side of the argument. But while
debating with my friend between the Direct Vote and the Electoral
College, she raised the idea that the Electoral College was adopted to
keep potential candidates from appealing to special interest groups.
But then I ran across the Nixon election of 1968, which won in the
Electoral College, on the law and order vote. It proved it doesn’t
really matter if the Electoral College is used or not. An appeal to
large special interest groups can win no matter which system is
used.”
A High School Participant in the Election Process Contests
“Opinion polls show the people’s support for a republic has declined,
but that sixty-nine percent of people would be more likely to support
27

a republic if the president was directly elected.”


A High School Participant in the Election Process Contests
Luke jumps on the Direct Vote bandwagon and urges others to
do so too:
“I would hope that those who are against the Electoral College will
at least study the [Direct Vote] system closely and make an educated
decision. It does not matter what side you take, just be sure to
consider all the facts and opinions on this important issue. This is not
an issue that should be taken lightly. It could have a profound
effect on our country.”
A High School Participant in the Election Process Contests

So far we’ve been dealing with facts; facts the participants in this
exercise have gathered during their research.
In the next section students tell us what they think about the
Direct Vote system, since they just presented the facts
concerning it. It is the most popular proposed substitute for the
Electoral College. Then they express their opinions regarding the
current election system—the Electoral College. The section ends
with their personal opinions about various proposed electoral
system reforms.
28



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29

30

Pro Direct Vote


David asks an important question that probably occurred to
every student of democracy:
“If a democracy is defined as ‘rule by the people,’ why wasn’t the
Electoral College done away with long ago?”
A High School Participant in the Election Process Contests

There’s no doubt that many people would like to abolish the
Electoral College.

“If so many people are against the Electoral College, why not try
something different? Advocates of Direct Election claim such a
system would always ensure that the candidate with the popular vote
would win the office of president, that it would give equal weight to
every vote, it would do away with the faithless elector problem,
would reduce the chance of fraud, would encourage greater
participation, and place the election more fully into the hands of the
people where it belongs.”
A High School Participant in the Election Process Contests

Below students laid out many of the problems with it and
provided reasons for their support of the Direct Vote system as a
replacement.

Nicole and Sarah are ardent advocates of the Direct Election
system and rattles off her reasons:
“Advocates of the Direct Election system believe it would ensure the
candidate with the greatest popular vote would win the office of
president. It would give equal weight to every vote, would do away
with the faithless elector problem, would reduce the chance of fraud,
would encourage greater participation, and would place the election
more fully into the hands of the people where it belongs. So this
obviously seems like the right thing to do.”
A High School Participant in the Election Process Contests

31

“With the current system, the people are only selecting their state
electors; then the fate of our nation lies in their hands. There are too
many drawbacks and misrepresentations with the Electoral College.
Yale Law School professor, Akhil Amar, agrees: “I consider the so-
called Electoral College a brilliant 18
th
-century device that cleverly
solved a cluster of 18
th
-century problems; as we approach the 21
st

century, we confront a different cluster of problems.” It is time for
the outdated Electoral College to be abolished and to further
establish our freedom. Our nation should elect our highest official
by a Direct Election so the people’s voice can be heard and the
majority can rule.”
A High School Participant in the Election Process Contests

Abby and Adam share their road maps for framing dissent from
the Electoral College:
“These four arguments are generally used against the Electoral
College: (1) The possibility of electing a minority president (2) the
risk of so-called faithless electors (3) the role of the Electoral
College in depressing voter turnout, and (4) its failure to accurately
reflect the national popular will.”
A High School Participant in the Election Process Contests

“As I see it, there are three problems to the current Electoral College
system. First a President can be elected to office even if it is not what
the people want. Another problem is that electors are not punished
for being unfaithful to what they have pledged. The final problem is
electing a President if no electoral majority is reached. The United
States democracy has matured to the point where the people of the
U.S. are ready to elect their officials [via the Direct Vote system].”
A High School Participant in the Election Process Contests

Kristy and Jason made no bones about their choice:
“After some thorough researching, I strongly contend that the Direct
Vote system is a more just choice for the United States of America.”
A High School Participant in the Election Process Contests

“By the year 2001, I hope to see a change in the way the election is
32

run. I hope to [participate in] an election where there is no confusion,
no mudslinging, and no suspense. Direct vote is the way to go.”
A High School Participant in the Election Process Contests

Megan and Ashley were conflicted:
“I think the Electoral College is overrated; it does no good…. On
the other hand, it is good to have because it helps the smaller states
like us…. I’m not going to say I do not like the system yet, I am not
old enough to vote. Who knows maybe I will change my mind. Right
now I think that it is a bigger hassle to have the Electoral College….
All in all I hope they figure out a better way to handle the United
States Presidential elections; something needs to change]. This office
is too high and too powerful to leave any thing to chance.”
A High School Participant in the Election Process Contests

“Many opponents of the Electoral college would say that the old
system doesn’t work. These groups are in favor of the Direct Voting
system. The major groups in favor of this system are minority
groups. Direct Popular Voting may seem to have one major
advantage in that it would ensure a pure or direct democracy.
However, this would come with a price. The Direct Voting system
has many flaws in it.”
A High School Participant in the Election Process Contests

Many Students Thought We Should Adopt An Easier System:
“When I think about our political system and the way we vote, it
makes me angry. I do not think it is fair for the people when our
country uses the Electoral College and I think Congress should
find an easier way of electing a president.”
A High School Participant in the Election Process Contests

The Electoral College Is Outdated:
“We need to eliminate the complications of the Electoral College and
revise the Constitution to accommodate a New Aged America that
faces different obstacles than when we first
got our independence.”
A High School Participant in the Election Process Contests

33

“As we approach the 21
st
century, we have different problems to deal
with. The Electoral College seems to no longer be the wisest choice.
Many Americans argue that this system is ill-suited for modern
America.”
A High School Participant in the Election Process Contests

Eighteenth century solutions might not work for twenty-first
century problems:
“The eighteenth century promoters of the Electoral College created it
to solve certain problems at that time. Now, in the twenty-first
century we are still using the same system. The trouble with this kind
of thinking should be obvious.”
A High School Participant in the Election Process Contests

“Our country really needs a change after 200 years of the same
system. Look at everything that has changed. Transportation,
population, and our economy are no longer what they were in the
18
th
century. We are far more advanced. Make the people’s vote
count. After all, what the people want is what the United States of
America is all about. Put the Electoral College in the trash because it
no longer works and the Direct Election will prove more beneficial
to the American voter.”
A High School Participant in the Election Process Contests

Votes Of Individual Citizens Don’t Count

Before the 2000 election many Americans were not aware of the
Electoral College. Students expressed concern that now so many
Americans believe their votes don’t matter:
“This year’s election proved to the people that not every vote counts.
What is the point of voting if the vote doesn’t count? The people of
America will soon lose their interest in the government. They won’t
care because they are just another person who has issues that no one
wants to listen to.”
A High School Participant in the Election Process Contests

“The citizens of the United States feel that their votes do not count
because they are voting indirectly for the President. In other
34

elections, such as school board elections and congressional elections,
we vote directly for the candidate. We are not really voting for the
President, we are voting for our state electors to vote for the
candidate of the people’s choice. If we had a Direct Election process
chances are more people would wake up Election Day to go vote.”
A High School Participant in the Election Process Contests

“Some people do not vote today because they feel their vote does not
count. Just look at the last election. They are right when they say
that their vote does not count.”
A High School Participant in the Election Process Contests

“I am sure that a lot of the registered voters do not even bother to
vote because they think their vote will not matter, especially if their
state is known as leaning strongly toward one party or another.”
A High School Participant in the Election Process Contests

“The government has always assured the American people that their
vote counted, but I do not believe that at this time that every person’s
vote does count.”
A High School Participant in the Election Process Contests

“Americans would love to have the ability to directly affect their
government. Many people do not vote, because they think their vote
does not count. Casting a vote and knowing that a vote makes a
larger difference would increase voter turn out and American pride.”
A High School Participant in the Election Process Contests

Electors Vote for the President and Vice President:
“We should change the voting system so that we [choose our
President] by Direct Vote…. All we need is a Constitutional
Amendment…. The people would, I’m sure, be happier knowing that
they are casting votes directly [rather than] have the electors vote [on
their behalf]. I asked my grandparents for their opinions and they
said the Electoral College has been around for so long that they
really have not had a chance to experience anything different.”
A High School Participant in the Election Process Contests

35

“The people should elect the president, not the electors. The vote
shouldn’t be up to a few people, but should be voted on by the whole
nation. By having a Direct Vote election, every vote would count.
The candidate with the most votes wins the election. It is a simple
system, and one that will work.”
A High School Participant in the Election Process Contests

“To ensure that we have a true democracy, by the people, for the
people, not by electors; we should install the Direct Election
system.”
A High School Participant in the Election Process Contests

“Most all states no longer show the electors’ names on the ballot.
The voters today vote for either the President or the party that they
wish to hold office. This can cause faithless elector problems.”
A High School Participant in the Election Process Contests

The Faithless Electors Issue
“The major fault of the Electoral College is the fact that a
presidential candidate can win…without the majority of popular
votes. The people may choose one man, but the electors can select
another.”
A High School Participant in the Election Process Contests

“States should be obligated to demand their electors vote the will of
the people. This would give people the satisfaction that their votes do
count…. If the Electoral College were to be amended, there might
not be as many complaints. Currently, it is left to the states to decide
how their electors vote. The federal government needs to change
this. States should require their electors to vote the will of the
people. States should appropriate their electoral votes based on
popular vote, [not winner-take-all]. Our nation’s Electoral College
needs to be revised.”
A High School Participant in the Election Process Contests

“In some ways getting rid of the Electoral College would be good
because the majority would count and only the most popular
candidate would win. I think that the most popular candidate should
36

win.”
A High School Participant in the Election Process Contests

Some voters want the popular vote to be the sole deciding factor
in our presidential elections:
“Our election process should be changed, starting with the Electoral
College being replaced with the Direct Vote plan and ending with a
campaign finance reform. A system that allows the candidate who
did not receive the most votes to be elected is unfair and
undemocratic.”
A High School Participant in the Election Process Contests

“The Electoral College is kind of a set up. Under the Electoral
College system whoever gets the highest number of votes becomes
president, only if the votes were electoral votes. The people of the
U.S. don’t want that.”
A High School Participant in the Election Process Contests

Ty and Nick definitely believe if you get more votes you should
win the election
“The Electoral College system generally gives all of a state’s
electoral votes to the winner in that state, no matter how slim the
margin. Thus it has happened that candidates have been elected even
though they received fewer popular votes than their opponents. This
is one of its major down falls. I do not agree with that. I believe if
you get more votes you should win the election.”
A High School Participant in the Election Process Contests

“When Americans don’t get the President they want, it often results
in friction in the country. If the people vote for a President they
expect to get that President.”
A High School Participant in the Election Process Contests

Heather is incensed:
“How can a country, which is a democracy, elect the highest official,
the President, with a system where some votes are not even
considered in the end? If this is such a good way to have an election,
then why is the presidential election the only time this method is
37

used? In no other local, state, or federal elections does the United
States use the Electoral College method. Since this is the most
important election, reconsideration of the election process is
definitely needed.”
A High School Participant in the Election Process Contests

Teryla emphasizes the difference between the right to vote and
the right to have that vote count:
“Harry S. Truman was quoted saying, ‘Every State has a perfect
right to decide on the manner in which it wants to carry on its
elections, provided they are fair, and provided they give everybody a
chance to express his opinion at the polls. Everybody who is entitled
to vote should have the right to vote.’ He stated that everyone has the
right to vote but not just the right to vote. Everyone also has the right
to have that vote count.”
A High School Participant in the Election Process Contests

Arguments For The Direct Vote Based On Our History:
“Years ago, [when] our government was young and unstable, three
prominent people supported the Direct Vote election system. They
were James Wilson, Governor Morris, and James Madison. Many
delegates thought that the American public was neither mature or
informed enough to handle it. Things have changed and we are an
older and more informed nation. I think that if the United States
switched to a Direct Vote election people would be more content
with the outcome and all people of voting age would feel that the
President was truly elected by the people.”
A High School Participant in the Election Process Contests

“In fact, in the country’s history the candidate with the minority of
the popular vote has won fifteen times because he received the
highest number of electoral ones. The people’s voice may be heard,
but it is occasionally ignored and democracy’s liberties are crushed.”
A High School Participant in the Election Process Contests

“A Federalist elector in the 1796 election voted for Thomas Jefferson
and in 1820 [a] faithless elector deprived James Monroe of a
unanimous vote in the Electoral College by giving John Quincy
38

Adams…his only electoral vote. Even today, nearly two hundred
years later, this same event could recur because of the faulty rules of
the Electoral College.”
A High School Participant in the Election Process Contests

Jason shows evidence that supporters of the Direct Vote are in
good company:
“When the country was first coming together and the Constitution
was being written, not many people believed in a Direct Vote
system. James Wilson, Governeur Morris, and James Madison were
three prominent supporters. Other highly educated leaders believed
that the American people could be too easily swayed, so they turned
to the Electoral College.”
A High School Participant in the Election Process Contests

David thinks we will be more satisfied with our choice of
presidents under a Direct Vote system:
“Many distasteful presidents could be avoided if the Electoral
College were abolished. For example, in 1968 Richard Nixon won
only 43.4 percent of the popular vote. If this presidency had been
based on popular vote, scandals and skepticism toward the
government would have been avoided.”
A High School Participant in the Election Process Contests

Nick, below, makes an unusual claim as an argument in favor of
switching to a Direct Vote election process:
“When the government gets to choose who is President, it often
results in fighting. [Let’s look at what happened to some Presidents
who didn’t win the popular vote.] For instance when Abe Lincoln
was President there was a war and he was assassinated. When John
F. Kennedy was elected with less popular vote he was assassinated
too. Richard Nixon won with fewer than popular votes and he was
forced to resign from office to avoid impeachment. He also kept the
U.S. in Vietnam, which resulted in lots of protests. If we get to
choose who we want as President, then such things won’t happen.
Bill Clinton won with more popular votes and that was one of the
best decades America has ever seen.”
A High School Participant in the Election Process Contests
39

“Even though some of our greatest presidents have not won the
popular vote, who is to say the vote of a few electors is better than
the nation’s vote. An American citizen should be able to aid in the
electing of their president without confusion and controversy.”
A High School Participant in the Election Process Contests

It’s Too Complicated—Too Hard To Understand!
“To keep the election from being so complicated they should just get
rid of the electoral voting, and only go by the popular vote.”
A High School Participant in the Election Process Contests

“A better alternative to the Electoral College would be a Direct Vote,
system where every vote cast gets tallied with all the other votes in
the nation. This is a much simpler way to elect a president. The
individual states elect their governors with a Direct Vote, and
everything runs smoothly doing it that way. Everyone gets his or her
vote counted and it would help people have more trust in the system.
People are starting to lose faith in the Electoral College process.”
A High School Participant in the Election Process Contests

“The United States should change from the Electoral College to a
Direct Vote system. In this version of the system the winner is clear
cut and easy to understand. The winner of the popular vote becomes
president. There would be no minimum number of votes a candidate
needs to win the election. The margin could be as little as one vote.”
A High School Participant in the Election Process Contests

“What I would like to see is all of this confusion cleared up by the
government. The incident that happened in Florida this past election;
I think that was pretty pathetic. Voting to me should not be
confusing. Why not just have a card and a permanent maker and put
a check mark next to the person that you want to vote for. I think that
the government is making things way to complicated.”
A High School Participant in the Election Process Contests

Megan also wants to simplify:
“I think that we should just be able to vote and then be done with
it. Why do we need to have our votes that we voted for, be read then
40

the best of those be counted? In South Dakota we only get three
electoral votes so it makes no since to vote, then have the Electoral
College revote for us. I think we should be able to vote for who we
want to vote for. Why should we have the Electoral College tell us
how our state is going to vote? How many times did Florida revote at
least three—that is ridiculous!”
A High School Participant in the Election Process Contests

William disagrees that Americans are lacking education and
scoffs at the notion that the democratic republic we were
bequeathed by the founding fathers requires either an educated
population or an “elitist type of association”:
“The Electoral College is an archaic system in that was created [to
ensure] the general public did not pick an unqualified president….
Now that the literacy rate in the United States is at 97%, the general
public is educated and informed enough to choose a President
without an Electoral College. If we continue to use this system, the
public might see it as an elitist type of association that controls
which candidate gets voted into office.”
A High School Participant in the Election Process Contests

Jamie wants more people to vote—period:
“If the government continues to use the Electoral College like they
have done in the past, they are just asking for trouble. The average
voters in this year’s election [2000] were people that had high
incomes, college degrees, and a good job. If the government would
change the voting system, many more people would probably vote.
They wouldn’t have to spend all their time, time that many don’t
have, to learn how the system works.”
A High School Participant in the Election Process Contests

Jason thinks the system should adjust to the education level of
the voters so they won’t have to work at understanding the
American legacy.
“A Direct Vote system is the best possible way of electing a
president…. A direct vote is simpler and easier to understand. The
person with the most votes wins. There are very few people walking
around who would know exactly how the Electoral College works.
41

On the other hand, if you asked someone on the street how a direct
vote system works, he or she probably would be able to answer it
very easily”
A High School Participant in the Election Process Contests

People Are More Likely To Participate In A Direct Vote System:
“There are many reasons why a Direct Vote system would be a better
way to elect a president. It will give equal weight to every vote [and]
would encourage greater participation. When someone votes, they
want the vote to go to the person they want to win. When people feel
that their individual vote will count they are more likely to want to
participate.”
A High School Participant in the Election Process Contests

“Around election time I heard many people say, ‘Why does it matter
if I vote; it all depends on the Electoral College…. I was in shock
because...these people are going to be complaining. … If direct
elections were held, these people might feel their vote matters when
electing the country’s leader, and they would probably vote [also].
This way the electors would feel they are getting what they want.”
A High School Participant in the Election Process Contests

“Some argue that the Electoral College depresses voter turnout….
Since each state is entitles to a set number of electoral votes
regardless of its voter turnout; there is no incentive in the states to
encourage voter participation.”
A High School Participant in the Election Process Contests

The Direct Vote System Would Add To The Dignity And
Credibility Of The Presidency:
“Direct elections also add to the dignity of a candidate who wins the
election. The candidate has the pride of knowing that they honestly
won by a majority, and not by simply winning a few key states
where the votes are weighted more heavily.”
A High School Participant in the Election Process Contests

“If the American government were to eliminate the Electoral College
it would give the president more credibility. He would be more
42

respected because it would be…the majority who voted him into
office. As a first time voter this election, I would have liked it if I
could have felt like my one vote out of the millions of citizens who
voted, actually made a difference in the outcome of the election.”
A High School Participant in the Election Process Contests

A Direct Vote Election Would Empower People:
“Take away the Electoral College, and whoever gets the most
popular votes wins. It gives the power back to the people.”
A High School Participant in the Election Process Contests

A Direct Vote Election Would Encourage Third Parties:
“A Direct Election would also help Third Party candidates because it
would give them more of a chance to get a larger majority in the
election. [When] Third Party candidates [receive] more votes [we]
get back to America’s original [theme] of a true democracy.”
A High School Participant in the Election Process Contests

“The Electoral College works in a way that discourages any third-
party candidate from running for office. It is impossible to win an
election unless a person receives at least a majority of votes in one
state, which would make him/her a further contender in the race to
capture a winning number of electoral votes.”
A High School Participant in the Election Process Contests

“No matter how many millions of dollars they have to spend, the
Electoral College is set up to guarantee that no third party can win.

Ross Perot, for example, received 0 electoral votes despite the fact
that he received 20 million popular votes. What is the reason for
this? Each state’s electoral votes are on a winner-take-all basis; a
third party candidate rarely wins the majority of states electoral
votes. So, as faithful electors they do not vote for a third party.”
A High School Participant in the Election Process Contests

There are no third-party electors the way the Electoral College
currently operates:
“The reason no third party candidate can get elected to the White
House is simple: the Electoral College is set up to guarantee that no
43

third party can win. In the Electoral College, there are no third-party
electors, only electors for the Republican and Democratic
candidates. Then, why would a Republican or Democratic elector
vote for a third-party candidate? In 1992 presidential election, third-
party candidate Ross Perot received nineteen percent of the popular
vote, but ended up with zero electoral votes.”
A High School Participant in the Election Process Contests

James thinks the proportional plan would fix the problem Ken
pointed out:
“The Proportional plan would help third party candidates out a lot. It
would help them because most of the time third parties get very few
electoral votes or even none at all.” [Plan described on pp. 69-70]
A High School Participant in the Election Process Contests

“I think there should be a reform to allow every candidate to debate.
It is unfair to just let the two most popular candidates debate. Voters
should know what all the candidates plan to do if they won. So to
allow the election to be equal every candidate [should] get to say
what they think.”
A High School Participant in the Election Process Contests

I’m sure Michael, and most Americans, have no idea that 324
citizens filed as presidential candidates for the 2008 elections
according to the FEC. That would be a lot of debating!

You may, however, agree with Jennifer’s argument below:
“If the candidate did not capture any electoral votes after months of
campaigning, which is the normal occurrence for all third-party
candidates, what then was the point of even trying for an election?
Now is this really fair? Say in a state that candidate A received
11,000 votes, and candidate B received 11,001 votes. Is it fair to say
to candidate A we can not give you any electoral votes when you
were just as close to winning as candidate B? I certainly do not think
it is fair nor does it do any justice to the 11,000 people who
considered candidate A to be the winning choice. With this idea in
mind, the archaic and unrepresentative idea of the Electoral College
44

should be abandoned; a new voice needs to be heard.”
A High School Participant in the Election Process Contests

Many students used the American quest for equality as a
persuasive argument for a direct vote system:
“In our nation change is difficult, but if the Electoral College system
does not support our main focus, the principle of equality, then we
must try to reform the unjust system that we presently have.”
A High School Participant in the Election Process Contests

“A theme that has helped shape this country is that ‘all men are
created equal.’ Under the current election process, this statement is
ignored. For instance, a person’s vote in California is not equally
proportional to a person’s vote in Arkansas. An approximate ratio of
the value of a vote in California to one in Arkansas is 1 to 1.4…. It
gives certain groups power beyond their numbers in presidential
elections. Yet those people in California are just as much citizens of
America as the people in Arkansas. The Electoral College system
takes away from the idea that the citizens of the United States of
America have equal control over who leads their country.”
A High School Participant in the Election Process Contests

“I agree with Brian Houser when he says, ‘States by their own
accord, may adopt the District Plan, giving more equality to votes,
and ultimately, we, as the United Sates of America should replace
the Electoral College with a Direct Vote election.” [Mr. Houser
referenced Maine and Nebraska as states that have chosen not to use
the winner-take-all allocation of their states’ votes.]
A High School Participant in the Election Process Contests

Unfortunately the electoral college is dependent on the census:
“Another problem with the Electoral College is that it relies on the
census to calculate the number of electoral votes each state gets. The
census is often inaccurate when conducted in the smaller rural areas.
It is nearly impossible to formulate an accurate count because they
cannot reasonably go door to door in the secluded areas.”
A High School Participant in the Election Process Contests

45

The direct vote is better for small states:
“Is it fair that the votes of citizens from small states are worth more
than the votes of people from large states? A Direct Election would
ensure that each person’s vote is worth an equal amount. With the
current Electoral College system voters of rural states are
tremendously over represented. In 1988, the seven least populated
jurisdictions had a combined total of 21 electoral votes. Florida also
had 21 electoral votes, but Florida’s population was three times the
combined population of those seven jurisdictions.”

A High School Participant in the Election Process Contests

“Even though I am an American, the Electoral College is not my
way. I believe it does not promote the Constitution in any way,
shape, form, or fashion. Concentration is [focused] on the larger
states and their electors. A direct-vote election would put that
emphasis on the larger states also, but in a different manner.… As it
is now, a candidate could get the popular vote in only a certain
eleven states and win the electoral vote. That would [ignore the votes
of] thirty-nine states. Is that the American Way?”
A High School Participant in the Election Process Contests

We were surprised by Hannah’s contention that the Electoral
College focuses on the larger states. Most students understood
that attempting to equalize the natural bias against the smaller
states when it comes to national elections was the compromise
worked out in the eighteenth century that gave birth to the
Electoral College. Hannah failed to consider, or at least mention,
that changing to the Direct Vote system would discourage
campaigning in smaller states. But then Jeff, below, and
Hannah’s peer, thought candidates would campaign more in
smaller states.

“If a person lives in a state with few electors, then candidates run-
ning for President seem to care very little about their opinion. In the
Direct Election system, the people can actually vote directly for the
president and make each vote count. This form of election would
also make the candidates campaign more throughout the entire
United States, instead of just in the states with a high number of
46

electors.”
A High School Participant in the Election Process Contests

Maybe Jeff and Hannah are right about the campaigning so we
think it is best to let Jessica, below, explain the advantage the
Electoral College affords voters in smaller states. It is interesting
to note that both Hannah and Jessica are advocating the Direct
Vote system and justifying their choice on different views of the
same small state issue.
“In a nation that is founded upon democracy I think that the Direct
Election system should be used to vote for the President…The
Electoral College system has been used for over 200 years and most
Americans are still unsure how this system functions…Furthermore,
the Electoral College is fundamentally unfair to [citizens] who
vote…an individual vote has more weight if he/she lives in a state
with a small population. For example, each electoral vote in Alaska
equals approximately 112,000 people; but in New York it equals
approximately 404,000 people that are eligible. Lastly, the system is
unfair because an individual’s vote has more weight if the percentage
of voter participation is low in their state. For example, if only half
of the people in Alaska vote, then each electoral vote is
equivalent to around 56,000 people. The Constitution does
not bind electors to vote for the candidates chosen by the majority of
a state’s voters. Therefore a state’s electors could go against the
wishes of the very people they were elected to represent.”
A High School Participant in the Election Process Contests
Jeff is all for substituting the Direct Vote system for the
Electoral College:
“The Direct Election is the best method to use to elect a president. It
would increase voter turn out and let the people feel more
responsible for electing our president. The Electoral College should
simply be abolished. It is an unfair and an unjust way of electing a
man or woman to run our wonderful country.”
A High School Participant in the Election Process Contests

47

“I believe a Direct Election would work pretty well for us. With a
Direct Election more people would go out and vote because they
would believe their votes would count. It would be more of a
people’s government, which I think would make the American
citizens feel more satisfied.”
A High School Participant in the Election Process Contests

“With a Direct Vote election [individual] votes will count and voters
will have the greatest impact they can as citizens of the United
States. I believe that if we institute Direct Vote elections more
people will take an active role in our government. The states have
too much power that it should be directed to the people.”
A High School Participant in the Election Process Contests

Many saw the Electoral College as a math game:
“Now a candidate can win the nationwide popular vote but lose in
the Electoral College. It’s like a math game that is played between
the states. A president can be selected by winning only the top 11
electoral vote states and not receive a single vote in the other 39
states. The Electoral College is unfair to the candidates and the
citizens of the United States and should be discarded.”
A High School Participant in the Election Process Contests

“Under the current Electoral College system…it is possible for a
candidate to win without having a majority of the votes. This upsets
a lot of Americans because if a candidate wins on a slim margin in
California, they are one fifth of the way to the 270 votes needed to
win presidency.” [California in 2008 has 55 electoral votes.]
A High School Participant in the Election Process Contests

“The Electoral College keeps states with large population centers
from determining how the country will be run. States with fewer
people are given a voice in elections.”
A High School Participant in the Election Process Contests

Danielle and Brea had more obscure reasons to favor the Direct
Vote system over the Electoral College:
48

“The need to accumulate electoral votes tends to emphasize these
regional differences and ignites issue debates that the candidates
would otherwise avoid.”
A High School Participant in the Election Process Contests

“By allowing small states to keep their power, a proportional-popular
vote plan would pass.”
A High School Participant in the Election Process Contests

The Electoral College Promotes Gerrymandering
“Under the Electoral College system a person who votes Republican
in a primarily Democrat city would be under-represented…. Due to
the current winner-take-all system, people of unlike belief in a
neighborhood would be ineffective in supporting of their candidate.
This unfairly weights the voting in favor of large cities, and even
further increase the temptation for gerrymandering in larger cities.”
A High School Participant in the Election Process Contests

The Direct Vote System Would Inspire Faith in our political
system:
“I firmly believe that a Direct Vote election would help our country
in many ways. It would encourage people to have more faith in our
political system. More citizens would vote because they would know
that their vote would count for something. It would eliminate
confusion, arguments, and there would be less fraud. The candidate
who got the most votes would win, and that would be that.”
A High School Participant in the Election Process Contests

“Americans are losing confidence in their country, there needs to be
a change. That change is implementing the Direct Vote election.”
A High School Participant in the Election Process Contests

The Direct Vote System Would Reduce The Premium For
Fraud:
“Proponents of the Direct-Election plan believe that their reform
would reduce the premium for fraud and chance created by the
current system. There is a tremendous significance in a few popular
votes in the large competitive states. Advocates of the Direct
49

Election argue that because the potential effects are so great, the
temptation to engage in fraud is intense.”
A High School Participant in the Election Process Contests

“The major groups in favor of Direct Popular Voting system are
minority groups. Direct Popular Voting may seem to have one major
advantage in that it would ensure a pure or direct democracy.
However, this would come with a price; it still has many flaws.”
A High School Participant in the Election Process Contests

Student Opinions Pro the Electoral College

“The Election of 2000 has undoubtedly added fuel to the debate over
the proper way to elect the chief executive of the United States. On
the surface it seems logical enough that a candidate who wins the
popular vote should be the President; anything else would be un-
democratic. However, this issue is not that simple; if it were, the
Electoral College would have been eliminated. The reactionary
consensus seems to be that a horrible injustice has occurred, but the
national rush to judgment seems to be missing the point entirely.
Because the Electoral College has worked for many decades,
America should think twice before changing the Electoral College.”
A High School Participant in the Election Process Contests

It worked so far!
“Why does a system [over] two hundred years old continue working
today? Ever since the formation of the Constitution there have been
three different plans of trying to elect a President for the people. The
Electoral College is the one that has worked through the ages. The
Electoral College should continue to be used because it is fair to the
people.”
A High School Participant in the Election Process Contests

“The election process that we use today has been used for [well] over
two hundred years and fifty elections without any disastrous
problems…. Although the Electoral College has had its weaknesses,
by discarding it we would ultimately face many more problems.”
A High School Participant in the Election Process Contests
50

“Throughout our history Americans have made mistakes. With luck
we may get wiser as we go. One thing we have learned is that what
has been working for us in the past should definitely be part of what
is in our future. The process of the Electoral College is something
that has been the backbone of American culture for many, many
years and should not be changed. Our Founding Fathers were wise
and they took the time to determine just exactly what our country
needs and these same principals still govern us today. So America
needs to simply get past the controversies of today and realize that
what we have going for us has gotten us this far and will be able to
carry us through our future as a democratic nation. The Electoral
College is a fair way to elect the President of our nation. It is also a
good way to represent the opinions of the population.”
A High School Participant in the Election Process Contests

“In a choice between the Direct Vote and the Electoral College, the
Electoral College looks more appealing. The Electoral College has
worked for so many years that one or two mess-ups can’t be enough
to prompt such a drastic change. A Direct Vote would allow…more
room for human or mechanical error. Can anyone imagine having the
whole country having a recount? There would be total chaos.
Granted there could be the same margin of error with the Electoral
College but with only five or six mishaps in over two hundred years,
can voters really complain?”
A High School Participant in the Election Process Contests

“America’s needs have changed, but the Electoral College process
has evolved along with it so that it still works well. Some people are
now calling for an elimination of the Electoral system, but I believe
that the Electoral College should not be discarded; instead, it should
be reformed.”
A High School Participant in the Election Process Contests

“Overall I would pick the Electoral College. After all, we have used
it this long and we’ve made it this far.”
A High School Participant in the Election Process Contests

51

“The election process in this country shouldn’t change. We have had
a lot of controversy over presidential candidates. I believe we should
just leave the Constitution the way it was written and when someone
wins the presidency they win. You shouldn’t have people out trying
to pull our country apart just because they don’t like the person who
was elected President.”
A High School Participant in the Election Process Contests

“Ours is a government by the people, of the people, and for the
people. The recent controversies and debates that arose from our
[2000] election demonstrate the true greatness of our government.
Millions of people across the world would give anything to be in the
position that we as Americans all-too-often take for granted.”
A High School Participant in the Election Process Contests

Some students offered arguments for the Electoral College
system based on history:
“Arguments for the Electoral College are normally based on the
grounds that (1) contributes to the cohesiveness of the country by
requiring a distribution of popular support to be elected president (2)
enhances the status of minority interests (3) contributes to the
political stability of the nation by encouraging a two-party system,
and (4) maintains a federal system of government and
representation.”
A High School Participant in the Election Process Contests

“Perhaps the best argument to date in favor of the Electoral College
was made by Alexander Hamilton in the Federalist Papers Number
68, written on March 14, 1788. (See Appendix C page ) He states
that the procedure for electing a President was the only part of the
proposed Constitution that had not been criticized by the people. He
went on to write if it cannot be deemed perfect, it most certainly can
be called brilliant since it gave a sense of unity to the infant country.
Since it was put into effect many years ago, the Electoral College
has proven itself to be a powerful force in our nation. It is a symbol
of our Republic, much like the Statue of Liberty. It remains a silent,
steady assurance in the midst of often chaotic and tense elections.”
A High School Participant in the Election Process Contests
52

“Some of the best Presidents of our country were elected because of
the Electoral College. Just think where we would be without the likes
of John Quincy Adams, Abraham Lincoln, and John Fitzgerald
Kennedy. These Presidents were all elected without a majority of
popular votes, and went on and…helped us through some tough
times…. The United States is one of the most powerful and
successful countries in the world, and we have gotten there because
of our leadership. We got our leaders from the Electoral
College…therefore, the Electoral College should stay, no questions
asked.”
A High School Participant in the Election Process Contests

“Abraham Lincoln had the lowest popular vote ever, but because of
the Electoral College Lincoln won the election for presidency.
Where would we be today if presidents Lincoln and Franklin Delano
Roosevelt had lost the election because of the popular vote?”
A High School Participant in the Election Process Contests

Kelly champions small state issues:
“One advantage of the Electoral College system is that in order to be
elected, the candidate’s support must be distributed over a large part
of the country. Without the Electoral College the election would be
controlled by the regions with the highest populations. The way it is
now no region has enough electoral votes to give a candidate an
absolute majority. This forces the candidates to be supported by
people from all over the nation.”
A High School Participant in the Election Process Contests

Corey agrees:
“It’s a good thing we have the Electoral College, otherwise
presidential candidates would spend all of their time in places like
California and the East Coast. The fact that there is an Electoral
College, keeps the United States of America from having a regional
presidency or an urban presidency. If the Electoral College was
abolished and we were to vote for the President by [simply] popular
vote, then the people of the West and Midwest would have no say
whatsoever in the [outcome]. That is something that should not
53

happen, and as long as we keep the Electoral College then there will
be very few problems.”
A High School Participant in the Election Process Contests

Many other students agree:
“[More] states get a fair look at the presidential candidates, allowing
them to make decisions based on first hand knowledge. [Thanks to]
the Electoral College…states with even the smallest populations are
given a voice in electing our nation’s leaders.”
A High School Participant in the Election Process Contests

“The Electoral College should stay the way it is. It would be best for
everybody. It is especially better for small states. I think the
Electoral College is the best method to use for deciding the
presidency.”
A High School Participant in the Election Process Contests

“Under the Electoral College, every state has some sort of political
weight. Think about it, California has more electoral votes than
Iowa. Naturally candidates will work harder to obtain California than
Iowa. But if the Direct Vote is enforced instead of the Electoral
College, candidates will still flock to California because of the
higher population. At least with the Electoral College system Iowa
still has seven electoral votes to their name, and every state around
the nation has some sort of political power…. The Electoral College
must be kept so all states and all people have a voice.”
A High School Participant in the Election Process Contests

“The framers of the Constitution knew that in order for our country
to work as one, [states] needed to be represented equally…. The
framers wanted to ‘ensure the equality of all men’ and did not
[mean] certain populated areas.”
A High School Participant in the Election Process Contests

Kara makes an interesting point:
“In the majority of past elections, the Electoral College has provoked
for very few conflicts; our most recent election [2000] was one of
these exceptions. Even though a change to a direct-vote might have
54

been beneficial in these situations, the Electoral College is truly
more beneficial to the citizens in the smaller states…. Iowa’s seven
electoral votes may not seem like many and it is a lot less than the
fifty-four that California has, but California has almost twelve times
as many people as the state of Iowa. So actually, Iowa is very
fortunate to have the seven that they do. The state of Iowa has more
impact on the election with the Electoral College system than it
would if our country used a direct vote.”
A High School Participant in the Election Process Contests

Bailey, Preston, Tanner and Laura join forces to protect the
votes of small states like their home state of South Dakota:
“Many people do not favor the Electoral College, but I do…. Hillary
Clinton, who was elected as a Senator from the state of New York,
says that she will introduce legislation to abolish the Electoral
College; she prefers the popular vote. This would help Mrs. Clinton
if she decides to run for president because New York has a very
large population. Senator Tim Johnson from South Dakota agrees
with Mrs. Clinton about getting rid of the Electoral College. I think
that he would be hurting his own state because South Dakota is
small. It may even hurt his chances of winning the election.”
A High School Participant in the Election Process Contests

“Big states, like New York, are different than small states, like South
Dakota. People in South Dakota have different life styles. They live
on farms; they hunt for food, and raise crops for food and for a
living. People in New York do not hunt, do not live on farms, and
do not raise crops. They work in business to make a living. If we
were to change the Electoral College the smaller states would have
little say in presidential elections and the more populous states would
prevail. Besides it would take a Constitutional Amendment to change
from the Electoral College to the Direct Vote system any way.”
A High School Participant in the Election Process Contests

Tanner knows presidential candidates will woo even the smallest
state when the going gets tough enough. The 2000 election was
close:
“The main reason we have the Electoral College is so the issues of
55

the small states will get addressed…. If there were no Electoral
College, states like California would rule the election; they would
make the votes of states like South Dakota useless. This would be
true in nearly all cases except when there is a [close] election like the
one this year. [2000] This year Al Gore won the popular vote and
George Bush won the Electoral College. [Many voters felt cheated.
Despite the occasional uncertainties] we need to keep the Electoral
College around; it is the fairest and most effective way to elect a
President.”
A High School Participant in the Election Process Contests

Laura understands that the Electoral college counters the loss of
population:
“Since I am from a rural area, I have noticed a surge in voting among
populated states such as Florida, New York and California. South
Dakota has not been so fortunate. If we were to do away with the
Electoral College and go to a direct vote then rural areas and
communities would have less of a voice in presidential
elections. Rural America feeds the entire nation and much of the
world. Just because there are fewer people here doing the most
crucial yet, overlooked and under appreciated jobs, does not mean
that its votes should not count. The Electoral College is
excruciatingly important in sustaining the voice of America’s
heartland.”
A High School Participant in the Election Process Contests

Change entails risk:
“While a reformed Electoral System is a good idea…there are still
questions that arise such as ‘Would a reformed system be as good for
the people in the long run as it would be in the present?’ and ‘Would
it be possible to so drastically change a system that has worked
perfectly fine for hundreds of years?’ …
Before any changes are made, serious thought should be [given]
to every aspect. One thing is still clear; the best and fairest way…to
elect a president is still through the Electoral College.”
A High School Participant in the Election Process Contests

56

Sheena is optimistic about the degree of understanding voters
have concerning the Electoral College and is pessimistic about
their tolerance for change:
“The American people understand the Electoral College, and it has
made our country strong…. the silent non-critics successfully keep
our system of Electors going. Reforms that try to eliminate the
Electoral College are really bogus. No one enjoys or is excited to see
radical changes; in fact people shun change.”
A High School Participant in the Election Process Contests

Sheena might be optimistic in believing the “American people
understand the Electoral College” [see Appendix K on p. 159]
and Kelly believes the change is not worth the risk. She would
rather take a risk on campaign reform:
“There are risks that the United States would face in discarding the
Electoral College. One is the possibility of recounts. Nationwide
recounts would likely be demanded in all close elections, delaying
the process extensively.
Another potential is the way campaigns are conducted. With the
Electoral College system in place, candidates must address major
issues. Without it, the elections are much more likely to become
popularity contests. It’s not worth the risk…. The campaigns are
more [in need] of reform than is the Electoral College.”
A High School Participant in the Election Process Contests

Speaking of risks; a greater potential for fraud is the tradeoff for
a wider margin of victory:
“The potential for fraud is increased when an election is very close.
The winner-take-all system distorts the election results to widen the
margin of victory in the Electoral College, thus delivering a clear-cut
winner in the election.”
A High School Participant in the Election Process Contests

Ashley believes the Electoral College reduces the opportunity for
fraud:
“Under a Direct Vote system, majority fraud would be hard to
contest, because the majority party would also be responsible for
counting the votes…. Fraud in today’s system would be in swing
57

states, so it becomes even more important for the parties to keep
each other in check.”
A High School Participant in the Election Process Contests

Jessica considers:
“Is this the time for change in our election system? Would a Direct
Election be more favorable than our current system, the Electoral
College? Has the election of 2000 proven that it is time to remove
the Electoral College? There is a simple answer to these questions.
No.”
A High School Participant in the Election Process Contests

Several students suggest that the Electoral College system
prevents, or at least slows, a power shift from state government
to national government:
“In their 1970 book, Voting for President, William Sayre and Judith
Parrish claim the direct vote would weaken the power of the states
and strengthen the national government, making state borders
irrelevant in elections and probably the presidential choices uniform.
Federal employees would end up tallying a national vote and all
election officials would end up working for federal rather than state
governments. These reasons are the best proof that the interests of
such a divergent country as the United States are best served through
an Electoral College system that should not be tampered with now or
ever.”
A High School Participant in the Election Process Contests

“The Electoral College system also maintains the balance of national
and state power. For example, the states are allowed to send
delegates to the House of Representatives according to their
population, and the Senate represents each state equally no matter
what its population. The Electoral College system is a combination
of the two ideas. Each state is given the number of electoral votes
equal to the number of its Representatives and two Senators.”
A High School Participant in the Election Process Contests

“A Direct Vote would give control to largely populated states, taking
away the voice of less populated states. Under a Direct Vote the
58

power of states would be weakened while strengthening the federal
government. With these points in mind, the Electoral College is
preferable to that of a Direct Election.”
A High School Participant in the Election Process Contests

Kelly sees the issue plainly and makes a good argument in favor
of the Electoral College:
“The Electoral College guarantees that the President has plenty of
popular support and a distribution of that support so he can govern
effectively. It maintains our government by encouraging the two
party system and balancing the state and federal power. Although the
Electoral College has had its weaknesses, by discarding it we would
ultimately face many more problems.
If we decide that we want to go with Direct Vote system and its
popular majority, [based on the same assumptions,] should we not do
away with the Senate, also, and fix the distortions in the [Congress]?
Then what we will have is a completely changed system of
government. Our federal system of government was designed with
the idea that individual state viewpoints are more important than the
national population’s viewpoint as a whole. To do away with the
Electoral College would ruin the balance of state and federal
government in our country.”
A High School Participant in the Election Process Contests

Other students stress the need for a balanced government:
“If states lost their power, the federal government would determine
issues on which many states are divided, such as abortion and the
death penalty. Each state does not require the same needs, so local
governments are better capable of providing for those needs. Also,
when power is concentrated into one area and given solely to the
federal government (as with a Direct Vote election), there becomes a
greater chance to lose individual rights. Our country is not run as a
pure democracy where the majority rules but it [operates] as a
democratic republic by representation with a system of checks and
balances. State governments are the checks that keep our federal
government in balance so that the people of this country might have
the freedoms they [were promised]. Changing our election process
to a Direct Vote system would most assuredly weaken our state
59

governments until they became ineffective.”
A High School Participant in the Election Process Contests

“The Electoral College simply makes the field slightly more level
and prevents a tyranny of the majority from forming…. To replace
the Electoral College would be very difficult, very expensive and
totally unnecessary…we must remain true now to the ideal of a
balanced and equal government that our Founding Fathers created
and has worked well for more than two centuries.”
A High School Participant in the Election Process Contests

Jae agrees and expands on James thoughts:
“Our Electoral College is constantly debated. After researching
arguments favoring both the Direct Election and the Electoral
College, I am in favor of continuing our current election method.
The Electoral College provides a system of checks and balances and
legitimizes the popular vote. This system, initiated by the founders of
our nation, was created to ensure political stability and a balance of
power in the executive office. I feel that this method ensures our
guarantee to a democratic and representative government without
subjecting our legal system to the inherent dangers of a pluralistic
democracy. The Electoral College has been designated to reflect
broad interests; eliminate checkered, extreme views in our society;
and most importantly, collectively select our President, and the
leader of the free world.”
A High School Participant in the Election Process Contests

“The system was a compromise…to protect the states from
encroaching federal power… [Those who want to keep] the Electoral
College [believe it gives our elections] an equal and fair balance.”
Corey Carlton, Newell-Fonda High School, Newell, Iowa
“The Electoral College keeps extreme views from taking over and
allows a healthy balance of power to be maintained in the United
States. An Electoral College is a good idea, but nevertheless some
reforms are needed.”
A High School Participant in the Election Process Contests

60

There is a desire for the stability that a two party system bestows
“Some may argue that the Electoral College prevents third party
candidates from competing for the presidency. But many of the ideas
of the third party candidates are addressed and incorporated into the
two primary political parties. This helps ensure stability and has
prevented our country from moving from one extreme to another.”
A High School Participant in the Election Process Contests

“After researching arguments for both the Direct Vote and the
Electoral College systems, I concluded that I am in favor of
continuing our current election method…. It was created to ensure
political stability and balance and is our guarantee to a democratic
and representative government without subjecting our legal system
to the inherent dangers of a pluralistic democracy. The Electoral
College has been designated to reflect broad interests; eliminate
extreme views in our society; and most importantly allows us to
collectively select our President, and the leader, of the free world.”
A High School Participant in the Election Process Contests

Ashley and Kelly see the value in discouraging more political
parties:
“I feel that using a Direct Vote system would encourage candidates
to run, simply because they can, and America would be swamped
with candidates. In theory, well organized minorities have a very
good chance to achieve the highest or second-highest number of
votes, advancing to a run off round.”
A High School Participant in the Election Process Contests

“Without the Electoral College the two party system would dissolve
under the onslaught of numerous political parties [proposing] radical
changes.…. The Electoral College makes it almost impossible for a
candidate from a minor party to win the election, because they can’t
get enough votes in enough states to get a majority of the electoral
votes. Instead, the minor parties are forced to join with one of the
major parties. This helps the major parties by giving them more
support [as well as new ideas]. At the same time the minor parties
are forced to compromise their more extreme views thus preserving
61

America’s stable political system.”
A High School Participant in the Election Process Contests

Faye stresses the importance of stability and consistency:
“The Electoral College has been around from the time our country
started and I think it should be around when our country ends. Our
election process is the glue that holds our country together. It causes
our country to be stable and provides consistency. It is something
that has withstood time and all the changes our country has made.
The Electoral College has been something for our country to rely
on. Consistency is what helped our country come through all the
questioning moments of our last election. Consistency [diminished]
the confusion and at the end and it was all cleared up. Our industry,
education, and leaders are always changing…. Our Electoral College
is one of the few things that is constant.”
A High School Participant in the Election Process Contests

Ashley is against the Direct Vote system and explains why:
“The first major problem is that direct voting would increase
majority fraud. This system would allow the majority party to count
the votes. Another problem that would occur would be that the race
would be swamped with candidates because it is possible under this
system for a minority party to win. Also the tallying would be
tedious because a close race could depend on absentee ballots and
would trigger a nation-wide recount if the race were too close. In this
year’s close race [2000 election], the recount of votes has been
crucial in the state of Florida. If it were a direct voting system, the
entire nation would’ve had to recount ballots.”
A High School Participant in the Election Process Contests

Michael agrees with and he too provides reasons:
“In the 2000 election the candidates needed every electoral vote. So
the six electoral votes that Oklahoma had were really important…. If
I were running for the presidency, I would love the Direct Vote
system because it is not fair for all states. My plan would be to forget
about rural areas and small-populated states and stick to the millions
of voters in a few large cities. If I won their votes I would have
enough to win the election…. It is easier, cheaper and [less] time
62

consuming to go to the larger cities and forget about the rural places
and small-populated states. Even though the nation is made up of
mostly small-populated states no attention would be given to them
because the candidates would not need them to win the election.”
A High School Participant in the Election Process Contests

Close Elections
“In reality, these recounts could not be completed in the time
between the election and the day of the inauguration. Even if all
contests could be resolved prior to the inauguration, having the
presidential election suspended in limbo for a lengthy interval could
create a serious crisis in the country, reduce the time available for an
orderly transition of power, and result in a disputed presidential term.
Once the public loses faith in the count, it would impossible to
restore complete public confidence. It is obvious that the Electoral
College method of election has been well thought out and will
continue thriving for years to come.”
A High School Participant in the Election Process Contests

“The one downfall is that if the race is very close, a candidate with
fewer popular votes could end up with more electoral votes and win
the election. In that case, though, it is likely that either candidate
would be as effective as the other, so it seems right that the election
would go to the one with the best distribution of votes.”
A High School Participant in the Election Process Contests

“In almost all elections, the popular vote and electoral vote have
gone to the same individual. [But sometimes it doesn’t.] The reason
the Electoral College was established is evident in the outcome of
the election of 2000. George W. Bush won the poplar vote in the
majority of the counties in the U.S. and in approximately sixty
percent of the states. Nationally he lost the popular vote by a slim
margin. This is why the Electoral College was put in place and
should remain in place so major population centers cannot control
the outcome of a national election.”
A High School Participant in the Election Process Contests


63

Aaron gets tough:
“Candidates occasionally complain that they win the popular vote
but lose the electoral vote. They have no reason to gripe or change
the system. Everybody who runs for President knows the rules
before they throw their hat in the ring. If they don’t know the rules,
they don’t deserve to be President. The Electoral College has been
used for many years and should be used for many years to come.”
A High School Participant in the Election Process Contests

Preston, Logan and Chris may not have the best grasp of the
issues but there is no doubt their suggestion carries equal
treatment to the extreme:
“My opinion is that every state should have an equal amount of
electoral votes. This way it keeps everything equal and nobody has
to worry about not getting any say in the election.”
A High School Participant in the Election Process Contests

“I believe the way the election process should be is to have every
state worth only one electoral vote. This would make all the states
equal. It would allow all the electoral votes to go to the person with
the most votes. The amount of votes to win would have to be 26 or
higher. This would make it so much easier than anything else. It
would allow people to realize that every state should have an equal
say even if they are smaller in population.”
A High School Participant in the Election Process Contests

“I would make every state have one vote in the Electoral College,
instead of having votes according to the state’s population. I don’t
really think that is fair. Yes, some of those states have a larger
population than South Dakota, but that doesn’t mean that they should
have any more say in what goes on. If every state just had one vote,
then the first candidate to attain 26 votes would win. I think that this
would dramatically change our electoral process in a very good way.
No state would be able to have any more sway in [choosing our
President] than another.”
A High School Participant in the Election Process Contests


64

Several students expressed the need for an educated populace:
“Few Americans take the time to learn exactly how their
government works, and they therefore attack the system they refuse
to under-stand.
The election of the year 2000 proved to be one of the closest
elections in history, as well as one of the most controversial.
However, the election also resurrected a debate that has existed for
most of our nation’s brief tenure: what to do with the Electoral
College. The system that the Founding Fathers established almost
two hundred twenty-five years ago has held true and will continue to
do so in this nation’s most promising future.
The Founding Fathers did not trust the general public to make
wise, thoughtful decisions about the nation’s leadership. They were
unfortunately prophetic, for most Americans today fail to research
the issues and examine themselves to truly see where they stand;
they opt to vote along party lines and popular opinions. The Electoral
College was instituted to counterbalance the well-intentioned but
inept general public’s vote.”
A High School Participant in the Election Process Contests

Adam and Kim both see the problem. Adam admits he is not yet
equipped to vote responsibly:
“The Electoral College system has been in place for over 200 years.
I, [and other Americans] am still not sure how it works or if it is the
best system.”
A High School Participant in the Election Process Contests

Kim realizes voters can’t make good decisions about something
they don’t yet understand:
“Voting is a complicated thing that most people do not understand.
Citizens need an education before they vote. Education is very
important in this case The words archaic and undemocratic are not
understood by most people. To vote it would be wise to know what
words mean, and that means people have to know how to read
[understand and analyze]. Education makes politics and voting easier
to understand and is the single most important variable in increasing
citizen participation in the election process. ”
A High School Participant in the Election Process Contests
65

Michelle gets it!
“It is of the utmost importance that the American voter gets all the
facts about all the candidates who are running for office because too
many voters are not informed and often are misled. American voters
want to elect an official who will best represent their ideas and
beliefs. What is truly unfortunate is that the person who does not
take the time to [research] the candidate [may] not get his or her
interests represented in the best possible way.
It is imperative that the American people get involved and
[become] more informed about [their] government… When people
are informed, good decisions are made.”
A High School Participant in the Election Process Contests

Although Tim wants to change they system he understands that
any system depends on educated voters:
“Along with changing the election process, I think citizens should
become more educated [about the election process]. It [might lead
to] an increase in voting.”
A High School Participant in the Election Process Contests

Katie and Steven take voting seriously:
“Life puts demands on each of us, that as Americans, we must do our
best to fulfill. Among those demands is our right and obligation to
vote. This requires careful consideration of each candidate. We must
decipher who is honest, intelligent, moral and ethical. Which
candidate will better represent the United States, and where does
each stand on important issues? The presidential candidates must
develop a plan that is suitable to the economy, beneficial to the
American public and in the best interest of the American people.
Then, we must choose which plan will be most effective and which
candidate will be the most qualified to run the United States of
America.”
A High School Participant in the Election Process Contests

“The more we, as American citizens, learn about our Constitution
and its functionality, then the more powerful we become. We live in
the greatest nation in the world, and we possess the power to make it
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even greater.”
A High School Participant in the Election Process Contests

Electoral College? Maybe—with Reforms

“What has the 2000 presidential election taught us? This year’s
election reaffirmed that our current system of electing a leader needs
to be reformed. With so many different ways to change our system,
we have to decide which way is best.”
A High School Participant in the Election Process Contests

“The Electoral College still works, although with a little reformation
it could serve the people even better. But everywhere people are
crying out for a change. The call is for elections to be chosen by
direct election, by popular vote, and to get rid of the Electoral
College altogether. This is craziness—stupidity. Americans have
the lowest voter turnout in the free world with less than fifty percent
of the people for Congress in presidential election years, less than
forty percent voting in off years, and even fewer voting in local
elections. As if this isn’t bad enough, most of those that are voting
have no clue whatsoever as to what they are voting for. Is this the
best way to elect a president? Is this really in the best interest of the
population? Obviously, it is not. What is needed is the Electoral
College, reformed properly to satisfy the people. It already purges
extreme views and does a good job of balancing power between
urban and rural areas and in general nurtures the moderate two party
systems.”
A High School Participant in the Election Process Contests

Perhaps the most persuasive arguments were those that
advocated retaining a reformed Electoral College. Students
offered their personal choice of reform from the variety
expressed in their excerpts below.

Katie, below, suggests technical innovations as a needed reform:
“If we continue to utilize the Electoral College system as a means
of electing our President and Vice President, our vote, and any
interests in campaigns to come, will be greatly reduced. The
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Electoral College is desperately in need of revamping or even
replacement. In today’s society with its modern technology and
electronics, devising a method of tallying votes should be
inexpensive and far more effective than it is. Technology [has the
potential] to be very beneficial by providing a fair and just election
and maintaining the present system of checks and balances.”
A High School Participant in the Election Process Contests

Ballot Reform via the Internet
“I think someone should come up with some way to vote over the
Internet so people wouldn’t mess up with the ballots plus I think this
would be safer.”
A High School Participant in the Election Process Contests

“I think we should have voters [cast their] vote online if it is all
computerized…it would be much easier and probably a lot less
confusing and frustrating.”
A High School Participant in the Election Process Contests

“The Internet helped…Governor Jesse Ventura get his beliefs across
to the people…. The Internet also gave Senator John McCain’s fund-
raiser a boost [in 2004] after the New Hampshire primary. Many
people now have an easy and unlimited access to the Internet
Knowledge is power [and] the amount of information the American
people have access to is unbelievable. New web sites are constantly
being added to the Internet. In the near future, many people will be
able to vote in pajamas without ever stepping foot outside of the
house. People will find voting on-line more convenient than standing
in line at a voting booth.”
A High School Participant in the Election Process Contests

“Political web sites and advertisements on the Internet portray
images of candidates, positively and negatively. It is imperative that
candidates [gain] the electorate’s confidence…. Candidates who use
the Internet for political reasons must do at least three things; the
campaign must be woven into the web site, updated several times a
day, and promoted heavily.
68

Even though Texas Governor George Walker Bush and Vice
President Al Gore were reluctant to say how much money was spent
on web site campaigns and how much staff time was devoted to this
effort, both candidates’ persistence paid off in the end. The election
of 2000 was an extremely close race. Each candidate had more than
a thousand volunteers a day signing up on the Internet. [There is no
doubt] new technology, the Internet being one, had a major effect on
the way George Walker Bush was elected. E-mail was used to
inform a large number of people in a short time. Voters were given
information about campaign issues, schedules, videos from TV
advertisements and events on the campaign trail. The goal—to
create an atmosphere on the Web so that voters could feel like an
integral part of their campaign—was met.”
A High School Participant in the Election Process Contests

“We should [vote] on the Internet so there will be less chance of
error plus the computer will be able to count the ballots in a matter of
seconds and the tally will be more accurate Computer experts should
be able to find a program that people could not break into or put in a
virus. By using the computer it could be safer because no one could
mess with the ballots like they could have in the past.”
A High School Participant in the Election Process Contests

Substituting the proportional plan for the winner-take-all system
of allocating the votes of 48 states was favored by most students
as the best reform to preserve the Electoral College:
“The Proportional Plan, used by Maine and Nebraska, is the most
appealing. Two electoral votes are awarded to the statewide winner
The remaining votes are allocated according by the winners in each
congressional district. This system of voting allows for the winner of
the popular vote in each state to win but still allows for the other
votes to be represented in the national scheme. This method is good
because it makes the votes in every state more important.”
A High School Participant in the Election Process Contests

“To satisfy the unsatisfied, the Electoral College could be reformed
by dividing the people into as many sections as there are electoral
votes for each state and then requiring the elector to vote for the
69

candidate that wins the most votes in his or her section of the state.
This would give the people demanding popular votes the confidence
that their vote counted and also satisfy the other half that believed at
the beginning that the electoral vote system is responsible for the
political stability the United States enjoys in its government.”
A High School Participant in the Election Process Contests

“States need to come up with a fractional based system, thus giving
each candidate their fair share of electoral votes. This would work
well in Illinois, as Chicago and its surrounding areas are is a strong
hold of the Democrats. In the other areas of Illinois Republican
voters may feel that their votes are disregarded, since Chicago is the
most populated area, giving the Democrats more say.”
A High School Participant in the Election Process Contests

Other would-be-reformers expressed reservations about the
proportional plan:
“The Proportional Pan can be adopted in every state without a
Constitutional Amendment, but to get every state to accept this plan
would be difficult. …If every state did not, the Proportional Plan
would have an adverse affect on those states that did adopt it
because their power in the Electoral College would be diminished.
This is why many states have not adopted this plan.”
A High School Participant in the Election Process Contests

“The Proportional plan is the only plan that has a chance of
becoming an improvement of our present day system. But even this
plan has its drawback, since there may be more weight given to a
vote in a homogenous state rather than in a large diverse state.”
A High School Participant in the Election Process Contests

Ingrid is against the winner-take-all system voluntarily adopted
by 48 states:
“Eliminating the winner-take-all system is necessary to get an
accurate reading of who the people of this nation want to lead our
country. It is currently used in all states except Maine and Nebraska,
the presidential candidate who receives the most popular votes in
that specific state wins the total electoral vote of that state.
70

According to this system, it is possible for a candidate to win one
hundred percent of the electoral representation even with a mere 50.1
percent majority. Also, a winner-take-all system silences the voices
of the third parties – minority political, religious, ethnic, and racial
parties. With this system, they cannot expect to even offer
noticeable competition against Republican or Democratic parties.
No matter what party a voter chooses to support, each and every vote
should have equal weight.”
A High School Participant in the Election Process Contests

Although expresses a strong desire to keep the Electoral College
she too suggests eliminating the winner-take-all requirement
forgetting that the winner-take-all system is each state’s choice
and not essential to the Electoral College:

“The Electoral College has stood the test of time with only minor
disadvantages. This is amazing considering the overwhelming
changes that have evolved since the eighteenth century. The process
of direct voting would not only be detrimental in terms of tallying
votes and majority fraud, but could also lead to a very powerful
president that resembled a dictator. A reformed Electoral College
without the winner-take-all policy would be the best way to ensure
true, problem-free democracy in America…. So, does what worked
then work now? Obviously it does work but can work even better
with a few changes.”
A High School Participant in the Election Process Contests

Steven, on the other hand, has serious reservations about
substituting even the proportional plan for the winner-take-all
system as a viable reform for the Electoral College:

“Proposals for Direct Election and proportionality would only
promote the fear of tyranny expressed by James Madison. Tyranny
would not exist in America, he stated, because of two reasons—the
geographic barriers preventing factions from gaining sufficient
power, and the diversity of issues and beliefs in the country. If
Direct Election or proportionality were to replace the Electoral
College, the highly populated areas would then become the
71

functional aspect of American government, leaving the rural and
more sparsely populated regions without a voice.
The proportional theory—giving candidates electoral votes
proportional to the votes received in each state—defeats the entire
purpose of selecting electors and ritualizes the casting of their votes.
Direct Election and proportionality are theoretically sound but not
realistically applicable. Direct Election of the President would be a
novel ideal for a true democratic nation, but the truth is, fewer than
half of Americans exercise their right to vote. The Direct Election
plan would, discourage candidates from areas other than the dense
population centers of the country This would again be placing the
decisions of the nation’s leadership into the hands of an elite few.”
A High School Participant in the Election Process Contests

Brandon has another plan in mind. He advocates the District
Plan as a way to reform the Electoral College:
“The most favored of all of the proposed ideas for a reform of the
Electoral College is to keep the process of having electors actually
choosing the President, but to do away with the winner-take-all
system. Instead of all the electors voting for the candidate, who wins
the majority of votes in the state over all, the electors would vote
according to how their voting jurisdiction voted. [The District Plan]
Using this system would make the minority votes of the people
actually count for something by giving them a better chance to be
represented. Also presidential candidates would not just try to win
individual states, but rather they would try to win actual voters; even
the voters that live in the less populated areas of the United States.”
A High School Participant in the Election Process Contests

Citizen creativity and access to an unlimited number of choices
is something that adds to the uniqueness of the
United States of America.

72




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73

74

Campaign Financing


How did campaign financing get out of hand?
“The origins of campaign financing in the U.S. began in 1791 when
Alexander Hamilton collected donations from a local bank and
published newspapers designed to sway the electorate towards him.
As minuscule as it may seem in today’s world of T.V. advertising,
this expenditure set the stage for enormous campaign financing over
the next several decades.
Historian Eugene Roseboom notes that in 1896 presidential
candidate John McKinley ‘collected nearly three and a half million
dollars from wealthy donors’, a ridiculous amount of money for that
era. Campaign financing has since skyrocketed. In 1996, for
instance, Dole and Clinton each received more than 100 million
dollars for their campaign financing.”
A High School Participant in the Election Process Contests

Many federal laws have been enacted to limit, regulate and
prohibit money: [See Appendices D and E pages 137 and 141]
“Financial activity in federal elections is governed by federal
statutes, which have evolved during this century under the influence
of various court rulings. The Federal Election Campaign Act of
1971, as amended, imposes limitations and prohibitions on money
from certain sources and requires public disclosure of money raised
and spent in federal elections. Federal law generally does not impose
mandatory limits on campaign spending by candidates or groups.
While federal law regulates some types and sources of campaign
money, other types and sources are exempt from coverage. Also,
there are wide differences in what federal law allows in federal
elections and what fifty state statutes allow in state elections.”
A High School Participant in the Election Process Contests

State laws too:
“A law was passed in Vermont that states that anyone running for
governor or lieutenant governor can have public financing if they
agree to abide by strict spending limits. This law also contains
provisions for shut downs on money loopholes, and mandatory
75

spending limits, and outlaws out-of–state donations. Other laws in
Connecticut, Indiana, Maryland, Nevada and North Carolina will
engage stricter public financing. Florida has passed a law that states
that independent donations can’t bypass state campaign laws.”
A High School Participant in the Election Process Contests

Reform—but what kind of reform?
“There are many types of campaign reform. These include the way
people vote, and how the President is elected, and the money that is
spent on the election. In the past election [2000] the finance and
ballot reforms were two of the biggest. Finance reforms were big in
Congress and abuses are continually debated.”
A High School Participant in the Election Process Contests

Although Aaron and Tessa both advocate the Electoral College
they advocate reforming the way we finance our presidential
campaigns. They urge us to focus on controlling or eliminating
soft money as the best way to improve our election process:
“Many politicians are wasting time looking for a way to change a
way of voting that has worked for so many years. Time should be
used instead on campaign reforms such as soft money caps. The
Electoral College is not a problem; the real issue is that something
must be done to take the power from the large corporations and give
it back to the people”.
A High School Participant in the Election Process Contests

“If nothing is done to stop soft money coming in that is not going
through the right channels, then private interests will continue to
enjoy privileged access to and special influence with lawmakers. Our
election procedure is a good one. The Electoral College has and is
working well; it is a fair way for the United States to choose our next
president. The candidates do need money for campaigns but soft
money is not the way to go. It is wrong; they are cheating, yet they
want to represent our country. If we get soft money regulated our
whole election process with be much better, and campaign finance
will be better also.”
A High School Participant in the Election Process Contests

76

What is soft money?
“Soft money can be defined as huge, unlimited contributions from
corporations, labor unions, and wealthy individuals that political
parties raise and spend on campaign activities.”
A High School Participant in the Election Process Contests

Please see appendix G on page 145 for more information about
the financial activities of the two major political parties.
“Money that is outside the federal regulatory framework but raised
and spent in a manner suggesting possible intent to effect federal
elections is known as soft money.”
A High School Participant in the Election Process Contests

“Soft money has only been around since 1978. Until 1988 it wasn’t
really exploited. The problem of soft money is getting worse all the
time. From 1992 to 1996 the amount tripled and it could probably
triple again…if we ban it completely once and for all…it will be a
huge step to restoring our public respect.”
A High School Participant in the Election Process Contests

What is the difference between hard money and soft money?
“Soft money is money spent to advocate political issues in elections
by individuals or groups…. Hard money is spent to advocate the
candidate’s election to get people to vote for him/her or to get people
not to vote for the other candidates.”
A High School Participant in the Election Process Contests

“The more soft money a candidate has the better chance he has to
win the race. Although the election shouldn’t be determined by
money, in past years it has helped a great deal. It has started to come
to the point that candidates can almost buy their win in an election.”
A High School Participant in the Election Process Contests

But there is more than one side to every issue:
“Republicans would benefit by abolishing soft money since they
have a greater margin of contributions in hard money anyway. A
large contributor of soft money is the National Rifle Association
(NRA). The NRA has published in its magazine, The American
77

Rifleman, endorsements for its pro-Republican campaign for the
presidential race. It has also sent direct mailings and held media
events. ‘This year, 280,000 NRA members signed up to be election
volunteers.’ The NRA is only one organization that contributes by
using soft money. There are thousands more.” [Please see
Appendix H on p.147 for tax treatment of political contributions.”
A High School Participant in the Election Process Contests

“Sure, soft money is on the rise and critics argue that the best way to
honor the spirit and intention of federal campaign laws is to subject
soft money to the same regulations as other federal campaign
contributions and expenses.
There are pros and cons of regulating soft money. As long as soft
money contributions are allowed, political parties and candidates
will continue to concentrate on the concerns of big money
contributors rather than issues that concern the general public. On
the other hand, soft money contributions are used to fund such
worthy activities as voter education programs and registration drives,
which encourage citizen participation and helps keep state and local
parties strong. Without these contributions there would be no money
available to fund grass roots activates, and political parties would
suffer. Vigorous state and local parties are important if local
government is to work and soft money helps this.”
A High School Participant in the Election Process Contests

Why isn’t soft money regulated?
Tessa explains:
“Money that comes through the nonfederal campaign channels is
called ‘sewer-money’, better known as ‘soft-money’. Soft money is
regulated [but candidates get around the regulations by having] big
companies donate large amounts of money to activities that are
supposed to only affect state and local candidates and parties. Since
it is said to be only for local use, they can get away with it not being
regulated by the federal contribution limits.… These loopholes allow
contributors to take advantage of the inconsistencies between federal
campaign finance laws and state campaign laws. This allows them to
give and spend more money than the federal campaign limits allow.”
A High School Participant in the Election Process Contests
78

The Media’s Role in Elections
“Although the media tries not to be biased, editors, producers, and
directors of magazines, news shows, and movies cannot help stating
their own point of view on upcoming elections. Even if a newspaper
is slightly biased, the reader might be influenced by it instead of
using his or her own judgment. The masses are greatly induced by
TV because it is part of their everyday lives. Those who own
televisions will slowly develop their ideas about presidential
candidates based on the shows they watch. Newspapers can also be
paid by candidates to be slightly biased or advertise a certain
candidate and not advertise the other…. Eventually, presidential
races will be completely based on one’s wealth,”
A High School Participant in the Election Process Contests

Lack of coverage is a problem too:
“The candidates [who] run [in] South Dakota need to get more
coverage from the news in South Dakota. How are we suppose to
know what is going on in our own state if they don’t cover it in the
news. I say the press is the one to blame for this.”
A High School Participant in the Election Process Contests

On the other hand:
“A purely media-powered campaign designed to appeal to special
majorities is not in the country’s best interest.”
A High School Participant in the Election Process Contests

“Another important and well developed campaign reform suggests
the banning of phony issue ads.”
A High School Participant in the Election Process Contests

What are phony issue ads?
“Phony issue ads are campaign ads that avoid the use of words such
as ‘vote for’ or ‘oppose,’ and, therefore, they do not openly advocate
the election or defeat of a presidential candidate. For these reasons
they are exempt from the financing limitations and disclosure
provisions of federal election law. These issue ads pave the way for
corrupt, immoral, unethical campaign practices. Unless Congress
takes steps to reclassify ads like those above as campaign ads, efforts
79

to also ban soft money will be much less effective in reducing the
role of big money in politics. Unless campaign reformations are
made to prohibit this kind of practice, how can the citizens of this
country trust their political leaders and officials?”
A High School Participant in the Election Process Contests

They are also called sham issue advertisements:
“[Candidates] use the money to damage their opponents by
purchasing and airing sham issue advertisements. Unfortunately,
money makes a significant difference in elections.”
A High School Participant in the Election Process Contests

Money, Money, Money—students were outraged by the amounts
spent on elections:
“Soft money donations are given in such huge amounts; from 50,000
dollars or above, that the donors expect to receive something in
return. Many different rewards are given to soft money contributors,
but the most common ones are tax breaks, subsidies, and other
policies that hurt taxpayers. The only way to keep elections fair and
honest is to ban soft money contributions. This would make
elections fairer, and also help average consumers and taxpayers.”
A High School Participant in the Election Process Contests

Katie, below, appears to be chiding donors for giving dollars to
elect the candidate of their choice rather than spending those
dollars to fix the system whereby we elect these candidates:
“Soft money donations are supposed to fund broad party building
and improve voting activities…contributions cannot be used to
sway voters to support politicians. They have, however, been used to
help influence voters during the election season. Utilizing this money
to change the current means of electing our president and vice
president would be more beneficial than spending the money
on campaigns.”
A High School Participant in the Election Process Contests

Whoever raises the most dollars wins:
“Whoever raises more will most likely win the election. At least 77
percent of the money spent in federal election campaigns comes
80

from one percent of the people, and at the same time the champion
fundraiser wins in the majority of races… Some people can be
bought, and that’s what is wrong with America.”
A High School Participant in the Election Process Contests

“Money determines the basics of: ‘Who runs, who wins, and how
they govern,’ claims Froomkin of the Washington Post. The amounts
are increasing at an alarming rate. The Republicans and Democrats
raised over $74 million dollars in soft money alone during 1997;
more than twice the amount of previous years. With prices like these,
America might as well send out an application to see who has over
300 million dollars and wants to be President.”
A High School Participant in the Election Process Contests

Kim was not far off with her 300 million parody. In January
2008, Barack Obama raised $36.8 million in one month, setting
an all time high for a candidate in a primary election.
“Research has shown that 90 percent of all campaigns are won by the
candidate who spends the most. It can take 10 million dollars to run
an effective campaign for the U.S. Senate making it an essential to
raise five thousand dollars each day for an incumbent. This can make
it irresistible for candidates to accept large donations that
compromise impartial loyalty to the people who will elect them. The
Natural Law Party will follow through with legislation eliminating
soft money and Political Action Committee contributions for
political campaigns. This will return the attention of elected officials
to the interest of the people and strengthen our democracy.”
A High School Participant in the Election Process Contests

“The cost of campaigns for political office…gives disproportional
influence to individuals who are wealthy and to special interest
groups. The average American citizen is at a huge disadvantage….
If the financing of political campaigns is not changed, the future of
America democracy will be in jeopardy. Fewer people will have
access to political power because only the wealthy will have the
large amounts of money needed to run for office. This will lead to
the government losing citizen support.”
A High School Participant in the Election Process Contests
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“The current system of financing federal election campaigns makes
a mockery of democracy. Unquestionably money makes a significant
difference in who gets elected. In the 2000 elections Senate winners
spent about twice as much as their challengers and House winners
spent over two-and-a-half times as much.”
A High School Participant in the Election Process Contests

“There is definitely a need for reform in the election of our leaders,
but the change must come not from the system the people work for,
but from the people that work for the system.”
A High School Participant in the Election Process Contests

The challenge is the same—to control soft money:
“[As Tessa explained earlier,] campaign finance laws do exist that
limit contributions to campaigns, but the system of soft money
weakens these laws. The bipartisan McCain-Feingold campaign
finance reform-bill [sought] to put an end to [loopholes in] the laws.”
[The reform became law November 6, 2002 effective January, 2003.]
A High School Participant in the Election Process Contests

“The [old] system of financing federal election campaigns make a
mockery of democracy…. The McCain-Feingold bill…prevents the
parties from directly raising and spending soft money, and also
prohibits them from indirectly using nonprofit organizations to
obtain soft money.”
A High School Participant in the Election Process Contests

“There are no limits on the soft money that can be donated to a
political party, but there are limits on the money donated to a
particular candidate, which is called hard money. [Please see
appendix D on p.137 to see limit changes enacted in 2002.] President
Bush said: ‘I believe there needs to be instant disclosure on the
Internet as to who’s given to whom.’ In another interview, Bush
claimed, ‘…we should not allow federal candidates to take money
from one campaign and roll it over into another campaign. And
members of the United States Congress should not be allowed to
raise money from federal lobbyists during a session.’”
A High School Participant in the Election Process Contests
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“John McCain believes that soft money is unconstitutional. He
stated, ‘Until we abolish soft money, Americans will never have a
government that works as hard for them as it does for the special
interests of people willing to give up their money.’ Closing the soft
money loophole will stop foreign governments from making
unlimited contributions and will subject them to the same limits and
disclosure rules. It will end the common practice of buying access to
high government.”
A High School Participant in the Election Process Contests

John McCain was not the only politican to attack soft money:
“During the 2000 election, Al Gore said he would also ban soft
money…. He also stated that the first bill he would support and sign
as President would be a campaign-finance reform bill. On the other
hand, George W. Bush said that he would ban soft money from
unions and corporations but not from individuals. He would also
raise the limit on individual donations to $2,400 per election. Bush
also said that he would introduce ‘paycheck protection’ [requiring]
union members to give approval before their dues can to be spent on
political activities.”
A High School Participant in the Election Process Contests

“Bill Bradley, a Democrat and an outside shot [for the 2000
presidential nomination], believes that: ‘It [big money] is like a great
stone wall that comes between the people and their representatives, a
great wall that prevents one from hearing the other.’ Bradley
believes soft money contributions should be banned and public
funding is the way to go. Bradley proposes doubling the
government’s one-to-one matches of small individual contributions
that are two hundred and fifty dollars or less.” [Appendix E p.141]
A High School Participant in the Election Process Contests

“Many multi-national corporations and foreign governments employ
lobbyists in the United States to entice and influence our elected
officials. They try to sway votes to their employer’s point-of-view.”
A High School Participant in the Election Process Contests


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“Lobbyists, in conjunction with Political Action Committees, aided
by the massive staff apparatus of the two major parties successfully
funnel hundreds of the millions of dollars into campaigns for offices
at all levels. They do so by…constantly creating new structures
through which they can raise and distribute money into the waiting
hands of the professional politicians. This process, which has
evolved through decades of legal maneuvering, lies at the very heart
of political corruption.” [Updated information on the McCain-Feingold
Bill can be found at Appendix J beginning on page 149]
A High School Participant in the Election Process Contests

What about contributions?
“A 1994 poll by the Mellman group found that ‘Seventy-seven
percent of the public supported reducing individual contribution
limits.’”
A High School Participant in the Election Process Contests

“Many reforms have called for a maximum contribution of $100.00.
If one looks deeper into this issue, they would discover another
interesting statistic. A 1996 poll found that ‘of those who gave
contributions over $200, 95% were white, 80% were male, 50%
were over 60, and 81% had annual income greater than one-hundred
thousand dollars.’ This particular poll clearly illustrates that
domination by wealthy donors reduces the average American’s
ability to influence which candidates wind up on the ballot. [If]
presidential campaigns are to be determined by the wealthiest man,
the typical American citizen feels that his/her $50.00 contribution is
of little importance. [Limiting] the amount of donated campaign
funds would separate the millionaire candidates who obtain finances
through a few wealthy associates from the candidates who are skilled
enough at raising moderate sums of money from a large group of
small donors…. Campaign financing should be modified to preserve
the democracy that U.S. citizens enjoy. Until substantial reforms are
in place, money will continue to corrupt our presidential candidates.”
A High School Participant in the Election Process Contests


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Lobbyists represent special interests. Isn’t that what a
representative democracy is about? Yes, but…
“Special interests have too much influence; good candidates without
money or connections to special interest groups do not have a fair
chance of competing for office.”
A High School Participant in the Election Process Contests

Jamie agrees:
“Candidates with good ideas are not being heard because they lack
money and strong connections to special interests.”
Jamie Bush, Valley Springs High School, Valley Springs Arkansas
“The overwhelming majority of contributions come from large
($1,000+) individual donors, Political Action Committees and special
interests. They are responsible for feeding hundreds of millions of
dollars into political campaigns.”
A High School Participant in the Election Process Contests

Aren’t the rules already regulating contributions to politicians?
“The Federal Election Commission does regulate donations,
[Appendix J] but many people have found ways to get around the
regulations. Contributors can give as much as they want to a political
party as long as that party places the contributions in a non-federal
fund to be used for party-building and getting people to vote.”
A High School Participant in the Election Process Contests

“The use of soft money gives an unfair advantage to the candidate
that supports the fat cat businessman over the candidate that supports
the interests of the people. The man with the larger checkbook can
spread his propaganda better than the less financially funded. Once
elected, politicians return the favor with tax breaks, special
exemptions, and legislation that puts the interests of big donors over
the interests of the people.”
A High School Participant in the Election Process Contests

Soft money remains the target for reform:
“The best way to make our democracy responsive to the will of the
people is to eliminate soft money and Political Action Committee
contributions to political campaigns. Special interest control of our
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government has isolated the American public from their elected
officials. The many millions of dollars funneled into campaigns for
higher public office corrupt the better judgment of our leaders.”
A High School Participant in the Election Process Contests

Corruption was mentioned by Hannah and Chris, above and
Jennifer homes in on it:
“Presidential candidates have begun to lose the honesty and integrity
that a person in their position should hold. With all of the soft
money and bribes that candidates receive, we can say that politics
have become corrupt. As Senator McCain said: ‘Mr. President, let
me offer my colleagues a definition of corruption from Webster’s
dictionary: corruption- the impairment of integrity, virtue or moral
principle. Note, Mr. President, this definition does not say that
corruption occurs only when laws are broken.’ Senator McCain was
right on the mark here.”
A High School Participant in the Election Process Contests

Jennifer and other students are looking for ethics:
“It has become more and more obvious each day that the power [of
the presidency] can…impair a candidate’s moral sense. So how do
we choose a president if so many [candidates] are fake and corrupt? I
don’t believe anyone has an answer for that. It is obvious that we
need more presidents who care about the people and want to do what
is right for them, instead of satisfying their own needs and desires.”
A High School Participant in the Election Process Contests

Jamie has a dream:
“The people would choose the president by looking at the type of
person each candidate is, not by how much money each one
has…national candidates need to stop worrying about money and
start worrying about how this country will survive in the years to
come.”
A High School Participant in the Election Process Contests



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Many students were looking for signs of character in their
candidates:
“Without a limit on the amount of spending, candidates influence
elections by how much money they can raise, instead of by being the
better candidate.” [Appendix D p.137 for FEC limits on spending.]
A High School Participant in the Election Process Contests

“As campaigns become less and less issue-oriented and as candidates
increasingly use generic television spots to expose their positions,
the public is seeing less and less of the true person in a candidate.”
A High School Participant in the Election Process Contests

“Candidates and politicians need to stand on their beliefs and hold
firm on their agenda.”
A High School Participant in the Election Process Contests

Lindsey expresses the outrage she and her peers feel:
“Something is wrong when young people no longer want to grow up
to be President of the United States; they don’t even want to vote. It
is outrageous when the President rents out the Lincoln Bedroom by
the night to the highest bidder. It’s a shame when monks and nuns
abandon their vow of poverty to pay thousands of dollars to attend a
fundraiser with the Vice President. Soft money is only hurting our
nation. We need to get rid of it.”
A High School Participant in the Election Process Contests

It keeps coming back to soft-money—which Appendix H on page
147 and J 149on shows is now under more control than it was in
2000 when these students were so frustrated:
“Donating to a campaign by use of soft money may be a good
fund-raising tactic, however this is not good public policy.”
A High School Participant in the Election Process Contests

“We need to do away with soft money because of the deceitfulness it
has caused us.… If we can ban soft money Washington will hear our
voices once again.”
A High School Participant in the Election Process Contests

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Kari picks up on the deception with an interesting analogy:
“Campaign funding has mushroomed into a means of purchasing
political favors. Before a political marriage is made legal, the
generously contributive bride’s veil should be lifted; there should be
no question concerning a big business’s dowry. Soft money would
lose its deception, and politics would take a huge step toward honest
campaigning.”
A High School Participant in the Election Process Contests

“By eliminating the use of soft money maybe we can eliminate the
perception that money, rather than ideas and leadership, governs the
country.”
A High School Participant in the Election Process Contests

“Soft money pollutes our political elections and increases unfairness
in our government. The recent Clean Money Campaign Reform
should become law because it would be a great start in solving this
problem.”
A High School Participant in the Election Process Contests

“So should the government ban the receipt of soft money? Yes. It
gives an unfair advantage to a candidate that may not be the right
man for the job.”
A High School Participant in the Election Process Contests

Soft money was not the only campaign reform explored by
students in their essays. They also looked at campaign spending.

Campaign Spending

“Will elections ever be fair? It seems as though campaign managers
think it is a race to spend money instead of a race to spread ideas. I
believe that politicians spend too much time raising and spending
money for their campaigns when they should be devoting their time
and energy to the duties of public office.”
A High School Participant in the Election Process Contests

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Other students were also incensed by the time spent searching
for funding:
“I think the election starts way too early. People who want to run for
President start campaigning about a year before the election takes
place.”
A High School Participant in the Election Process Contests

“Candidates spend way too much time finding money to help
sponsor their campaign rather than preparing themselves for the
responsibilities of public office.”
A High School Participant in the Election Process Contests

“A great example of this was in the election of 2000. Al Gore was
our Vice-President, but he was busy traveling all over the United
States campaigning and raising funds. Meanwhile Bill Clinton was
traveling to far-off countries…. Now, if both of them are traveling,
and they are not in the White House, then who is running the United
States?”
A High School Participant in the Election Process Contests

Elliott tells us about a way to stop it:
“Campaign finance reform was one of the main topics for the 2000
elections. Brian D. Saunders of Maryland devised seven simple
steps to stop Campaign Finance spending/collecting:
1) All contributions must be made directly to a particular candidate.
2) Candidates must receive three-quarters of their total contributions
from the electorate eligible to vote for the office the candidate is
seeking in the general election.
3) Full public disclosure of all funds raised their source, amount and
date received will be provided on a quarterly basis until the last six
months before the election, at which time disclosure will be required
every two weeks.
4) All political advertisements, materials, and literature must carry
the name of the committee, organization, corporation, or sponsoring
agency.
5) The government has no place funding elections for those seeking
political office.

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6) Ballot access must be made uniform and fair for all federal
offices
7) The Electoral College needs to be returned to a true representative
process.
All these steps are necessary to get the Election back to the people.”
A High School Participant in the Election Process Contests

In violation of what Elliott believes in #5, above, the federal
government does provide funding to candidates and to political
parties. As an example, in 2008 taxpayers provided $50 million
to the Democrats for their national Convention in Denver,
Colorado at the end of August and another $50 million to the
Republican convention held in St. Paul, Minnesota the first week
in September. Funds provided to 2008 presidential candidates in
the primary election can be seen at Appendix E on page 132.
However, both candidates in the general election were able to
raise substantial sums via the Internet and opted not to restrict
their spending by accepting public financing.

Nevertheless, with the passage in 2002 of the McCain-Feingold
bill public financing has been a viable way to finance campaigns:
“If the United States did not…provide public financing of elections,
the future of public policies that help support social and economic
justice [would suffer]. Two bills called Clean Money and Clean
Elections are being introduced in the Senate by Paul Wellstone and
John Kerry and in the House of Representatives by John Tierney.
These bills will provide for voluntary public financing of national
campaigns.”
A High School Participant in the Election Process Contests

“To be fair, the campaign-spending amount should be limited [even
if it requires] a Constitutional Amendment.”
A High School Participant in the Election Process Contests

Jessie agrees with Nic:
“I [favor a monetary limit on campaign spending. This issue has
been all over the news and I feel that fairness is ignored completely

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by allowing politicians to go money-happy.”
A High School Participant in the Election Process Contests

Unfortunately Nic and Jessie, now adults, have not seen the same
progress in controlling spending that has been made in
controlling contributions. It is likely that these students, along
with many adult voters, weren’t aware of Buckley v Valeo, the
Supreme Court ruling which declared that restricting campaign
spending was unconstitutional but limiting contributions was
not. [A brief explanation can be found on p167, Appendix L.]
“How exactly should campaigning be reformed? This is a touchy
subject. I believe the best way to ameliorate the fundraising issue is
for Congress to pass legislation specifically outlining the avenues
through which candidates receive money. Granted, currently there
are guidelines in place, but these are obviously vague and full of
loopholes. Congress should specifically lay out the boundaries for
the entire fundraising process, including a ban on soft money. The
political arena is no place for advertising and endorsements.”
A High School Participant in the Election Process Contests

Campaign Finance Reform

A reason to improve our current campaign finance system
“Only by improving our system of campaign finance can we hope to
improve the quality of campaigns, candidates, and our government.”
A High School Participant in the Election Process Contests

“The most prominent issue regarding elections, especially after the
[2000] election, is finance reform. The understood prerequisite for
candidates is no longer the essence of statesmanship or the aura of
leadership; no—now to be a candidate one must have deep pockets
and associate with those who also have deep pockets. The true test
of a…presidential candidate is no longer his or her ability to speak,
to lead, to make split-second decisions; the true test is now whether
or not he/she has the social presence to milk the affluent for every
dime. I strongly believe Congress should enact legislation regulating
the campaign aspect of American democracy.”
A High School Participant in the Election Process Contests
91

“A clean and honest campaign system is our explicit destination, our
ultimate destination—the destination to which a good campaign
system is only a prelude—is a government overseen by responsive,
honest leaders who are elected by politically informed citizens, and
whose single devotion is to the public interest, not special interests.
Reform must never become an end-in-itself but must instead serve as
a highway to real democracy. Any reform that does not fulfill that
purpose, or carry us closer to that ideal, is not reform at all.”
A High School Participant in the Election Process Contests

“The government provides federal funding if a party receives five
percent of popular votes in a national election. This needs to be
changed. A small party needs money to become well known and to
be able to receive five percent of votes in a national election. The
Green Party, a newly formed political party, hardly received any
media coverage in the 2000 election. As a result, The Green Party
only received three percent of popular votes; not enough to receive
federal funding. The government should give federal funding based
on how many registered constituents each party has, allowing new
parties to gain public awareness.”
A High School Participant in the Election Process Contests

The Clean Money Campaign Reform was mentioned by Chris
earlier in connection with soft money:
“Soft money pollutes our political elections and increases unfairness
in our government. The recent Clean Money Campaign Reform
should become law because it would be a great start in solving this
problem.”
A High School Participant in the Election Process Contests

In Fact this reform was discussed in numerous essays:
“Other voters feel as I do and many are taking action by promoting a
campaign finance reform called the Clean Money Campaign.”
A High School Participant in the Election Process Contests
“The CMCR (Clean Money Campaign Reform) has some solutions
to these problems. The CMCR has set spending limits for campaigns
to provide a level playing fields and eliminate the need for
fundraising. These solutions will help make campaigns and elections
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fairer because more candidates and their ideas will be heard. It is
important to know that the Clean Money Campaign Reform is
strictly voluntary.”
A High School Participant in the Election Process Contests

“The Clean Money Campaign Reform should become law because it
eliminates special interest groups from swaying an election towards
one candidate and keeps ordinary voters in the game.”
A High School Participant in the Election Process Contests

“The Clean Money Reform would entitle each candidate to a certain
amount of money and would not allow the candidate to accept
money from private sources.… I believe the Clean Money Reform
proposal would [work] because it would give all the candidates a
level playing field and would not discriminate against the minor
party candidates... Giving each candidate the same amount of money
would also even-up the playing field between major party
candidates. Implementing this plan would save money for the
Democrats, the Republicans [and] the public." because they would
no longer have to donate to campaigns of the presidential
candidates.”
A High School Participant in the Election Process Contests

“The Clean Money Campaign Reform (CMCR) provides many
solutions to many of the campaign finance problems. CMCR allows
the greatest reduction in cost of campaigns by eliminating the need
for fundraising expenses and provides for free and discounted radio
and television time. It also combines candidate support with
competitive and fair election financing by providing equal funding to
qualified candidates. Lastly, CMCR frees candidates from the
burden of constant fundraising and allows them to spend their time
on their campaign issues and duties.”
A High School Participant in the Election Process Contests

Students picked up on the free television and radio proposal:
“The main ingredient for accomplishing this reform is to use
television and radio for a shortened period in the campaign. This
would be similar to the British system and would eliminate the
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extreme expenses of advertising. Advertising is where most of the
campaign money is spent on television and other media.”
A High School Participant in the Election Process Contests

“Free television for candidates is a proposal intended to steer
political candidates away from spending millions of dollars on
superficial, often inflammatory political ads and toward substantive
discussion of issues. A strong supporter, the Alliance for Better
Campaigns, suggested that within the month previous to the election,
television stations allow each candidate five minutes of free airtime
every evening. This method would not only be beneficial in the
process of saving campaign money but it would also be beneficial in
reaching and informing more of the voter population of the United
States. Free television would be a superb way to make our
technology and communication to the American public reach its full
potential. The Alliance for Better Campaigns says it best:
‘Americans have a right to such meaningful debate, and the
television industry has the duty to stop profiteering on publicly
owned airwaves at the expense of voter education.’”
A High School Participant in the Election Process Contests

Free air time was a favorite soap box issue:
“Senator McCain proposed financial reforms that make sense, such
as providing free television air time, or discounted postal rates for
candidates who would not spend more that $250,000 of their own
personal funds. This would be a better idea, which would hopefully
improve the morals of the people who run.”
A High School Participant in the Election Process Contests

“Former U.S. Senator and presidential candidate, Bill Bradley called
for free television time for candidates sixty days before the
election.”
A High School Participant in the Election Process Contests

Katie agrees:
“Giving each candidate an equal amount of money to spend on
advertising would solve a lot of problems.”
A High School Participant in the Election Process Contests
94

“Al Gore proposed that television broadcasters provide five minutes
of free air time to candidates each night for 30 nights before the
general elections. But this plan relies on broadcasters donating this
time, which is unlikely. Donating public airtime to candidates
should be a mandatory condition for receiving a public operating
license, not a voluntary one.”
A High School Participant in the Election Process Contests

Jason has a rather unique proposal of his own. He wants to
lower government contributions by encouraging corporations
to contribute more money to the election process while at the
same time further limiting the amount candidates can accept:

“Presidential candidates are selling themselves to the country. Why
should we be paying? I believe more money should come from
corporations and other sources that can be tracked to a substantial
source. I also believe each candidate should have a limit of how
much money they can receive from non-governmental
affiliations. [See Appendix D p137] Each candidate should also
receive government money, almost like the process now, but I would
propose to lower that amount considerably. It’s time to stop
paying out to rich men who don’t really need it.”
A High School Participant in the Election Process Contests

Jessie seconds Jason’s last sentence:
“I feel that the candidates should supply…money for their own
campaigns since they desire the office so badly.”
A High School Participant in the Election Process Contests

Hannah’s expressed goal is to expand our political choices:
“We must restructure our electoral funding process at all levels, with
the objective of creating an open, diverse, inclusive and fair market
in politics and political ideas. These reforms should increase the pool
of citizen legislators, increase voter participation by expanding
electoral choices, ensure equal ballot access, and a level playing field
for all qualified candidates.”
A High School Participant in the Election Process Contests

95

Mark offers positive news re: equal ballot access that he came
across in his research showing progress has been made:
“Back in 1943 there was a law passed that said third party candidates
had to get signatures of at least five percent of registered voters to
get their names on the ballot. Georgia recently made it easier to get
someone’s name on the ballot. Many people believe that the federal
government should adopt the same law determining who can get on
the ballot in all states so it is uniform throughout the country. ”
A High School Participant in the Election Process Contests

The idea of uniformity struck a cord with Ben:
“One reform that could be added to the election process is one
standardized voting ballet for everyone in the United States. One
reason for a standard voting ballet is to make it easier for everyone to
cast their votes.”
A High School Participant in the Election Process Contests

Michael offers his home state ballot as the model:
“A big discussion in the election was the Florida ballot issue. To
prevent that from happening again the government should make a
standardized national ballot. [It] should pick a ballot that is easy to
use and read and can be counted by computer. If we all used the
same ballot then there could be no excuses like [those given by] the
people in Florida. If we used the Oklahoma ballot nationwide the
ballots would all be the same and easy to use. If an Oklahoma voter
makes a mistake in marking the ballot, the machine will reject it and
voters will immediately know so they can revote properly. By using
the same ballot, no one could have any excuses. [People] could not
say it was hard to read or understand how to use it because it is the
same ballot nation wide. ”
A High School Participant in the Election Process Contests

Jennifer explains why the Oklahoma ballot deserves to be
recognized:
“Oklahoma’s ballot system is…different than [the ballots used by]
surroundings states. Oklahoma’s ballot is very clear and easy to read.
The ballots have arrows next to each political candidate or question
that you fill in with a marker. Other states such as Florida have
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ballots like the butterfly ballot and ballots with punch holes. The
butterfly ballot can be very confusing to the voter. The candidates
name is diagonal from the indicated marking place. People often
mark the wrong place and do not notice it. This is most commonly
mistaken by the elderly population. The punch out ballots are also
very deceiving in several ways. The chads can be easily punctured
causing the chad to fall out or be left hanging loosely on the ballot.
Often the counting machine may tear the chad loose from the ballot.
Voters may punch out the chad and it may not fall out completely
but it may cause the machine to count the ballot as invalid, especially
if two candidates’ chads are punched or are hanging from the ballot.
Isn’t it easier to stick to the old fashioned way of filling in the ovals,
leaving less room for human or machine error and confusion?”
A High School Participant in the Election Process Contests

Michael seconds the motion for easier:
“To make voting easier for the entire nation the government should
approve a national ballot. It would make the counting of ballots
quicker and easier so we could get the results faster.”
[Appendix F p. 143]
A High School Participant in the Election Process Contests

Ashley, on the other hand, was content with our current voting
system:
“Though our campaign system needs reform, our voting system does
not.”
A High School Participant in the Election Process Contests

Teryla favors eliminating tax exemptions for contributors to
political parties or candidates:
“A new law should be made. Under the new law, individuals would
be able to donate any amount of money to a candidate or the party of
their choice but could not receive tax exemption from that donation.
Also, the government could not give the candidates any amount of
money. The way the campaign finance is set up today, candidates
may qualify for federal funding. Candidates would have to raise their
funds through partnerships or donations from the people.”
A High School Participant in the Election Process Contests
97

Apparently the teacher failed to point out to Teryla that the IRS
already denies tax deductions for political contributions.
Contributors currently can’t deduct any money that is paid
either directly or indirectly to a political party or candidate; any
national, state, or local committee of a political party; any
committee, association, or organization whose purpose is to
influence the election of any individual to public office.

Jae’s Solution:
“Let the government maintain a special fund to cover the cost of
political campaigns. This fund can be limited and can remove many
of the excess expenditures in politics. It can also be distributed fairly
and evenly among candidates.”
A High School Participant in the Election Process Contests

Jae foresees an obstacle to his plan:
“Some have argued that eliminating private money from politics
stifles our freedom of speech in violation of the First Amendment.
But this is nothing new. I am forbidden from yelling ‘Fire’ in a
crowded theater, and both are for a good reason. It’s interesting that
Congress focuses more attention on eroding the First Amendment by
proposing to ban the burning of the American flag than it does on
keeping our method of electing public officials free from, to quote
Senator John McCain, ‘Special interests waving checkbooks.’”
A High School Participant in the Election Process Contests

Different time zones and poll closings are an issue:
“All of the television networks associated with the Voter News
Service [announced the outcome of] Florida and its much needed 25
electoral votes for Al Gore early on election night [November,
1999]. Polls were still open in most states and even in part of
Florida. Representative Billy Tauzin said later that week that he
would take the case to Congress because ‘when they called the
election in Florida, the message coming form the media was that Al
Gore was winning all the battle-ground states. Michigan fell,
Pennsylvania fell…. The message was: ‘It’s over, folks.’ This
message sent a clear image to voters all over the western United
States that no matter how they voted, Al Gore would win. In reality,
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his opponent came out victorious in the Electoral College and [it was
uncertain that] Vice President Gore won the popular vote. {The
count] was so close that had Bush supporters in Western states and
even northern Florida turned out, most likely Bush would also have
carried a national majority of popular votes.
While it seems that exit polling in itself is the problem, it can’t be
eliminated. The…United States Constitution, via First Amendment,
dictates that there will be freedom of the press to relay messages as
they [the press] see fit. Furthermore, through the use of the Internet,
underground news services would still report the results before all
polls closed. Exit polls are not all that bad; they have just been used
in the wrong manner. In fact, exit polling is ‘the single best window
we have on our voting behavior,’ according to Richard Morin, a
columnist for the Washington Post. If the indicators were removed,
most major news programs would already have run before the total
results of the election could be reported, thus leaving the country
hanging for answers until all regular and absentee ballots were
counted up to a week later.
The best solution to this problem is to open and close all voting
places simultaneously across the country. Bill O’Reilly of the Fox
News Network described the process. New York’s polls would open
at ten EST while California’s would open at seven PST. Each would
close precisely twelve hours later. Exit polling…would not affect
voter turnout in any areas because all states would be polled at the
same time. The media would still have plenty of time to report the
results, and the country wouldn’t be waiting days to find out who
their next President was. While there would still be the occasional
really close race, most likely the new president would carry both the
Electoral College vote and the popular vote.”
A High School Participant in the Election Process Contests

Christian wasn’t the only one to mention the need for polls
across the country to close at the same time:
“When the Electoral College first started media was not a problem so
having so many votes per state worked on a winner-takes-all
basis. However in today’s world the media follows the election so
closely that they often will give a state’s votes to a certain candidate
before all the ballots are in and officially counted. In effect many
99

people do not go vote because they assume that their vote does not
matter any more.”
A High School Participant in the Election Process Contests

“If polling places closed simultaneously across the country, the
media announcing the results of exit polls would not affect the
popular vote, and faith would be restored in our system.”
A High School Participant in the Election Process Contests

Jae sums this section up in a manner that would make the
authors of the United States Constitution proud (despite their
unfamiliarity with an automobile):
“Our campaign finance system is like an automobile. If it is
meticulously maintained, tuned up regularly, and taken in for repairs
at the earliest sign of trouble, there is every reason to think it will
work well, preventing political money from undermining the
integrity of the public process. By the same token, failure to adapt
the campaign finance system to new problems and changing
circumstances is no more wise or responsible than refusing to change
an automobile’s tires at the onset of the icy winter season. A system
that works well in one political age may not in the next. Unless
citizens and their elected representatives have the passion and
commitment to modernize, the campaign finance problems that one
set of laws minimizes in one era will almost certainly be replaced by
a new series of problems in the next.”
A High School Participant in the Election Process Contests
100



^c.ìion Iov·





/ (v[[ Io /.ìion:
101

102

American Must Signify Responsibility

“The presidential election is a time when candidates go out to let the
American citizens know what they stand for, what they believe in,
and what they want to accomplish…. The people of America have
just as big a responsibility as the candidates do. They have to make
sure that they choose the best one for the job. They have to make
sure that their decision…will make the Unites States a better place
for future generations. They have the job of defending what they
think is right or wrong in America…. So remember, always let
people know what you think and how you think things should be.
Let people know what you really stand for and how you really feel
about the subject at hand.”
A High School Participant in the Election Process Contests

“The people of this country need to wake up and realize that a limit
on spending for campaigns and more freedom to elect who they want
to be the leader of this nation should be a goal in every household
across the United States no matter what Party they belong to. The
politicians will have to listen to…the people of this great nation and
they will [if everyone calls.]
So people wake up! Call a friend or relative and tell them that
they need to get a hold of their…Representatives and tell them that
this is what the people of this country want.”
A High School Participant in the Election Process Contests

“If people believe that their vote does not count they should
participate and try to make a change in the system. We could
participate in changing the system by…picketing and writing letters
to members of Congress and newspapers. We the people are the
one’s that [can] change the Electoral College process.”
A High School Participant in the Election Process Contests

“But no matter how change comes about, there is only one way to
get that change. It is to get involved. Every American that believes
that the presidential election system is wrong, needs to speak up and
103

get it changed. I personally would start at the state but no matter
where someone starts, they will only get one step closer to a change
and it does not hurt anything at all to try.”
A High School Participant in the Election Process Contests

VOTE!

“The election process is a very important time in the nation. People
that don’t vote are making a big mistake. People need to vote and
cast their opinion. The things that go on in the United States are not
only what the President does, but also what the people of America do
and how they react to what is going on.”
A High School Participant in the Election Process Contests

“The problems that we face in America these days are not due to the
type of election we hold, but rather due to the number of people who
vote and actually care and want to know what is going on in their
country. I firmly believe that as a country, we have to educate young
adults about the importance of understanding our American
government. As a Union, we should stress the importance of the
Presidency and look for good qualities in a man/woman of this
position. Voting is an American citizen’s responsibility.”
A High School Participant in the Election Process Contests

“I think more people should vote. There are many people eligible as
an American citizen at the age eighteen and above, who do not take
the time to vote…. I do not think anyone has the right to complain
about how the government is being run or who is running it if they
do not vote. In many countries people have little or no choice….
Voting is a privilege and everyone should take advantage of that.”
A High School Participant in the Election Process Contests

Alex expresses the other side:
“Majorities of young people do not choose to vote…. we don’t vote
because of lack of choice. If they put a real choice on the ballot the
country would see a turn around in young people in politics.
We often forget that this country is based on the people. The
people are the ones who make the country work. Without the people
104

we would not have the economy that we do. We need leaders who
will do a better job at governing this country…. So let the people
have a proper say in their choice of leaders.”
A High School Participant in the Election Process Contests

It’s not because Alex is lethargic or doesn’t care:
“If there was a choice I would get involved in politics.”
A High School Participant in the Election Process Contests

Corey reveals another dimension to the problem while
expressing an opinion:
“Getting rid of the Electoral College is not the answer to the
problem we have in electing a president. The problem is in the
attitudes and minds of the people who don’t think that their vote
will count and do not vote. A citizen of the United States should
feel proud and privileged to vote for the president of their country.
Some people may never have the right to vote for the leader of their
country and we do so we should exercise this right.”
A High School Participant in the Election Process Contests
It is not always clear which plan will have the desired effect. As
stated earlier, sometimes it doesn’t matter which plan is used the
end would be the same.
“Many people say the current system is unfair, unnecessary and
should be abolished. They claim that the Electoral College causes
candidates to ignore states where the outcome is certain in favor of
states where polls say the contest is close. For example,
Massachusetts is usually a Democratic win on Election Day.
Therefore, Democrats don’t need to worry about it, while
Republicans can by-pass it. If the Electoral College was abolished
and the popular vote tally was used, each side might campaign there.
Supporters of the Electoral College want to keep it because it
forces candidates to pay attention to small states as they put together
winning strategies. In the 2000 campaign, both Gore and Bush
devoted considerable attention to states with few electoral votes
because polls indicated it would be a close election in each state.”
A High School Participant in the Election Process Contests
105

“America is a republic in which the people are to have a say in how
they are governed. Most Americans will agree with that statement.
What they don’t always agree on is how our political voice is to be
heard.
The system that is the model for the world was truly tested in this
last election. [2000] Historians tell us that the lack of clarity has
happened before, and that after an election such as this there is a
clamor to redo this antiquated system, but eventually no one can
agree on just how to fix it.
I have to agree with the historians on this point. It felt strange not
having a winner on the night of the election, but maybe everyone
should stop and assess their responsibility in this matter. If there had
been a higher voter turn out or if the press hadn’t called the election
so early, the results would have been clearer.
I maintain that this nation, with all of its flaws, is still the greatest
in the world. And even though you and I may disagree on the path
our government takes from time to time. The process by which we
elect our governing officials was set forth by our Founding Fathers
and is still the best in the world. I would not change a thing except
people’s apathy. We do indeed need to care and take an active roll
in our political processes.
The System did not fail; it was the citizens that failed. We all
have a responsibility to be fair and work hard for our families,
community and country. When we fail [to do our part] the process
will falter but it will not fail. The system, with its safeguards against
tyranny, will win as it has in the past and as it will in the future.”
A High School Participant in the Election Process Contests

Should Americans assume more responsibility?
“[I think Americans] feel that the government shouldn’t have a
problem it can’t solve. Somehow Americans need the feeling of
being watched over by a higher power; someone [or thing] protecting
them from harm, and problems that might occur. The people became
too dependant on the government, but not one single person in this
world is perfect, and there will be mistakes along the way that
[government] can prevent. Unfortunately, everybody blames the
government and not themselves.”
A High School Participant in the Election Process Contests
106

Participants in the 2000-2001 Harry Singer Foundation
National High School Essay Contest

Subject: The Election Process



Paoli High School, Paoli, Oklahoma
Teacher Melinda Alfred
Tesha Whatley Jennifer Green Savanna Norman
Alisha Parrott Ben Yarbrough Cynthia Brown
Danny Morris Michael Hagan Teryla Erwin James Dulin

Valley Springs High School, Valley Springs, Arkansas
Teacher: Lavina Grandon
Christen Hall Nic Whitescarver Olga Sletova

Amber Snow Brandon Cone Christy Gibson
Jane Sullivan Danny Coleman Kari Coolidge
Kim Cooper Lance Anderson Lesley Smith
Martin Worster David Boniface
107

Subject: The Election Process





Medicine Lodge High School, Medicine Lodge, Kansas
Teachers: Devra D. Parker and Michael Hubka

Anthony Farrar Brooke Johnson Jeff Furman Matt Orr

Jessica Holmes Katie Fussell Laura Meier Sarah Morford


Rockridge High School, Taylor Ridge, Illinois
Teacher: Barbara Downey
Kelly Gierlus Kristy Gray Christina Crowl Tara Atnip

Jamie Bush Chris Scott Marshall Price Elliot Dungan
Heather McGoniglr Ingrid Johnson Jason Lincoln
Rikki Hofer Jeff Wright Kelly DLloyd Jennifer Hessman
Shane McKeag Jessica Hyink Kathy Swett Tony Frake

Danielle Widdop Catie Koehler Nicole Petersen

108

Subject: The Election Process

Camden High School, Camden, Tennessee
Teacher: Wanda Allen

Steven Robertson Jennifer Hester Jae Lindsay Dedmon
Crystal Sanders Matt Markham Jesse Burkhart Tim Moss

Hannah Florence Allison Melton April Woods


Concordia High School, Concordia, Kansas
Teacher: Timothy Berger

Caleb Huber McMillan Brea Prindaville
Amanda Hamel Amber Campbell Beth Parker

Dana Maxwell Katie Letourneau Natasha Ingwerson

Zach Stover Ken Kiel Sarah Allen Lorisa Wright

Christina Larsen Kim Lauer Chad Sterling Teri Istas

Matt Bartz Katie Jones Tia Akers Lindsey Bowers
109

Subject: The Election Process

Centerville High School, Centerville, South Dakota
Teacher: Terri Buechler

Ashley Adamson Abby Pingrey Luke Surprenant

James Johnson Adam Bennett Katie Hansen Seth Eide

Adam Carlson Jeremy Peterson Tim Wellenstein
Megan Andersen Sylvia Janovick Sarah Thomson
Rachel Evans Megan Nelsen Brian Hansen Austin

Newell-Fonda High School, Newell, Iowa
Teacher: Connie Doonan

Tessa Townsend Eric Stephen Lampe Ryan Devereaux

Jess Johnson Aaron Zeigler Becka Kosky Charla Peiffer

Corey Carlton Heather Johnson Greg Smith Jamie Hess

Wade Brower Sheena Hammen Michelle Morwitzer

Mark Tiedeman Justin Jorgensen Kara Bjorklund
110

Subject: The Election Process

Kadoka High School, Kadoka, South Dakota
Teacher: Teresa Shuck

Laura Wood Tanner Jobgen Ty Eisenbraun

Chris Kendrick Logan Vander May Preston Patterson
Faye Lynne O’Bryan Michelle Arment Nick Patterson
Luke Vander May Amanda Elwood Alex Romero

Chris Letellier Clay Hindman Kim Leach Bailey Rock
111






112

Appendix A

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ìnc .onnon vc{cn.c, ¡·onoìc ìnc vcnc·v[ +c[{v·c, vnv .c.v·c ìnc
±[c..inv. o{ £iìc·ì, ìo ov·.c[.c. vnv ov· )o.ìc·iì,, vo o·vvin vnv
c.ìvì[i.n ìni. (on.ìiìvìion {o· ìnc +niìcv ^ìvìc. o{ /nc·i.v.
/·ìi.[c. 1.
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ìo ìnci· ·c.¡c.ìi.c ^vnìc·., .ni.n .nv[[ ìc vcìc·nincv ì, vvvinv ìo
ìnc .no[c ^vnìc· o{ {·cc )c·.on., in.[vvinv ìno.c ìovnv ìo ^c·.i.c
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o{ v[[ oìnc· )c·.on.. Inc v.ìvv[ 1nvnc·vìion .nv[[ ìc nvvc .iìnin
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113

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)·o.ivcn.c )[vnìvìion. onc, (onnc.ìi.vì {i.c, ^c.·o·ì .i., ^c.
!c·.c, {ov·, )cnn.,[.vniv civnì, Ic[v.v·c onc, ^v·,[vnv .i.,
(i·viniv ìcn, ^o·ìn (v·o[inv {i.c, ^ovìn (v·o[inv {i.c, vnv ·co·viv
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+ncn .v.vn.ic. nv¡¡cn in ìnc )c¡·c.cnìvìion {·on vn, ^ìvìc, ìnc
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.v.n (v.vn.ic..
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1.¡i·vìion o{ ìnc .i.ìn ·cv·, .o ìnvì onc ìni·v nv, ìc .no.cn c.c·,
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vv·inv ìnc )c.c.. o{ ìnc £cvi.[vìv·c o{ vn, ^ìvìc, ìnc 1.c.vìi.c
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114

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c.c·.i.c ìnc O{{i.c o{ )·c.ivcnì o{ ìnc +niìcv ^ìvìc..
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+ncn .iììinv {o· ìnvì )v·¡o.c, ìnc, .nv[[ ìc on Ovìn o·
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115

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^cnìc·. {o· vi.o·vc·[, ±cnv.iov·, vnv, .iìn ìnc (on.v··cn.c o{
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vnv no )c·.on no[vinv vn, O{{i.c vnvc· ìnc +niìcv ^ìvìc., .nv[[ ìc
v ^cnìc· o{ ciìnc· 1ov.c vv·inv ni. (onìinvvn.c in O{{i.c.
^c.ìion. ¯.
/[[ ±i[[. {o· ·vi.inv )c.cnvc .nv[[ o·ivinvìc in ìnc 1ov.c o{
)c¡·c.cnìvìi.c., ìvì ìnc ^cnvìc nv, ¡·o¡o.c o· .on.v· .iìn
/ncnvncnì. v. on oìnc· ±i[[..
1.c·, ±i[[ .ni.n .nv[[ nv.c ¡v..cv Inc 1ov.c o{ )c¡·c.cnìvìi.c.
vnv ìnc ^cnvìc, .nv[[, ìc{o·c iì ìc.onc v £v., ìc ¡·c.cnìcv ìo ìnc
)·c.ivcnì o{ ìnc +niìcv ^ìvìc.: 1{ nc v¡¡·o.c nc .nv[[ .ivn iì, ìvì i{
116

noì nc .nv[[ ·cìv·n iì, .iìn ni. Oì]c.ìion. ìo ìnvì 1ov.c in .ni.n iì
.nv[[ nv.c o·ivinvìcv, .no .nv[[ cnìc· ìnc Oì]c.ìion. vì [v·vc on
ìnci· !ov·nv[, vnv ¡·o.ccv ìo ·c.on.ivc· iì. 1{ v{ìc· .v.n
·c.on.ivc·vìion ì.o ìni·v. o{ ìnvì 1ov.c .nv[[ vv·cc ìo ¡v.. ìnc
±i[[, iì .nv[[ ìc .cnì, ìovcìnc· .iìn ìnc Oì]c.ìion., ìo ìnc oìnc·
1ov.c, ì, .ni.n iì .nv[[ [iìc.i.c ìc ·c.on.ivc·cv, vnv i{ v¡¡·o.cv
ì, ì.o ìni·v. o{ ìnvì 1ov.c, iì .nv[[ ìc.onc v £v.. ±vì in v[[ .v.n
(v.c. ìnc (oìc. o{ ìoìn 1ov.c. .nv[[ ìc vcìc·nincv ì, ,cv. vnv
^v,., vnv ìnc ^vnc. o{ ìnc )c·.on. .oìinv {o· vnv vvvin.ì ìnc ±i[[
.nv[[ ìc cnìc·cv on ìnc !ov·nv[ o{ cv.n 1ov.c ·c.¡c.ìi.c[,. 1{ vn,
±i[[ .nv[[ noì ìc ·cìv·ncv ì, ìnc )·c.ivcnì .iìnin ìcn Iv,.
(^vnvv,. c..c¡ìcv) v{ìc· iì .nv[[ nv.c ìccn ¡·c.cnìcv ìo nin, ìnc
^vnc .nv[[ ìc v £v., in [iìc ^vnnc· v. i{ nc nvv .ivncv iì, vn[c..
ìnc (onv·c.. ì, ìnci· /v]ov·nncnì ¡·c.cnì iì. )cìv·n, in .ni.n
(v.c iì .nv[[ noì ìc v £v..
1.c·, O·vc·, )c.o[vìion, o· (oìc ìo .ni.n ìnc (on.v··cn.c o{ ìnc
^cnvìc vnv 1ov.c o{ )c¡·c.cnìvìi.c. nv, ìc nc.c..v·, (c..c¡ì on v
qvc.ìion o{ /v]ov·nncnì) .nv[[ ìc ¡·c.cnìcv ìo ìnc )·c.ivcnì o{ ìnc
+niìcv ^ìvìc., vnv ìc{o·c ìnc ^vnc .nv[[ ìvìc 1{{c.ì, .nv[[ ìc
v¡¡·o.cv ì, nin, o· ìcinv vi.v¡¡·o.cv ì, nin, .nv[[ ìc ·c¡v..cv ì,
ì.o ìni·v. o{ ìnc ^cnvìc vnv 1ov.c o{ )c¡·c.cnìvìi.c., v..o·vinv
ìo ìnc )v[c. vnv £iniìvìion. ¡·c..·iìcv in ìnc (v.c o{ v ±i[[.
^c.ìion. ×.
Inc (onv·c.. .nv[[ nv.c )o.c· Io [v, vnv .o[[c.ì Iv.c., Ivìic.,
1n¡o.ì. vnv 1..i.c., ìo ¡v, ìnc Icìì. vnv ¡·o.ivc {o· ìnc .onnon
Ic{cn.c vnv vcnc·v[ +c[{v·c o{ ìnc +niìcv ^ìvìc., ìvì v[[ Ivìic.,
1n¡o.ì. vnv 1..i.c. .nv[[ ìc vni{o·n ìn·ovvnovì ìnc +niìcv
^ìvìc.,
Io ìo··o. ^onc, on ìnc .·cviì o{ ìnc +niìcv ^ìvìc.,
Io ·cvv[vìc (onnc·.c .iìn {o·civn ^vìion., vnv vnonv ìnc .c.c·v[
^ìvìc., vnv .iìn ìnc 1nvivn I·iìc.,
Io c.ìvì[i.n vn vni{o·n )v[c o{ ^vìv·v[i:vìion, vnv vni{o·n £v..
on ìnc .vì]c.ì o{ ±vnì·v¡ì.ic. ìn·ovvnovì ìnc +niìcv ^ìvìc.,
117

Io .oin ^onc,, ·cvv[vìc ìnc (v[vc ìnc·co{, vnv o{ {o·civn (oin, vnv
{i. ìnc ^ìvnvv·v o{ +civnì. vnv ^cv.v·c.,
Io ¡·o.ivc {o· ìnc )vni.nncnì o{ .ovnìc·{ciìinv ìnc ^c.v·iìic. vnv
.v··cnì (oin o{ ìnc +niìcv ^ìvìc.,
Io c.ìvì[i.n )o.ì O{{i.c. vnv ¡o.ì )ovv.,
Io ¡·onoìc ìnc )·ov·c.. o{ ^.icn.c vnv v.c{v[ /·ì., ì, .c.v·inv {o·
[iniìcv Iinc. ìo /vìno·. vnv 1n.cnìo·. ìnc c..[v.i.c )ivnì ìo ìnci·
·c.¡c.ìi.c +·iìinv. vnv Ii..o.c·ic.,
Io .on.ìiìvìc I·iìvnv[. in{c·io· ìo ìnc .v¡·cnc (ov·ì,
Io vc{inc vnv ¡vni.n )i·v.ic. vnv Ic[onic. .onniììcv on ìnc nivn
^cv., vnv O{{cn.c. vvvin.ì ìnc £v. o{ ^vìion.,
Io vc.[v·c +v·, v·vnì £cììc·. o{ ^v·qvc vnv )c¡·i.v[, vnv nvìc
)v[c. .on.c·ninv (v¡ìv·c. on £vnv vnv +vìc·,
Io ·vi.c vnv .v¡¡o·ì /·nic., ìvì no /¡¡·o¡·ivìion o{ ^onc, ìo
ìnvì +.c .nv[[ ìc {o· v [onvc· Ic·n ìnvn ì.o ·cv·.,
Io ¡·o.ivc vnv nvinìvin v ^v.,,
Io nvìc )v[c. {o· ìnc ·o.c·nncnì vnv )cvv[vìion o{ ìnc [vnv vnv
nv.v[ Io·.c.,
Io ¡·o.ivc {o· .v[[inv {o·ìn ìnc ^i[iìiv ìo c.c.vìc ìnc £v.. o{ ìnc
+nion, .v¡¡·c.. 1n.v··c.ìion. vnv ·c¡c[ 1n.v.ion.,
Io ¡·o.ivc {o· o·vvni:inv, v·ninv, vnv vi..i¡[ininv, ìnc ^i[iìiv,
vnv {o· vo.c·ninv .v.n )v·ì o{ ìncn v. nv, ìc cn¡[o,cv in ìnc
^c·.i.c o{ ìnc +niìcv ^ìvìc., ·c.c·.inv ìo ìnc ^ìvìc. ·c.¡c.ìi.c[,,
ìnc /¡¡oinìncnì o{ ìnc O{{i.c·., vnv ìnc /vìno·iì, o{ ì·vininv ìnc
^i[iìiv v..o·vinv ìo ìnc vi..i¡[inc ¡·c..·iìcv ì, (onv·c..,
Io c.c·.i.c c..[v.i.c £cvi.[vìion in v[[ (v.c. .nvì.oc.c·, o.c· .v.n
Ii.ì·i.ì (noì c..ccvinv ìcn ^i[c. .qvv·c) v. nv,, ì, (c..ion o{
¡v·ìi.v[v· ^ìvìc., vnv ìnc /..c¡ìvn.c o{ (onv·c.., ìc.onc ìnc ^cvì
o{ ìnc ·o.c·nncnì o{ ìnc +niìcv ^ìvìc., vnv ìo c.c·.i.c [iìc
/vìno·iì, o.c· v[[ )[v.c. ¡v·.nv.cv ì, ìnc (on.cnì o{ ìnc
£cvi.[vìv·c o{ ìnc ^ìvìc in .ni.n ìnc ^vnc .nv[[ ìc, {o· ìnc
1·c.ìion o{ Io·ì., ^vvv:inc., /·.cnv[., vo.ì·v·v., vnv oìnc·
nccv{v[ ±vi[vinv.,/nv
118

Io nvìc v[[ £v.. .ni.n .nv[[ ìc nc.c..v·, vnv ¡·o¡c· {o· .v··,inv
inìo 1.c.vìion ìnc {o·cvoinv )o.c·., vnv v[[ oìnc· )o.c·. .c.ìcv
ì, ìni. (on.ìiìvìion in ìnc ·o.c·nncnì o{ ìnc +niìcv ^ìvìc., o· in
vn, Ic¡v·ìncnì o· O{{i.c· ìnc·co{.
^c.ìion. ^.
Inc ^iv·vìion o· 1n¡o·ìvìion o{ .v.n )c·.on. v. vn, o{ ìnc ^ìvìc.
no. c.i.ìinv .nv[[ ìninì ¡·o¡c· ìo vvniì, .nv[[ noì ìc ¡·oniìiìcv ì,
ìnc (onv·c.. ¡·io· ìo ìnc ·cv· onc ìnov.vnv civnì nvnv·cv vnv
civnì, ìvì v Iv. o· vvì, nv, ìc in¡o.cv on .v.n 1n¡o·ìvìion, noì
c..ccvinv ìcn vo[[v·. {o· cv.n )c·.on.
Inc )·i.i[cvc o{ ìnc +·iì o{ 1vìcv. (o·¡v. .nv[[ noì ìc .v.¡cnvcv,
vn[c.. .ncn in (v.c. o{ )cìc[[ion o· 1n.v.ion ìnc ¡vì[i. ^v{cì,
nv, ·cqvi·c iì.
^o ±i[[ o{ /ììvinvc· o· c. ¡o.ì {v.ìo £v. .nv[[ ìc ¡v..cv.
^o (v¡iìvìion, o· oìnc· vi·c.ì, Iv. .nv[[ ìc [viv, vn[c.. in
)·o¡o·ìion ìo ìnc (cn.v. o· 1nvnc·vìion nc·cin ìc{o·c vi·c.ìcv ìo
ìc ìvìcn.
^o Iv. o· Ivì, .nv[[ ìc [viv on /·ìi.[c. c.¡o·ìcv {·on vn, ^ìvìc.
^o )·c{c·cn.c .nv[[ ìc vi.cn ì, vn, )cvv[vìion o{ (onnc·.c o·
)c.cnvc ìo ìnc )o·ì. o{ onc ^ìvìc o.c· ìno.c o{ vnoìnc·, no· .nv[[
(c..c[. ìovnv ìo, o· {·on, onc ^ìvìc, ìc oì[ivcv ìo cnìc·, .[cv·, o·
¡v, Ivìic. in vnoìnc·.
^o ^onc, .nv[[ ìc v·v.n {·on ìnc I·cv.v·,, ìvì in (on.cqvcn.c o{
/¡¡·o¡·ivìion. nvvc ì, £v., vnv v ·cvv[v· ^ìvìcncnì vnv
/..ovnì o{ ìnc )c.ci¡ì. vnv 1.¡cnviìv·c. o{ v[[ ¡vì[i. ^onc, .nv[[
ìc ¡vì[i.ncv {·on ìinc ìo ìinc.
^o Iiì[c o{ ^oìi[iì, .nv[[ ìc v·vnìcv ì, ìnc +niìcv ^ìvìc.: /nv no
)c·.on no[vinv vn, O{{i.c o{ )·o{iì o· I·v.ì vnvc· ìncn, .nv[[,
.iìnovì ìnc (on.cnì o{ ìnc (onv·c.., v..c¡ì o{ vn, ¡·c.cnì,
1no[vncnì, O{{i.c, o· Iiì[c, o{ vn, ìinv .nvìc.c·, {·on vn, 1inv,
)·in.c, o· {o·civn ^ìvìc.
^c.ìion. )0.
119

^o ^ìvìc .nv[[ cnìc· inìo vn, I·cvì,, /[[ivn.c, o· (on{cvc·vìion,
v·vnì £cììc·. o{ ^v·qvc vnv )c¡·i.v[, .oin ^onc,, cniì ±i[[. o{
(·cviì, nvìc vn, Ininv ìvì vo[v vnv .i[.c· (oin v Icnvc· in
)v,ncnì o{ Icìì., ¡v.. vn, ±i[[ o{ /ììvinvc·, c. ¡o.ì {v.ìo £v.,
o· £v. in¡vi·inv ìnc Oì[ivvìion o{ (onì·v.ì., o· v·vnì vn, Iiì[c o{
^oìi[iì,.
^o ^ìvìc .nv[[, .iìnovì ìnc (on.cnì o{ ìnc (onv·c.., [v, vn,
1n¡o.ì. o· Ivìic. on 1n¡o·ì. o· 1.¡o·ì., c..c¡ì .nvì nv, ìc
vì.o[vìc[, nc.c..v·, {o· c.c.vìinv iì. in.¡c.ìion £v..: vnv ìnc ncì
)·ovv.c o{ v[[ Ivìic. vnv 1n¡o.ì., [viv ì, vn, ^ìvìc on 1n¡o·ì. o·
1.¡o·ì., .nv[[ ìc {o· ìnc +.c o{ ìnc I·cv.v·, o{ ìnc +niìcv ^ìvìc.,
vnv v[[ .v.n £v.. .nv[[ ìc .vì]c.ì ìo ìnc )c.i.ion vnv (onì·ov[ o{
ìnc (onv·c...
^o ^ìvìc .nv[[, .iìnovì ìnc (on.cnì o{ (onv·c.., [v, vn, Ivì, o{
Ionnvvc, ìcc¡ I·oo¡., o· ^ni¡. o{ +v· in ìinc o{ )cv.c, cnìc· inìo
vn, /v·ccncnì o· (on¡v.ì .iìn vnoìnc· ^ìvìc, o· .iìn v {o·civn
)o.c·, o· cnvvvc in +v·, vn[c.. v.ìvv[[, in.vvcv, o· in .v.n
innincnì Ivnvc· v. .i[[ noì vvniì o{ vc[v,.
/·ìi.[c. 11.
^c.ìion. ).
Inc c.c.vìi.c )o.c· .nv[[ ìc .c.ìcv in v )·c.ivcnì o{ ìnc +niìcv
^ìvìc. o{ /nc·i.v. 1c .nv[[ no[v ni. O{{i.c vv·inv ìnc Ic·n o{ {ov·
·cv·., vnv, ìovcìnc· .iìn ìnc (i.c )·c.ivcnì, .no.cn {o· ìnc .vnc
Ic·n, ìc c[c.ìcv, v. {o[[o..:
1v.n ^ìvìc .nv[[ v¡¡oinì, in .v.n ^vnnc· v. ìnc £cvi.[vìv·c ìnc·co{
nv, vi·c.ì, v ^vnìc· o{ 1[c.ìo·., cqvv[ ìo ìnc .no[c ^vnìc· o{
^cnvìo·. vnv )c¡·c.cnìvìi.c. ìo .ni.n ìnc ^ìvìc nv, ìc cnìiì[cv in
ìnc (onv·c..: ìvì no ^cnvìo· o· )c¡·c.cnìvìi.c, o· )c·.on no[vinv
vn O{{i.c o{ I·v.ì o· )·o{iì vnvc· ìnc +niìcv ^ìvìc., .nv[[ ìc
v¡¡oinìcv vn 1[c.ìo·.
Inc 1[c.ìo·. .nv[[ nccì in ìnci· ·c.¡c.ìi.c ^ìvìc., vnv .oìc ì,
±v[[oì {o· ì.o )c·.on., o{ .non onc vì [cv.ì .nv[[ noì ìc vn
1nnvìiìvnì o{ ìnc .vnc ^ìvìc .iìn ìncn.c[.c.. /nv ìnc, .nv[[ nvìc
120

v £i.ì o{ v[[ ìnc )c·.on. .oìcv {o·, vnv o{ ìnc ^vnìc· o{ (oìc. {o·
cv.n, .ni.n £i.ì ìnc, .nv[[ .ivn vnv .c·ìi{,, vnv ì·vn.niì .cv[cv ìo
ìnc ^cvì o{ ìnc ·o.c·nncnì o{ ìnc +niìcv ^ìvìc., vi·c.ìcv ìo ìnc
)·c.ivcnì o{ ìnc ^cnvìc. Inc )·c.ivcnì o{ ìnc ^cnvìc .nv[[, in ìnc
)·c.cn.c o{ ìnc ^cnvìc vnv 1ov.c o{ )c¡·c.cnìvìi.c., o¡cn v[[ ìnc
(c·ìi{i.vìc., vnv ìnc (oìc. .nv[[ ìncn ìc .ovnìcv. Inc )c·.on
nv.inv ìnc v·cvìc.ì ^vnìc· o{ (oìc. .nv[[ ìc ìnc )·c.ivcnì, i{ .v.n
^vnìc· ìc v ^v]o·iì, o{ ìnc .no[c ^vnìc· o{ 1[c.ìo·. v¡¡oinìcv,
vnv i{ ìnc·c ìc no·c ìnvn onc .no nv.c .v.n ^v]o·iì,, vnv nv.c vn
cqvv[ ^vnìc· o{ (oìc., ìncn Inc 1ov.c o{ )c¡·c.cnìvìi.c. .nv[[
inncvivìc[, .nv.c ì, ±v[[oì onc o{ ìncn {o· )·c.ivcnì, vnv i{ no
)c·.on nv.c v ^v]o·iì,, ìncn {·on ìnc {i.c nivnc.ì on ìnc £i.ì ìnc
.viv 1ov.c .nv[[ in [iìc ^vnnc· .nv.c ìnc )·c.ivcnì. ±vì in .nv.inv
ìnc )·c.ivcnì, ìnc (oìc. .nv[[ ìc ìvìcn ì, ^ìvìc., ìnc
)c¡·c.cnìvìion {·on cv.n ^ìvìc nv.inv onc (oìc, / qvo·vn {o· ìni.
¡v·¡o.c .nv[[ .on.i.ì o{ v ^cnìc· o· ^cnìc·. {·on ì.o ìni·v. o{
ìnc ^ìvìc., vnv v ^v]o·iì, o{ v[[ ìnc ^ìvìc. .nv[[ ìc nc.c..v·, ìo v
(noi.c. 1n c.c·, (v.c, v{ìc· ìnc (noi.c o{ ìnc )·c.ivcnì, ìnc )c·.on
nv.inv ìnc v·cvìc.ì ^vnìc· o{ (oìc. o{ ìnc 1[c.ìo·. .nv[[ ìc ìnc
(i.c )·c.ivcnì. ±vì i{ ìnc·c .nov[v ·cnvin ì.o o· no·c .no nv.c
cqvv[ (oìc., ìnc ^cnvìc .nv[[ .nv.c {·on ìncn ì, ±v[[oì ìnc (i.c
)·c.ivcnì.
Inc (onv·c.. nv, vcìc·ninc ìnc Iinc o{ .nv.inv ìnc 1[c.ìo·., vnv
ìnc Iv, on .ni.n ìnc, .nv[[ vi.c ìnci· (oìc., .ni.n Iv, .nv[[ ìc
ìnc .vnc ìn·ovvnovì ìnc +niìcv ^ìvìc..
^o )c·.on c..c¡ì v nvìv·v[ ìo·n (iìi:cn, o· v (iìi:cn o{ ìnc +niìcv
^ìvìc., vì ìnc ìinc o{ ìnc /vo¡ìion o{ ìni. (on.ìiìvìion, .nv[[ ìc
c[iviì[c ìo ìnc O{{i.c o{ )·c.ivcnì, nciìnc· .nv[[ vn, )c·.on ìc
c[iviì[c ìo ìnvì O{{i.c .no .nv[[ noì nv.c vììvincv ìo ìnc /vc o{
ìni·ì, {i.c ·cv·., vnv ìccn {ov·ìccn ·cv·. v )c.ivcnì .iìnin ìnc
+niìcv ^ìvìc..
1n (v.c o{ ìnc )cno.v[ o{ ìnc )·c.ivcnì {·on O{{i.c, o· o{ ni.
Icvìn, )c.ivnvìion, o· 1nvìi[iì, ìo vi..nv·vc ìnc )o.c·. vnv
121

Ivìic. o{ ìnc .viv O{{i.c, ìnc ^vnc .nv[[ vc.o[.c on ìnc (i.c
)·c.ivcnì, vnv ìnc (onv·c.. nv, ì, £v. ¡·o.ivc {o· ìnc (v.c o{
)cno.v[, Icvìn, )c.ivnvìion o· 1nvìi[iì,, ìoìn o{ ìnc )·c.ivcnì
vnv (i.c )·c.ivcnì, vc.[v·inv .nvì O{{i.c· .nv[[ ìncn v.ì v.
)·c.ivcnì, vnv .v.n O{{i.c· .nv[[ v.ì v..o·vinv[,, vnìi[ ìnc
Ii.vìi[iì, ìc ·cno.cv, o· v )·c.ivcnì .nv[[ ìc c[c.ìcv.
Inc )·c.ivcnì .nv[[, vì .ìvìcv Iinc., ·c.ci.c {o· ni. ^c·.i.c., v
(on¡cn.vìion, .ni.n .nv[[ nciìnc· ìc in.·cv.cv no· vinini.ncv
vv·inv ìnc )c·iov {o· .ni.n nc .nv[[ nv.c ìccn c[c.ìcv, vnv nc .nv[[
noì ·c.ci.c .iìnin ìnvì )c·iov vn, oìnc· 1no[vncnì {·on ìnc
+niìcv ^ìvìc., o· vn, o{ ìncn.
±c{o·c nc cnìc· on ìnc 1.c.vìion o{ ni. O{{i.c, nc .nv[[ ìvìc ìnc
{o[[o.inv Ovìn o· /{{i·nvìion:'1 vo .o[cnn[, ..cv· (o· v{{i·n)
ìnvì 1 .i[[ {viìn{v[[, c.c.vìc ìnc O{{i.c o{ )·c.ivcnì o{ ìnc +niìcv
^ìvìc., vnv .i[[ ìo ìnc ìc.ì o{ n, /ìi[iì,, ¡·c.c·.c, ¡·oìc.ì vnv
vc{cnv ìnc (on.ìiìvìion o{ ìnc +niìcv ^ìvìc.."
^c.ìion. 2.
Inc )·c.ivcnì .nv[[ ìc (onnvnvc· in (nic{ o{ ìnc /·n, vnv ^v.,
o{ ìnc +niìcv ^ìvìc., vnv o{ ìnc ^i[iìiv o{ ìnc .c.c·v[ ^ìvìc., .ncn
.v[[cv inìo ìnc v.ìvv[ ^c·.i.c o{ ìnc +niìcv ^ìvìc., nc nv, ·cqvi·c
ìnc O¡inion, in .·iìinv, o{ ìnc ¡·in.i¡v[ O{{i.c· in cv.n o{ ìnc
c.c.vìi.c Ic¡v·ìncnì., v¡on vn, ^vì]c.ì ·c[vìinv ìo ìnc Ivìic. o{
ìnci· ·c.¡c.ìi.c O{{i.c., vnv nc .nv[[ nv.c )o.c· ìo v·vnì )c¡·ic.c.
vnv )v·von. {o· O{{cn.c. vvvin.ì ìnc +niìcv ^ìvìc., c..c¡ì in
(v.c. o{ 1n¡cv.nncnì.
1c .nv[[ nv.c )o.c·, ì, vnv .iìn ìnc /v.i.c vnv (on.cnì o{ ìnc
^cnvìc, ìo nvìc I·cvìic., ¡·o.ivcv ì.o ìni·v. o{ ìnc ^cnvìo·.
¡·c.cnì .on.v·, vnv nc .nv[[ noninvìc, vnv ì, vnv .iìn ìnc /v.i.c
vnv (on.cnì o{ ìnc ^cnvìc, .nv[[ v¡¡oinì /nìv..vvo·., oìnc· ¡vì[i.
^ini.ìc·. vnv (on.v[., !vvvc. o{ ìnc .v¡·cnc (ov·ì, vnv v[[ oìnc·
O{{i.c·. o{ ìnc +niìcv ^ìvìc., .no.c /¡¡oinìncnì. v·c noì nc·cin
oìnc·.i.c ¡·o.ivcv {o·, vnv .ni.n .nv[[ ìc c.ìvì[i.ncv ì, £v.: ìvì
ìnc (onv·c.. nv, ì, £v. .c.ì ìnc /¡¡oinìncnì o{ .v.n in{c·io·
122

O{{i.c·., v. ìnc, ìninì ¡·o¡c·, in ìnc )·c.ivcnì v[onc, in ìnc (ov·ì.
o{ £v., o· in ìnc 1cvv. o{ Ic¡v·ìncnì..
Inc )·c.ivcnì .nv[[ nv.c )o.c· ìo {i[[ v¡ v[[ (v.vn.ic. ìnvì nv,
nv¡¡cn vv·inv ìnc )c.c.. o{ ìnc ^cnvìc, ì, v·vnìinv (onni..ion.
.ni.n .nv[[ c.¡i·c vì ìnc 1nv o{ ìnci· nc.ì ^c..ion.
^c.ìion. ¯.
1c .nv[[ {·on ìinc ìo ìinc vi.c ìo ìnc (onv·c.. 1n{o·nvìion o{ ìnc
^ìvìc o{ ìnc +nion, vnv ·c.onncnv ìo ìnci· (on.ivc·vìion .v.n
^cv.v·c. v. nc .nv[[ ]vvvc nc.c..v·, vnv c.¡cvicnì, nc nv,, on
c.ì·vo·vinv·, O..v.ion., .on.cnc ìoìn 1ov.c., o· ciìnc· o{ ìncn,
vnv in (v.c o{ Ii.vv·ccncnì ìcì.ccn ìncn, .iìn )c.¡c.ì ìo ìnc
Iinc o{ /v]ov·nncnì, nc nv, vv]ov·n ìncn ìo .v.n Iinc v. nc .nv[[
ìninì ¡·o¡c·, nc .nv[[ ·c.ci.c /nìv..vvo·. vnv oìnc· ¡vì[i.
^ini.ìc·., nc .nv[[ ìvìc (v·c ìnvì ìnc £v.. ìc {viìn{v[[, c.c.vìcv,
vnv .nv[[ (onni..ion v[[ ìnc O{{i.c·. o{ ìnc +niìcv ^ìvìc..
^c.ìion. !.
Inc )·c.ivcnì, (i.c )·c.ivcnì vnv v[[ .i.i[ O{{i.c·. o{ ìnc +niìcv
^ìvìc., .nv[[ ìc ·cno.cv {·on O{{i.c on 1n¡cv.nncnì {o·, vnv
(on.i.ìion o{, I·cv.on, ±·iìc·,, o· oìnc· nivn (·inc. vnv
^i.vcncvno·..
/·ìi.[c 111.
^c.ìion. ).
Inc ]vvi.iv[ )o.c· o{ ìnc +niìcv ^ìvìc. .nv[[ ìc .c.ìcv in onc
.v¡·cnc (ov·ì, vnv in .v.n in{c·io· (ov·ì. v. ìnc (onv·c.. nv,
{·on ìinc ìo ìinc o·vvin vnv c.ìvì[i.n. Inc !vvvc., ìoìn o{ ìnc
.v¡·cnc vnv in{c·io· (ov·ì., .nv[[ no[v ìnci· O{{i.c. vv·inv voov
±cnv.iov·, vnv .nv[[, vì .ìvìcv Iinc., ·c.ci.c {o· ìnci· ^c·.i.c. v
(on¡cn.vìion, .ni.n .nv[[ noì ìc vinini.ncv vv·inv ìnci·
(onìinvvn.c in O{{i.c
^c.ìion. 2.
Inc ]vvi.iv[ )o.c· .nv[[ c.ìcnv ìo v[[ (v.c., in £v. vnv 1qviì,,
v·i.inv vnvc· ìni. (on.ìiìvìion, ìnc £v.. o{ ìnc +niìcv ^ìvìc., vnv
I·cvìic. nvvc, o· .ni.n .nv[[ ìc nvvc, vnvc· ìnci· /vìno·iì,, ìo v[[
123

(v.c. v{{c.ìinv /nìv..vvo·., oìnc· ¡vì[i. ^ini.ìc·. vnv (on.v[.,
ìo v[[ (v.c. o{ vvni·v[ì, vnv nv·iìinc !v·i.vi.ìion, ìo
(onì·o.c·.ic. ìo .ni.n ìnc +niìcv ^ìvìc. .nv[[ ìc v )v·ì,, ìo
(onì·o.c·.ic. ìcì.ccn ì.o o· no·c ^ìvìc., ìcì.ccn v ^ìvìc vnv
(iìi:cn. o{ vnoìnc· ^ìvìc, ìcì.ccn (iìi:cn. o{ vi{{c·cnì ^ìvìc.,
ìcì.ccn (iìi:cn. o{ ìnc .vnc ^ìvìc .[vininv £vnv. vnvc· ··vnì.
o{ vi{{c·cnì ^ìvìc., vnv ìcì.ccn v ^ìvìc, o· ìnc (iìi:cn. ìnc·co{,
vnv {o·civn ^ìvìc., (iìi:cn. o· ^vì]c.ì..
1n v[[ (v.c. v{{c.ìinv /nìv..vvo·., oìnc· ¡vì[i. ^ini.ìc·. vnv
(on.v[., vnv ìno.c in .ni.n v ^ìvìc .nv[[ ìc )v·ì,, ìnc .v¡·cnc
(ov·ì .nv[[ nv.c o·ivinv[ !v·i.vi.ìion. 1n v[[ ìnc oìnc· (v.c. ìc{o·c
ncnìioncv, ìnc .v¡·cnc (ov·ì .nv[[ nv.c v¡¡c[[vìc !v·i.vi.ìion,
ìoìn v. ìo £v. vnv Iv.ì, .iìn .v.n 1..c¡ìion., vnv vnvc· .v.n
)cvv[vìion. v. ìnc (onv·c.. .nv[[ nvìc.
Inc I·iv[ o{ v[[ (·inc., c..c¡ì in (v.c. o{ 1n¡cv.nncnì, .nv[[ ìc ì,
!v·,, vnv .v.n I·iv[ .nv[[ ìc nc[v in ìnc ^ìvìc .nc·c ìnc .viv (·inc.
.nv[[ nv.c ìccn .onniììcv, ìvì .ncn noì .onniììcv .iìnin vn,
^ìvìc, ìnc I·iv[ .nv[[ ìc vì .v.n )[v.c o· )[v.c. v. ìnc (onv·c.. nv,
ì, £v. nv.c vi·c.ìcv.
^c.ìion. ¯.
I·cv.on vvvin.ì ìnc +niìcv ^ìvìc., .nv[[ .on.i.ì on[, in [c.,inv
+v· vvvin.ì ìncn, o· in vvnc·inv ìo ìnci· 1ncnic., vi.inv ìncn /iv
vnv (on{o·ì. ^o )c·.on .nv[[ ìc .on.i.ìcv o{ I·cv.on vn[c.. on ìnc
Ic.ìinon, o{ ì.o +iìnc..c. ìo ìnc .vnc o.c·ì /.ì, o· on
(on{c..ion in o¡cn (ov·ì.
Inc (onv·c.. .nv[[ nv.c )o.c· ìo vc.[v·c ìnc )vni.nncnì o{
I·cv.on, ìvì no /ììvinvc· o{ I·cv.on .nv[[ .o·ì (o··v¡ìion o{
±[oov, o· Io·{ciìv·c c..c¡ì vv·inv ìnc £i{c o{ ìnc )c·.on vììvinìcv.
/·ìi.[c. 1(.
^c.ìion. ).
Iv[[ Iviìn vnv (·cviì .nv[[ ìc vi.cn in cv.n ^ìvìc ìo ìnc ¡vì[i.
/.ì., )c.o·v., vnv ]vvi.iv[ )·o.ccvinv. o{ c.c·, oìnc· ^ìvìc. /nv
ìnc (onv·c.. nv, ì, vcnc·v[ £v.. ¡·c..·iìc ìnc ^vnnc· in .ni.n
124

.v.n /.ì., )c.o·v. vnv )·o.ccvinv. .nv[[ ìc ¡·o.cv, vnv ìnc 1{{c.ì
ìnc·co{.
^c.ìion. 2.
Inc (iìi:cn. o{ cv.n ^ìvìc .nv[[ ìc cnìiì[cv ìo v[[ )·i.i[cvc. vnv
1nnvniìic. o{ (iìi:cn. in ìnc .c.c·v[ ^ìvìc..
/ )c·.on .nv·vcv in vn, ^ìvìc .iìn I·cv.on, Ic[on,, o· oìnc·
(·inc, .no .nv[[ {[cc {·on !v.ìi.c, vnv ìc {ovnv in vnoìnc· ^ìvìc,
.nv[[ on Icnvnv o{ ìnc c.c.vìi.c /vìno·iì, o{ ìnc ^ìvìc {·on
.ni.n nc {[cv, ìc vc[i.c·cv v¡, ìo ìc ·cno.cv ìo ìnc ^ìvìc nv.inv
!v·i.vi.ìion o{ ìnc (·inc.
^o )c·.on nc[v ìo ^c·.i.c o· £vìov· in onc ^ìvìc, vnvc· ìnc £v..
ìnc·co{, c..v¡inv inìo vnoìnc·, .nv[[, in (on.cqvcn.c o{ vn, £v. o·
)cvv[vìion ìnc·cin, ìc vi..nv·vcv {·on .v.n ^c·.i.c o· £vìov·, ìvì
.nv[[ ìc vc[i.c·cv v¡ on ([vin o{ ìnc )v·ì, ìo .non .v.n ^c·.i.c o·
£vìov· nv, ìc vvc.
^c.ìion. ¯.
^c. ^ìvìc. nv, ìc vvniììcv ì, ìnc (onv·c.. inìo ìni. +nion, ìvì
no nc. ^ìvìc .nv[[ ìc {o·ncv o· c·c.ìcv .iìnin ìnc !v·i.vi.ìion o{
vn, oìnc· ^ìvìc, no· vn, ^ìvìc ìc {o·ncv ì, ìnc !vn.ìion o{ ì.o o·
no·c ^ìvìc., o· )v·ì. o{ ^ìvìc., .iìnovì ìnc (on.cnì o{ ìnc
£cvi.[vìv·c. o{ ìnc ^ìvìc. .on.c·ncv v. .c[[ v. o{ ìnc (onv·c...
Inc (onv·c.. .nv[[ nv.c )o.c· ìo vi.¡o.c o{ vnv nvìc v[[ nccv{v[
)v[c. vnv )cvv[vìion. ·c.¡c.ìinv ìnc Ic··iìo·, o· oìnc· )·o¡c·ì,
ìc[onvinv ìo ìnc +niìcv ^ìvìc., vnv noìninv in ìni. (on.ìiìvìion
.nv[[ ìc .o .on.ì·vcv v. ìo )·c]vvi.c vn, ([vin. o{ ìnc +niìcv
^ìvìc., o· o{ vn, ¡v·ìi.v[v· ^ìvìc.
^c.ìion. !.
Inc +niìcv ^ìvìc. .nv[[ vvv·vnìcc ìo c.c·, ^ìvìc in ìni. +nion v
)c¡vì[i.vn Io·n o{ ·o.c·nncnì, vnv .nv[[ ¡·oìc.ì cv.n o{ ìncn
vvvin.ì 1n.v.ion, vnv on /¡¡[i.vìion o{ ìnc £cvi.[vìv·c, o· o{ ìnc
1.c.vìi.c (.ncn ìnc £cvi.[vìv·c .vnnoì ìc .on.cncv), vvvin.ì
vonc.ìi. (io[cn.c.
125


/·ìi.[c. (.
Inc (onv·c.., .ncnc.c· ì.o ìni·v. o{ ìoìn 1ov.c. .nv[[ vccn iì
nc.c..v·,, .nv[[ ¡·o¡o.c /ncnvncnì. ìo ìni. (on.ìiìvìion, o·, on
ìnc /¡¡[i.vìion o{ ìnc £cvi.[vìv·c. o{ ì.o ìni·v. o{ ìnc .c.c·v[
^ìvìc., .nv[[ .v[[ v (on.cnìion {o· ¡·o¡o.inv /ncnvncnì., .ni.n,
in ciìnc· (v.c, .nv[[ ìc .v[iv ìo v[[ 1nìcnì. vnv )v·¡o.c., v. )v·ì o{
ìni. (on.ìiìvìion, .ncn ·vìi{icv ì, ìnc £cvi.[vìv·c. o{ ìn·cc {ov·ìn.
o{ ìnc .c.c·v[ ^ìvìc., o· ì, (on.cnìion. in ìn·cc {ov·ìn. ìnc·co{, v.
ìnc onc o· ìnc oìnc· ^ovc o{ )vìi{i.vìion nv, ìc ¡·o¡o.cv ì, ìnc
(onv·c.., )·o.ivcv ìnvì no /ncnvncnì .ni.n nv, ìc nvvc ¡·io· ìo
ìnc ·cv· Onc ìnov.vnv civnì nvnv·cv vnv civnì .nv[[ in vn,
^vnnc· v{{c.ì ìnc {i·.ì vnv {ov·ìn ([vv.c. in ìnc ^inìn ^c.ìion o{
ìnc {i·.ì /·ìi.[c, vnv ìnvì no ^ìvìc, .iìnovì iì. (on.cnì, .nv[[ ìc
vc¡·i.cv o{ iì. cqvv[ ^v{{·vvc in ìnc ^cnvìc.
/·ìi.[c. (1.
/[[ Icìì. .onì·v.ìcv vnv 1nvvvcncnì. cnìc·cv inìo, ìc{o·c ìnc
/vo¡ìion o{ ìni. (on.ìiìvìion, .nv[[ ìc v. .v[iv vvvin.ì ìnc +niìcv
^ìvìc. vnvc· ìni. (on.ìiìvìion, v. vnvc· ìnc (on{cvc·vìion.
Ini. (on.ìiìvìion, vnv ìnc £v.. o{ ìnc +niìcv ^ìvìc. .ni.n .nv[[
ìc nvvc in )v·.vvn.c ìnc·co{, vnv v[[ I·cvìic. nvvc, o· .ni.n .nv[[
ìc nvvc, vnvc· ìnc /vìno·iì, o{ ìnc +niìcv ^ìvìc., .nv[[ ìc ìnc
.v¡·cnc £v. o{ ìnc £vnv , vnv ìnc !vvvc. in c.c·, ^ìvìc .nv[[ ìc
ìovnv ìnc·cì,, vn, Ininv in ìnc (on.ìiìvìion o· £v.. o{ vn, ^ìvìc
ìo ìnc (onì·v·, noì.iìn.ìvnvinv.
Inc ^cnvìo·. vnv )c¡·c.cnìvìi.c. ìc{o·c ncnìioncv, vnv ìnc
^cnìc·. o{ ìnc .c.c·v[ ^ìvìc £cvi.[vìv·c., vnv v[[ c.c.vìi.c vnv
]vvi.iv[ O{{i.c·., ìoìn o{ ìnc +niìcv ^ìvìc. vnv o{ ìnc .c.c·v[
^ìvìc., .nv[[ ìc ìovnv ì, Ovìn o· /{{i·nvìion, ìo .v¡¡o·ì ìni.
(on.ìiìvìion, ìvì no ·c[iviov. Ic.ì .nv[[ c.c· ìc ·cqvi·cv v. v
Ovv[i{i.vìion ìo vn, O{{i.c o· ¡vì[i. I·v.ì vnvc· ìnc +niìcv
^ìvìc..
/·ìi.[c. (11.
126

Inc )vìi{i.vìion o{ ìnc (on.cnìion. o{ ninc ^ìvìc., .nv[[ ìc
.v{{i.icnì {o· ìnc 1.ìvì[i.nncnì o{ ìni. (on.ìiìvìion ìcì.ccn ìnc
^ìvìc. .o ·vìi{,inv ìnc ^vnc.
/ììc.ì +i[[ivn !v.ì.on ^c.·cìv·,
Ionc in (on.cnìion ì, ìnc +nvninov. (on.cnì o{ ìnc ^ìvìc.
¡·c.cnì ìnc ^c.cnìccnìn Iv, o{ ^c¡ìcnìc· in ìnc ·cv· o{ ov· £o·v
onc ìnov.vnv .c.cn nvnv·cv vnv 1ivnì, .c.cn vnv o{ ìnc
1nvc¡cnvcn.c o{ ìnc +niìcv ^ìvìc. o{ /nc·i.v ìnc I.c[{ìn 1n
.iìnc.. .nc·co{ +c nv.c nc·cvnìo .vì..·iìcv ov· ^vnc.,
·¯ +v.ninvìon
)·c.ivì vnv vc¡vì, {·on (i·viniv
Ic[v.v·c
·co: )cvv, ·vnninv ±cv{o·v ]vn, !onn Ii.ìin.on, )i.nv·v
±v..cìì, !v.o: ±·oon
^v·,[vnv
!vnc. ^.1cn·,, Ivn o{ ^ì Ino.. !cni{c·, Ivn[ (v··o[[
(i·viniv
!onn ±[vi·, !vnc. ^vvi.on !·.
^o·ìn (v·o[inv
+n. ±[ovnì, )i.nv. Ioìì. ^¡vivnì, 1v +i[[ivn.on
^ovìn (v·o[inv
!. )vì[cvvc, (nv·[c. (oìc..o·ìn )in.ìnc,, (nv·[c. )in.ìnc,, )ic·.c
±vì[c·
·co·viv
+i[[ivn Ic., /ì· ±v[v.in
^c. 1vn¡.ni·c
!onn £vnvvon, ^i.no[v. ·i[nvn
^v..v.nv.cìì.
^vìnvnic[ ·o·nvn, )v{v. 1inv
(onnc.ìi.vì
+n. ^vn[. !onn.on, )ovc· ^nc·nvn
^c. ·o·ì
/[c.vnvc· 1vni[ìon
127

^c. !c·.c,
+i[: £i.inv.ìon, Iv.iv ±·cv·[c,, +n. )vìc·.on, !onv: Iv,ìon
)cnn.,[.vniv
± I·vnì[in, Inonv. ^i{{[in, )oìì. ^o··i., ·co. ([,nc·, Ino..
Iiì:^inon., !v·cv 1nvc·.o[[, !vnc. +i[.on, ·ov. ^o··i.
128

Appendix B


Amendment XII (Ratified June 15, 1804)
The electors shall meet in their respective states and vote by ballot for
President and Vice-President, one of whom, at least, shall not be an
inhabitant of the same state with themselves; they shall name in their
ballots the person voted for as President, and in distinct ballots the person
voted for as Vice-President, and they shall make distinct lists of all persons
voted for as President, and of all persons voted for as Vice-President, and
of the number of votes for each, which lists they shall sign and certify, and
transmit sealed to the seat of the government of the United States, directed
to the President of the Senate;--The President of the Senate shall, in the
presence of the Senate and House of Representatives, open all the
certificates and the votes shall then be counted;--the person having the
greatest number of votes for President, shall be the President, if such
number be a majority of the whole number of electors appointed; and if no
person have such majority, then from the persons having the highest
numbers not exceeding three on the list of those voted for as President, the
House of Representatives shall choose immediately, by ballot, the
President. But in choosing the President, the votes shall be taken by states,
the representation from each state having one vote; a quorum for this
purpose shall consist of a member or members from two-thirds of the states
and a majority of all the states shall be necessary to a choice. And if the
House of Representatives shall not choose a President whenever the right
of choice shall devolve upon them, before the fourth day of March next
following, then the Vice-President shall act as President, as in the case of
the death or other constitutional disability of the President. The person
having the greatest number of votes as Vice-President, shall be the Vice-
President, if such number be a majority of the whole number of electors
appointed, and if no person have a majority, then from the two highest
numbers on the list, the Senate shall choose the Vice-President; a quorum
for the purpose shall consist of two-thirds of the whole number of Senators,
and a majority of the whole number shall be necessary to a choice. But no
person constitutionally ineligible to the office of President shall be eligible
to that of Vice-President of the United States.
N.B. Amendment XX, XXII and XXV all supersede
Amendment XII above, as to succession and term dates.
and The full text of these Amendments is printed here .
129

Amendment XX Ratified January 23, 1933
Section 1. The terms of the President and Vice President shall end
at noon on the 20
th
day of January, and the terms of Senators and
Representatives at noon on the 3d day of January, of the years in
which such terms would have ended if this article had not been
ratified; and the terms of their successors shall then begin.
Section 2. The Congress shall assemble at least once in every year,
and such meeting shall begin at noon on the 3d day of January,
unless they shall by law appoint a different day.
Section 3. If, at the time fixed for the beginning of the term of the
President, the President elect shall have died, the Vice President
elect shall become President. If a President shall not have been
chosen before the time fixed for the beginning of his term, or if the
President elect shall have failed to qualify, then the Vice President
elect shall act as President until a President shall have qualified;
and the Congress may by law provide for the case wherein neither
a President elect nor a Vice President elect shall have qualified,
declaring who shall then act as President, or the manner in which
one who is to act shall be selected, and such person shall act
accordingly until a President or Vice President shall have
qualified.
Section 4. The Congress may by law provide for the case of the
death of any of the persons from whom the House of
Representatives may choose a President whenever the right of
choice shall have devolved upon them, and for the case of the
death of any of the persons from whom the Senate may choose a
Vice President whenever the right of choice shall have devolved
upon them.
Section 5. Sections 1 and 2 shall take effect on the 15
th
day of
October following the ratification of this article.
Section 6. This article shall be inoperative unless it shall have been ratified
as an amendment to the Constitution by the legislatures of three-fourths of
the several states within seven years from the date of its submission.
Amendment XXII Ratified February 27, 1951
Section 1 No person shall be elected to the office of the President more
130

than twice, and no person who has held the office of President, or acted as
President, for more than two years of a term to which some other person
was elected President shall be elected to the office of the President more
than once. But this Article shall not apply to any person holding the office
of President, when this Article was proposed by the Congress, and shall not
prevent any person who may be holding the office of President, or acting as
President, during the term within which this Article becomes operative
from holding the office of President or acting as President during the
remainder of such term.
Section 2 This article shall be inoperative unless it shall have been ratified
as an amendment to the Constitution by the legislatures of three-fourths of
the several States within seven years from the date of its submission to the
States by the Congress.
Amendment XXV (Ratified February 10, 1967)
Section 1 In case of the removal of the President from office or of his death
or resignation, the Vice President shall become President.
Section 2 Whenever there is a vacancy in the office of the Vice President,
the President shall nominate a Vice President who shall take office upon
confirmation by a majority vote of both Houses of Congress.
Section 3 Whenever the President transmits to the President pro tempore of
the Senate and the Speaker of the House of Representatives his written
declaration that he is unable to discharge the powers and duties of his
office, and until he transmits to them a written declaration to the contrary,
such powers and duties shall be discharged by the Vice President as Acting
President.
Section 4 Whenever the Vice President and a majority of either the
principal officers of the executive departments or of such other body as
Congress may by law provide, transmit to the President pro tempore of the
Senate and the Speaker of the House of Representatives their written
declaration that the President is unable to discharge the powers and duties
of his office, the Vice President shall immediately assume the powers and
duties of the office as Acting President.
Thereafter, when the President transmits to the President pro tempore of
the Senate and the Speaker of the House of Representatives his written
declaration that no inability exists, he shall resume the powers and duties of
his office unless the Vice President and a majority of either the principal
officers of the executive department or of such other body as Congress may
by law provide, transmit within four days to the President pro tempore of
the Senate and the Speaker of the House of Representatives their written
131

declaration that the President is unable to discharge the powers and duties
of his office. Thereupon Congress shall decide the issue, assembling within
forty eight hours for that purpose if not in session. If the Congress, within
twenty one days after receipt of the latter written declaration, or, if
Congress is not in session, within twenty one days after Congress is
required to assemble, determines by two thirds vote of both Houses that the
President is unable to discharge the powers and duties of his office, the
Vice President shall continue to discharge the same as Acting President;
otherwise, the President shall resume the powers and duties of his office.
132

Appendix C

The Federalist Papers : No. 68
To the People of the State of New York:
THE mode of appointment of the Chief Magistrate of the United
States is almost the only part of the system, of any consequence,
which has escaped without severe censure, or which has received the
slightest mark of approbation from its opponents. The most plausible
of these, who has appeared in print, has even deigned to admit that
the election of the President is pretty well guarded. I venture
somewhat further, and hesitate not to affirm, that if the manner of it
be not perfect, it is at least excellent. It unites in an eminent degree
all the advantages, the union of which was to be wished for.
It was desirable that the sense of the people should operate in the
choice of the person to whom so important a trust was to be
confided. This end will be answered by committing the right of
making it, not to any pre-established body, but to men chosen by the
people for the special purpose, and at the particular conjuncture.
It was equally desirable, that the immediate election should be made
by men most capable of analyzing the qualities adapted to the
station, and acting under circumstances favorable to deliberation, and
to a judicious combination of all the reasons and inducements which
were proper to govern their choice. A small number of persons,
selected by their fellow-citizens from the general mass, will be most
likely to possess the information and discernment requisite to such
complicated investigations.
It was also peculiarly desirable to afford as little opportunity as
possible to tumult and disorder. This evil was not least to be dreaded
in the election of a magistrate, who was to have so important an
agency in the administration of the government as the President of
the United States. But the precautions which have been so happily
concerted in the system under consideration, promise an effectual
security against this mischief. The choice of SEVERAL, to form an
intermediate body of electors, will be much less apt to convulse the
community with any extraordinary or violent movements, than the
choice of ONE who was himself to be the final object of the public
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wishes. And as the electors, chosen in each State, are to assemble
and vote in the State in which they are chosen, this detached and
divided situation will expose them much less to heats and ferments,
which might be communicated from them to the people, than if they
were all to be convened at one time, in one place.
Nothing was more to be desired than that every practicable obstacle
should be opposed to cabal, intrigue, and corruption. These most
deadly adversaries of republican government might naturally have
been expected to make their approaches from more than one quarter,
but chiefly from the desire in foreign powers to gain an improper
ascendant in our councils. How could they better gratify this, than by
raising a creature of their own to the chief magistracy of the Union?
But the convention have guarded against all danger of this sort, with
the most provident and judicious attention. They have not made the
appointment of the President to depend on any preexisting bodies of
men, who might be tampered with beforehand to prostitute their
votes; but they have referred it in the first instance to an immediate
act of the people of America, to be exerted in the choice of persons
for the temporary and sole purpose of making the appointment. And
they have excluded from eligibility to this trust, all those who from
situation might be suspected of too great devotion to the President in
office. No senator, representative, or other person holding a place of
trust or profit under the United States, can be of the numbers of the
electors. Thus without corrupting the body of the people, the
immediate agents in the election will at least enter upon the task free
from any sinister bias. Their transient existence, and their detached
situation, already taken notice of, afford a satisfactory prospect of
their continuing so, to the conclusion of it. The business of
corruption, when it is to embrace so considerable a number of men,
requires time as well as means. Nor would it be found easy suddenly
to embark them, dispersed as they would be over thirteen States, in
any combinations founded upon motives, which though they could
not properly be denominated corrupt, might yet be of a nature to
mislead them from their duty.
Another and no less important desideratum was, that the Executive
should be independent for his continuance in office on all but the
people themselves. He might otherwise be tempted to sacrifice his
duty to his complaisance for those whose favor was necessary to the
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duration of his official consequence. This advantage will also be
secured, by making his re-election to depend on a special body of
representatives, deputed by the society for the single purpose of
making the important choice.
All these advantages will happily combine in the plan devised by the
convention; which is, that the people of each State shall choose a
number of persons as electors, equal to the number of senators and
representatives of such State in the national government, who shall
assemble within the State, and vote for some fit person as President.
Their votes, thus given, are to be transmitted to the seat of the
national government, and the person who may happen to have a
majority of the whole number of votes will be the President. But as a
majority of the votes might not always happen to centre in one man,
and as it might be unsafe to permit less than a majority to be
conclusive, it is provided that, in such a contingency, the House of
Representatives shall select out of the candidates who shall have the
five highest number of votes, the man who in their opinion may be
best qualified for the office.
The process of election affords a moral certainty, that the office of
President will never fall to the lot of any man who is not in an
eminent degree endowed with the requisite qualifications. Talents for
low intrigue, and the little arts of popularity, may alone suffice to
elevate a man to the first honors in a single State; but it will require
other talents, and a different kind of merit, to establish him in the
esteem and confidence of the whole Union, or of so considerable a
portion of it as would be necessary to make him a successful
candidate for the distinguished office of President of the United
States. It will not be too strong to say, that there will be a constant
probability of seeing the station filled by characters pre-eminent for
ability and virtue. And this will be thought no inconsiderable
recommendation of the Constitution, by those who are able to
estimate the share which the executive in every government must
necessarily have in its good or ill administration. Though we cannot
acquiesce in the political heresy of the poet who says: “For forms of
government let fools contest That which is best administered is
best,” yet we may safely pronounce, that the true test of a good
government is its aptitude and tendency to produce a good
administration.
135

The Vice-President is to be chosen in the same manner with the
President; with this difference, that the Senate is to do, in respect to
the former, what is to be done by the House of Representatives, in
respect to the latter.
The appointment of an extraordinary person, as Vice-President, has
been objected to as superfluous, if not mischievous. It has been
alleged, that it would have been preferable to have authorized the
Senate to elect out of their own body an officer answering that
description. But two considerations seem to justify the ideas of the
convention in this respect. One is, that to secure at all times the
possibility of a definite resolution of the body, it is necessary that the
President should have only a casting vote. And to take the senator of
any State from his seat as senator, to place him in that of President of
the Senate, would be to exchange, in regard to the State from which
he came, a constant for a contingent vote. The other consideration is,
that as the Vice-President may occasionally become a substitute for
the President, in the supreme executive magistracy, all the reasons
which recommend the mode of election prescribed for the one, apply
with great if not with equal force to the manner of appointing the
other. It is remarkable that in this, as in most other instances, the
objection which is made would lie against the constitution of this
State. We have a Lieutenant-Governor, chosen by the people at
large, who presides in the Senate, and is the constitutional substitute
for the Governor, in casualties similar to those which would
authorize the Vice-President to exercise the authorities and discharge
the duties of the President.
PUBLIUS.
136
137
Appendix D

More Information Regarding
Political Campaign Contributions
Updates 1971-2003

The 1971 Federal Election Campaign Act, and its important
amendments in 1974, set up the following rules regarding campaign
finance:
1. National campaign finance laws are enforced by the Federal Election
Commission, made up of 3 Democrats and 3 Republicans

2. Candidates must report to the commission:
a. all campaign contributions and expenditures
b. the name, address, & occupation of all those who gave $100+

3. Candidates cannot accept:
a. cash contributions over $100
b. foreign contributions

4. Individuals may give:
a. $1000/election to a candidate
b. $5000/year to a Political Action Committee
c. $20,000/year to a political party

5. Political Action Committees must:
a. register 6 months in advance of an election
b. have at least 50 contributors
c. give to at least 5 candidates

6. Political Action Committees can give:
a. $5000/election to a candidate
b. $15,000/year to a party

7. Parties can give as much as they want to a candidate or a PAC---no
limits on funds received from a party

138
8. Individuals who do not get government funding may spend as much of
their own money as they like

9. There are no upper limits on spending in American elections.
Candidates can spend as much as they want, and, for higher offices,
this can run to the tens of millions

10. For presidential primary elections, candidates receive matching funds
from the government for every contribution of $250 or less, as long as
they raise at least $5000 in 20 different states

11. For the presidential general election, each major party receives a set
amount of public funds---around $70 million in 2000. Third party
candidates can qualify for a percentage of these funds if they get at
least 5% of the popular vote in the election (or the party received at
least 5% of the popular vote in the previous
presidential election)

In Buckley v. Valeo (1976), the Supreme Court ruled on these laws,
saying that:
1. Restrictions on money spent in political communication violates
the free speech provisions of the 1
st
Amendment
2. Government cannot place upper limits on expenditures
3. Government cannot restrict the amount of personal money a candidate
uses
4. Government cannot restrict the amount of “independent expenditures”--
-amount spent by groups unaffiliated with the campaign
5. All the other rules for campaign finance noted above were ruled
constitutional

Over time, loopholes emerged in the law:
1. “Bundling”---Group of related PACS can pool their resources and
present one big check to the candidate

2. “Soft Money”---money that goes to state political parties, theoretically
for registration and other “party-building” activities. In recent years,
this money has found its way into the campaigns of the party’s
presidential nominee, to the tune of $500 million in 2000 (Republicans
$300 million, Democrats $200 million). This is legal as long as the
money spent does not directly support or oppose a candidate
(according to Colorado Republican Federal Campaign Committee v.
139
FEC (1996). This money does not have to be disclosed to the
government. Also, this money can be tax-deductible, unlike other
political contributions.

3. “Independent Advertising”---groups unaffiliated with the campaign can
spend as much as they like, and they can directly support or oppose a
candidate (sometimes called “express advocacy”). This money does
have to be disclosed to the government.

4. “Issue Advertising”---interest groups can spend as much money as they
like, as
long as they merely put forth stands on issue and do not directly
support or oppose a candidate (sometimes called issue advocacy) This
money does not have to be disclosed to the government.

5. “Personal Spending”---individuals with great fortunes can spend as
much of their own money as they like, giving them a clear financial
advantage---For example, Jon Corzine spent $60 million to win a US
Senate seat in New Jersey in 2000; Ross Perot spent $73 million in his
presidential run in 1992

6. “Ineffectiveness of the FEC”---because the FEC is made up of party
people, it often refuses to enforce the law. For example, in 1996, it was
discovered that the Dole campaign illegally used $17 million of
taxpayer money in the presidential campaign and the Clinton campaign
illegally used $7 million. However, the FEC voted 6-0 to ignore these
violations and refused to order repayment by the campaigns.

In 2002, the Bipartisan Campaign Finance Reform Act (McCain-
Feingold) was passed:
1. Ban on raising or spending “soft money” by political candidates
2. Issue ads using “soft money” and mentioning a candidate by name
cannot be used within 60 days of a general election or within 30 days
of a primary election
3. Individual hard money contributions increased to $2000/election; hard
money contributions tripled for candidates running against self-
financed opponents
4. Ban on solicitation of funds on federal property
5. Ban on contributions from non-US citizens
140
6. State and local parties can raise up to $10,000 per donor for party
activities, but cannot use this money to promote candidates in national
elections

On December 10, 2003, the Supreme Court ruled on this law in
McConnell v. FEC (5-4 decision):
1. Upheld ban on “soft money” use for political parties
2. Upheld ban on issue ads and reaffirmed that bans on independent
expenditures are unconstitutional

Loopholes in the System that still exist:
1. Bundling
2. Independent Advertising
3. Self-financing, or candidates deciding not to participate in system
4. Weakness of the Federal Election Commission (FEC)
Important point to remember:
1. Candidates with most money do not always win (Howard Dean is a
good example)
2. Yet, without money it is difficult to have an effective campaign
Miscellaneous
On Monday, September 20, 2004, a federal judge struck down some of
FEC’s interpretation of existing campaign finance law:
1. Narrow test to determine whether a lawmaker was violating the soft
money solicitation ban---said lawmaker had to explicitly ask for soft
money to violate the ban
2. Exempted Internet ads from bans on coordination among interest
groups, candidates, and parties
3. Exempted an entire class of tax-exempt organizations from a ban on the
use of corporate or union money
4. Defined coordination as only an explicit agreement between a spender
and a candidate or party
5. Excluded from regulation all coordinated ads aired more than 120 days
before an election
The FEC was ordered to write new rules governing key aspects of fund-
raising and spending

Loopholes---by simply inserting the phrase “our leaders in Congress”, a
candidate can tap into millions of dollars in Party funds to support his/her
own election expenses. This is in addition to the $75 million each
presidential campaign can spend under federal law and the $16 million the
parties can spends on presidential campaign activities.

Appendix E
In July 2008 the Federal Election Commission (FEC/the Commission)
approved matching federal funds for six 2008 primary presidential
candidates for the period between January and the end of June. They
released the following information:
The following chart is a breakdown of the individual amounts that were
certified by the Commission.
Candidate Certified July 15
Joseph R. Biden (D) $1,135,035.94
Christopher J. Dodd (D) $514,173.62
John Edwards (D) $4,057,452.60
Duncan Hunter ® $353,527.32
Dennis Kucinich (D) $970,521.05
Ralph Nader (I) $411,187.85
Total $7,441,898.38
This brings the total matching fund certifications in the 2008 campaign
thus far to $26,729,403.03.
To become eligible for matching funds, candidates must raise a threshold
amount of $100,000 by collecting $5,000 in 20 different states in amounts
no greater than $250 from any individual. Other requirements to be
declared eligible include agreeing to an overall spending limit of
approximately $50 million, abiding by spending limits in each state, using
public funds only for legitimate campaign-related expenses, keeping
financial records and permitting an extensive campaign audit.
The federal government matches up to $250 of an individual’s total
contributions to an eligible candidate. Following the primary season,
candidates may be entitled to receive additional matching funds to assist in
141

winding down their campaigns or to retire debts. The maximum amount a
candidate can receive in 2008 is $21,025,000.
The Presidential public funding program is financed through the $3 check-
off that appears on individual income tax returns. The program provides for
distribution of funds for three separate purposes: (1) matching payments to
participating candidates during the primary campaign; (2) grants to parties
to help fund their nominating conventions ($16,820,000 to each major
party); and (3) grants available to nominees to pay for the general election
campaign ($84,100,000 to each major party nominee who chooses to
participate by agreeing not to accept private contributions for the general
election).
The Federal Election Commission (FEC) is an independent regulatory
agency that administers and enforces federal campaign finance laws. The
FEC has jurisdiction over the financing of campaigns for the U.S. House,
the U.S. Senate, the Presidency and the Vice Presidency. Established in
1975, the FEC is composed of six Commissioners who are nominated by
the President and confirmed by the U.S. Senate.
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Appendix F

Courtesy of Cornell University Law School
http://www.law.cornell.edu/uscode/3/usc.html
U.S. Code Title 3 Section 1
§ 15. Counting electoral votes in Congress

Congress shall be in session on the sixth day of January succeeding every
meeting of the electors. The Senate and House of Representatives shall
meet in the Hall of the House of Representatives at the hour of 1 o’clock in
the afternoon on that day, and the President of the Senate shall be their
presiding officer. Two tellers shall be previously appointed on the part of
the Senate and two on the part of the House of Representatives, to whom
shall be handed, as they are opened by the President of the Senate, all the
certificates and papers purporting to be certificates of the electoral votes,
which certificates and papers shall be opened, presented, and acted upon in
the alphabetical order of the States, beginning with the letter A; and said
tellers, having then read the same in the presence and hearing of the two
Houses, shall make a list of the votes as they shall appear from the said
certificates; and the votes having been ascertained and counted according
to the rules in this subchapter provided, the result of the same shall be
delivered to the President of the Senate, who shall thereupon announce the
state of the vote, which announcement shall be deemed a sufficient
declaration of the persons, if any, elected President and Vice President of
the United States, and, together with a list of the votes, be entered on the
Journals of the two Houses. Upon such reading of any such certificate or
paper, the President of the Senate shall call for objections, if any. Every
objection shall be made in writing, and shall state clearly and concisely,
and without argument, the ground thereof, and shall be signed by at least
one Senator and one Member of the House of Representatives before the
same shall be received. When all objections so made to any vote or paper
from a State shall have been received and read, the Senate shall thereupon
withdraw, and such objections shall be submitted to the Senate for its
decision; and the Speaker of the House of Representatives shall, in like
manner, submit such objections to the House of Representatives for its
decision; and no electoral vote or votes from any State which shall have
been regularly given by electors whose appointment has been lawfully
143

certified to according to section 6 of this title from which but one return
has been received shall be rejected, but the two Houses concurrently may
reject the vote or votes when they agree that such vote or votes have not
been so regularly given by electors whose appointment has been so
certified. If more than one return or paper purporting to be a return from a
State shall have been received by the President of the Senate, those votes,
and those only, shall be counted which shall have been regularly given by
the electors who are shown by the determination mentioned in section 5 of
this title to have been appointed, if the determination in said section
provided for shall have been made, or by such successors or substitutes, in
case of a vacancy in the board of electors so ascertained, as have been
appointed to fill such vacancy in the mode provided by the laws of the
State; but in case there shall arise the question which of two or more of
such State authorities determining what electors have been appointed, as
mentioned in section 5 of this title, is the lawful tribunal of such State, the
votes regularly given of those electors, and those only, of such State shall
be counted whose title as electors the two Houses, acting separately, shall
concurrently decide is supported by the decision of such State so
authorized by its law; and in such case of more than one return or paper
purporting to be a return from a State, if there shall have been no such
determination of the question in the State aforesaid, then those votes, and
those only, shall be counted which the two Houses shall concurrently
decide were cast by lawful electors appointed in accordance with the laws
of the State, unless the two Houses, acting separately, shall concurrently
decide such votes not to be the lawful votes of the legally appointed
electors of such State. But if the two Houses shall disagree in respect of the
counting of such votes, then, and in that case, the votes of the electors
whose appointment shall have been certified by the executive of the State,
under the seal thereof, shall be counted. When the two Houses have voted,
they shall immediately again meet, and the presiding officer shall then
announce the decision of the questions submitted. No votes or papers from
any other State shall be acted upon until the objections previously made to
the votes or papers from any State shall have been finally disposed of.
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Appendix G
FEC Summarizes Party Financial Activity
Washington Aug 15, 2008–The Federal Election Commission (FEC)
announced today that Republican party committees raised $409 million
from January 2007 through June 30, 2008. This represents about a one-
percent increase over a similar period in 2006, but reflects a 12-percent
decline in funds raised during the first six months of the 2004 Presidential
campaign.
Democratic party committees continued to raise more money than in
previous years, with total receipts of $351.1 million from January 2007
through June 30, 2008. This is an increase of 21 percent over a similar
period in 2006 and 26 percent higher than in 2004.
Among national party committees, the Republican National Committee
(RNC) and the Democratic Senatorial and Congressional Campaign
committees (DSCC and DCCC) reported the largest gains in receipts since
2006, though the RNC total remains below the comparable figure for 2004.
Receipts declined during the period for the Democratic National
Committee (DNC) and the Republican Senatorial and Congressional
committees (NRSC and NRCC). Tables 1 and 2 provide financial
information for these committees, as well as state and local party
organizations, for election cycles from 1996 through 2008.
Individual contributions continue to be the largest source of funds for party
committees. Republicans received $324 million from individuals (79
percent of their receipts), while Democrats received $265.6 million (76
percent of their total). Table 3 provides a breakdown of individual
contributions for the national committees. All committees, except the
DSCC, received more money in contributions of less than $200 each than
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in any other category. The DSCC received more in contributions of over
$20,000 than in any other contribution category.
The Bipartisan Campaign Reform Act (BCRA) of 2002 changed campaign
contribution limits, increasing individual contributions to national parties to
$25,000, adjusted for inflation. The inflation-adjusted limit for the 2007-
2008 election cycle is $28,500.
Political action committees (PACs) and other committees gave $36 million
to Republican party committees and $63.8 million to Democratic party
committees in 2007-2008. Much of this total is from House Democrats
who contributed $29.8 million from their campaign accounts to the DCCC.
House Republicans contributed $13.1 million to the NRCC. Table 4
provides a list of Member contributions to their respective Congressional
campaign committees. Contributions from Senate members to their party
committees are detailed in Table 5. Table 6 lists national party transfers to
state parties, where Democrats have transferred $12.6 million and
Republicans have transferred $2.1 million.
There is a wealth of information on the Federal Election Commission web
site: http://www.fec.gov too much to offer here. The following is relevant
to the material presented in this book:
Democratic Party Committee Financial Activity Through June 30, 2008
Republican Party Committee Financial Activity Through June
30Contributions from Individuals to National Party Committees by
Contribution Amount Member Contributions to the Congressional
Campaign Committees Member Contributions to the Senatorial Campaign
Committees National Party Transfers to States
The Federal Election Commission (FEC) is an independent
regulatory agency that administers and enforces federal
campaign finance laws. The FEC has jurisdiction over the
financing of campaigns for the U.S. House, the U.S. Senate, the
Presidency and the Vice Presidency. Established in 1975, the FEC
is composed of six Commissioners who are nominated by the
President and confirmed by the U.S. Senate.
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Appendix H

Tax Treatment of Political Contributions
http://www.fool.com/taxes/2000/taxes000922.htm
By Roy Lewis
You can’t deduct any money that is paid either directly or indirectly
to a political party or candidate. This is true whether you make the
contribution personally or through your business.

Simply stated, you can’t deduct, as a business expense or as an
itemized deduction, any money paid for:
1. Advertising in a political party’s convention program, or in
any other publication, if part of the publication’s proceeds
benefits a political party or candidate.
2. A ticket to a dinner or program that is intended to benefit a
political party or candidate.
3. A ticket to any inaugural event—including balls, galas,
concerts, parades, etc.—since such events are generally
associated with the installation of elected political candidates.
If, for example, you buy a ticket to a fundraising dinner for a
political candidate, you cannot deduct any part of the price of the
ticket, even if the candidate donates the proceeds to charity.
Similarly, you can’t deduct the price of a ticket to an event—even if
it is held for a candidate who was unsuccessful in his bid for political
office. For example, the price of a ticket to an event to retire a
candidate’s campaign debt is not deductible.

You should be aware that these rules apply not only to funds that you
pay to the two national political parties but also to:
147

1. Any national, state, or local committee of a political party;
and
2. Any committee, association, or organization whose purpose
is to influence the election of any individual to public office.
This being the case, you can’t deduct any contributions that you
make to a political action committee (PAC) if the PAC spends
money to influence the selection, nomination, or election of any
individual to elected public office. Since most PACs undertake such
influence in some way or another, it’s likely that any payments you
make to a PAC will be non-deductible contributions.
148

Appendix J

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Campaign_finance_in_the_United_States
edited in some places

McCain-Feingold Act
(legal limits effective 1- 1-03)

As noted in McConnell v. FEC, a United States Supreme Court
ruling on the Bipartisan Campaign Reform Act (BCRA), the Act was
designed to address two issues:
x The increased role of soft money in campaign financing, by
prohibiting national political party committees from raising
or spending any funds not subject to federal limits, even for
state and local races or issue discussion;
x The proliferation of issue ads, by defining as “electioneering
communications” broadcast ads that name a federal candidate
within 30 days of a primary or caucus or 60 days of a general
election, and prohibiting any such ad paid for by a
corporation (including non-profit issue organizations such as
Right to Life or the Environmental Defense Fund) or paid for
by an unincorporated entity using any corporate or union
funds.
‘Hard’ money is contributed directly to a candidate or to a political
party. It is regulated by law and monitored by the FEC (Federal
Election Commission).
Soft money is contributed to organizations and committees other
than candidate campaigns and political parties (except, where legal,
to state and local parties for use solely in state and local races). Soft
money is contributed to organizations, often called “527s,” that work
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to elect candidates and influence issues, but may not be spent for ads
specifically promoting the election or defeat of a candidate.
Prior to the 2002 passage of the McCain-Feingold, after its lead
sponsors, Republican John McCain of Arizona and Democrat Russ
Feingold of Wisconsin), political parties and other organizations
could spend unregulated soft money for a variety of activities,
including issue-advertising, a broad term that included any
advertising that stopped short of expressly advocating the election or
defeat of a candidate through words and phrases such as “vote for,”
“vote against,” “support,” “defeat,” or “elect.” As it was not actually
received or spent by the candidate’s campaign, and did not expressly
advocate the election or defeat of a candidate, there were no legal
limits. McCain-Feingold prohibited national political parties from
raising or spending “soft money,” but other organizations may still
do so.
Beginning in the late 1970s, parties successfully petitioned the FEC
to be allowed to spend soft money on non-federal party building and
administrative costs. Soon, this use of soft money expanded to voter
registration, get out the vote, and issue advertising. For example, a
wealthy individual could give a large contribution in soft money to a
political party. The party could then spend this money on political
ads. These ads could not explicitly or expressly advocate the election
or defeat of a candidate (“Vote for Smith,” “Elect Smith,” “Send
Smith to Congress,” “Vote Against Jones,” or “Defeat Jones”), but
they could use the names of candidates (“John Smith is an honest
man who…; Bill Jones is a chronic liar who’s ….”
Campaign finance reform had been debated for years without any
major changes to campaign finance laws. The Reform Party, founded
by Ross Perot, made it a central issue in its platform, and when Perot
ran for president in 1992 and 1996 he strongly argued for it. It again
became a major issue in the 2000 U.S. presidential election,
especially with candidates John McCain and Ralph Nader.
Organizations in favor of campaign finance reform included many
public interest groups, such as Common Cause, Democracy 21, the
Campaign Legal Center, and Democracy Matters. Opposition came
150

from a coalition of organizations such as the American Civil
Liberties Union (which argued that campaign finance reform would
harm free speech) and the National Rifle Association, National Right
to Life Committee, and other interest groups.
The Bipartisan Campaign Reform Act amended the Federal Election
Campaign Act (1971) to ban national political party committees
(most prominently the Democratic National Committee and
Republican National Committee) from accepting or spending soft
money contributions. It also included a “stand by your ad” provision
requiring candidates to appear in campaign advertisements and claim
responsibility for the ad (most commonly with a phrase similar to
“I’m John Smith and I approve this message.”
The legislation was challenged in McConnell v. FEC (2003), but
most of the act was upheld by the Supreme Court. However, a
further challenge in FEC v. Wisconsin Right to Life, Inc. (2007), with
new justices on the Supreme Court, resulted in parts of McConnell
being reversed.
Many of the soft money-funded activities previously undertaken by
political parties have been taken over by various 527 groups, which
funded many issue ads in the 2004 presidential election. In 2006 the
Campaign Finance Institute issued a study on 527 groups.
The study shows that many advocacy groups deploy three different
types of organization—political action committees (PACs), 527
groups, and 501© advocacy entities—in their efforts to influence
federal elections and public policy. These cumulative, coordinated
efforts increase the groups’ financial influence in elections. The CFI
analysis presents much new information about the major role played
by 501©(4) social welfare, ©(5) labor union and ©(6) trade
association organizations in elections, and the different ways in
which they and related 527 organizations are used by Republican and
Democratic-oriented groups.

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Bundling
Another consequence of the limitation upon personal contributions
from any one individual ($2300 for each election, with a total of
$4600 for a primary and general election as of 2007) is that
campaigns seek out “bundlers”, people who can gather contributions
from many individuals in an organization or community, and present
the sum to the campaign. Campaigns then elevate and publicize these
bundlers to an elite level. Bundlers became especially important after
the 2002 revision to campaign finance law made unrestricted soft
money more difficult to get through corporations and other big
organizations.
Bundling had existed in various forms since limits on contributions
were enacted at the federal level and in most states in the 1970s.
EMILY’s List, for example, was involved in early bundling-like
activities.
However, bundling became organized in a more structured way in
the 2000s, spearheaded by the “Bush Pioneers” for George W.
Bush’s 2000 and 2004 presidential campaigns. One infamous former
“bundler” was Democratic Party supporter and apparel manufacturer
Norman Hsu, who achieved a prominent role as one of Hillary
Rodham Clinton’s “HillRaisers” for her 2008 presidential campaign.
Hsu was then found to be a fugitive from an early 1990s fraud
charge; in such cases, campaigns usually return or donate to charity
the contributions that the person in question gave, but are left with
the thorny question of whether to return all the other contributions
that bundler gave. In some cases, including Hsu’s, bundlers are
suspected of having donated their own money under others’ names
(to circumvent the individual contribution limit) or of having coerced
employees or others to make contributions with their own money.
Bundlers are a worry to campaigns who desire the money they raise
but fear revelations about them.
During the 2008 campaign the six leading primary candidates (three
Democratic, three Republican) had listed a total of nearly two
152

thousand bundlers.
Current provisions of federal campaign finance laws
Disclosure
Current campaign finance law at the federal level requires candidate
committees, party committees and PACs to file periodic reports
disclosing the money they raise and spend. Federal candidate
committeees must identify, for example, all PACs and party
committees that give them contributions, and they must provide the
names, occupations, employers and addresses of all individuals who
give them more than $200 in an election cycle. Additionally, they
must disclose expenditures to any individual or vendor.
Similar reporting requirements exist in many states for state and
local candidates and for PACs and party committees.
Increasingly, political committees on all levels are required to
electronically file campaign finance statements.
Most political advertising, including all advertising that specifically
advocates the election or defeat of a candidate for federal office, is
required to identify the source of its funding. In elections for national
office (Congress and president/vice-president), television ads from a
candidate must feature a shot of the candidate’s face and have the
candidate personally identify himself/herself, saying, “I approved
this message.” This rule was added by the Bipartisan Campaign
Reform Act so that candidates could not engage in negative
campaign advertising without the source of the ads being clear.
Although as of 2007 little empirical research had been done on its
effects, the general perception appears to be that it has not had a
noticeable effect on the tone of campaigning.

Independent Expenditures
The Supreme Court’s ruling in Buckley v. Valeo (1976) held that
expenditures made independently of a candidate’s campaign could
153

not be limited under the Constitution. If expenditures are made in
“coordination” with a campaign, however, they may be regulated as
contributions.
Corporate and Union Activity
Even though corporations and labor organizations may not make
contributions or expenditures in connection with federal elections,
they may establish PACs. Corporate and labor PACs raise voluntary
contributions from a restricted class of individuals. In the case of
unions, this consist of union members and their families. For
corporations, the restricted class consists of managerial employees
and stockholders and their families. These funds may be used to
support federal candidates and political committees, either through
independent expenditures or through contributions to candidates. A
PAC is limited to a maximum contribution of $5000 to a candidate
committee.
Although prohibited from using their resources to “expressly
advocate” the election or defeat of federal candidates, or to make
contributions directly to candidates or parties, corporations and labor
organizations may conduct a variety of activities related to federal
elections, in addition to those conducted through a PAC. Though
they may not use general treasury funds to pay for “electioneering
communications” - broadcast ads referring to candidates for federal
election without expressly advocating their election or defeat—in the
60 days prior to a general election, or 30 days prior to a primary
election, they may advocate for political issues and mention federal
candidates while doing so, if outside the 30/60 day time frame for
“electioneering communications,” or at any time through non-
broadcast media. They may also engage in certain non-partisan voter
registration and get-out-the-vote campaigns.
Additionally, over half the states allow some level of direct corporate
contributions or spending in state and local races.

154
Political Party Activity
Political parties are active in federal elections at the local, state and
national levels. Most party committees organized at the state and
national levels as well as some committees organized at the local
level are required to register with the FEC and file reports disclosing
their federal campaign activities.
Party committees may contribute funds directly to federal
candidates, subject to the contribution limits. National and state party
committees may make additional “coordinated expenditures,”
subject to limits, to help their nominees in general elections. National
party committees may also make unlimited “independent
expenditures” to support or oppose federal candidates. However,
since 2002, national parties have been prohibited from accepting any
funds outside the limits established for elections in the Federal
Election Campaign Act. State party and local committees are also
subject to restrictions on the funds they may spend in connection
with an election in which a federal candidate is on the ballot.
Party committees must report with the FEC once their federal
election activities exceed certain dollar thresholds specified in the
law.

155

Table of Donation Limits


To each
candidate
1
To
national
party
committee
2
To state,
district &
local party
committee
2
To any
other
political
committee
2

Special Limits
Individual may
give
$2,300 $28,500
3
$10,000
4
$5,000
$108,200
3
overall
biennial limit;
x $42,700
3
to all
candidat
es
x $65,500
3
to all
PACs
and
parties
National Party
Committee may
give
$5,000 No limit No limit $5,000
$39,900
3
to
Senate candidate
per campaign
5
State, District
and Local Party
Committee may
give
$5,000
4
No limit No limit $5,000
4
No limit
PAC
(multicandidate)
6

may give
$5,000 $15,000 $5,000
4
$5,000 No limit
PAC (not
multicandidate)
6

may give
$2,300
3
$28,500
3
$10,000
4
$5,000 No limit
Authorized
Campaign
Committee may
give
$2,000
7
No limit No limit $5,000 No limit
156

Table Footnotes
1
per election
2
per calendar year
3
indexed for inflation
4
combined limit
5
This limit is
shared by the national committee and by the national Senate campaign committee
6
A multicandidate
committee is a political committee with more than 50 contributors which has been registered for at least
6 months and, with the exception of state party committees, has made contributions to 5 or more
candidates for federal office.
7
A federal candidate’s authorized committee(s) may contribute no more
than $2,000 per election to another federal candidate’s authorized committee(s).
(Table is from the FEC website 2008.)
Public financing of campaigns
At the federal level, public funding is limited to subsidies for
presidential candidates. To receive subsidies in the primary,
candidates must qualify by privately raising $5000 each in at least 20
states. For qualified candidates, the government provides a dollar for
dollar “match” from the government for each contribution to the
campaign, up to a limit of $250 per contribution. In return, the
candidate agrees to limit his or her spending according to a statutory
formula.
From the inception of this program in 1976 through 1992, almost all
candidates who could qualify accepted matching funds in the
primary. However, in 1996 Republican Steve Forbes opted out of the
program. In 2000, Forbes and George W. Bush opted out. In 2004
Bush and Democrats John Kerry and Howard Dean chose not to take
matching funds in the primary.
In 2008, Democrats Hillary Clinton and Barack Obama, and
Republicans John McCain, Rudy Giuliani, Mitt Romney and Ron
Paul decided not to take matching funds. Republican Tom Tancredo
and Democrats Chris Dodd, Joe Biden and John Edwards elected to
take public financing.
By refusing matching funds, these candidates are free to spend as
much money as they can raise privately. In addition to primary
matching funds, the federal government subsidizes the presidential
nominating conventions of the major parties (the Democratic
National Convention and Republican National Convention). The
nominees are then offered the opportunity to accept government
funds for the general election. If they accept the government funds,
157

they agree not to raise or spend private funds or to spend more than
$50,000 of their personal resources. No major party has turned down
government funds for the general election since the program was
launched in 1976, until Senator Barack Obama did so in 2008, or for
General Election Legal and Accounting Compliance Funds
(GELACs), which pay for attorneys and closeout costs but are not
supposed to pay for campaigning or advertising.
The presidential public financing system is funded by a $3 tax
check-off on individual tax returns (the check off does not increase
the filer’s taxes, but merely directs $3 to the presidential fund).
However, the number of taxpayers who use the check off has fallen
steadily since the early 1980s, and in 2006 fewer than 8 percent of
taxpayers were directing money to the fund.
A small number of states and cities have started to use broader
programs for public financing of campaigns. One method, which its
supporters call Clean Money, Clean Elections, gives each candidate
who chooses to participate a certain, set amount of money. In order
to qualify for this money, the candidates must collect a specified
number of signatures and small (usually $5) contributions. The
candidates are not allowed to accept outside donations or to use their
own personal money if they receive this public funding. Candidates
who choose to raise money privately rather than accept the
government subsidy are subject to significant administrative burdens
and legal restrictions, with the result that most candidates accept the
subsidy. This procedure has been in place in races for all statewide
and legislative offices in Arizona and Maine since 2000, where a
majority of officials were elected without spending any private
contributions on their campaigns. Connecticut passed a Clean
Elections law in 2005, along with the cities of Portland, Oregon and
Albuquerque, New Mexico; cities such as Chapel Hill, North
Carolina are considering implementing public financing of local
elections. A 2003 study by the GAO found that “It is too soon to
determine the extent to which the goals of Maine’s and Arizona’s
public financing programs are being met.”
158

Appendix K
How Individual States Choose Their Electors


Nominated by Names on
ballot?
Legally
bound?
Alabama Party No Yes
Alaska Party No Yes
Arizona Primary Yes No
Arkansas Convention No No
California Special No Yes
Colorado Party No Yes
Connecticut Convention No Yes
Delaware Convention No No
DC Committee No Yes
Florida Committee No No
Georgia Convention No No
Hawaii Convention No Yes
Idaho Convention Yes No
Illinois Convention No No
Indiana Convention No No
Iowa Convention No No
Kansas Party Yes No
Kentucky Party No No
Louisiana Party No No
Maine Convention No Yes
Maryland Convention No Yes
Massachusetts Committee No Yes
Michigan Convention No No
Minnesota Convention No No
Mississippi Primary Yes No
159

Missouri Party No No
Montana Party No No
Nebraska Convention No No
Nevada Convention No Yes
New
Hampshire
Convention No No
New Jersey Committee No No
New Mexico Convention No With penalty
New York Committee No No
North Carolina Convention No With penalty
North Dakota Convention Yes No
Ohio Convention No Yes
Oklahoma Convention Yes With penalty
Oregon Party No Yes
Pennsylvania Presidential
candidate
No No
Rhode Island Convention No No
South Carolina Committee Yes With penalty
South Dakota Convention Yes No
Tennessee Party Yes Yes
Texas Party No No
Utah Convention No No
Vermont Convention No No
Virginia Convention Yes Yes
Washington Party No With penalty
West Virginia Convention No No
Wisconsin Legislators &
candidates
No No
Wyoming Convention No Yes

In 1892 the U.S. Supreme Court in McPherson v. Blacker interpreted
Article II of the U.S. Constitution to mean that citizens do not
160

appoint their state’s electors; each individual state government does.

In essence that means state legislators choose the President of the
United States, not American voters.
Partisan politics is accepted in the legislative and executive branches
of government but one would expect the third branch; the judicial to
be neutral. That is the genius of our federal government’s checks and
balances. However, the reality is that judges have their own political
biases, try as they will to be neutral; it is human nature. The saving
grace is that over time rulings can be reversed but when they are
made they are honored by all Americans. Instead of revolting,
dissenters work on legal challenges. That is their right and our
system of government.
Thomas Jefferson can take the credit or blame for the winner-take-all
system now used by most states when instructing their electors. In
fact during his presidency he refused to support a constitutional
amendment mandating a district system across the nation. His
decision was unquestionably partisan. He won the presidency with
the winner-take-all system even though in 1787 the majority of
Constitutional framers agreed apportioning votes according to the
majority reached in individual districts was the fairest way to go.
Many scholars, a majority of citizens and certainly the students that
participated in our essay contests believe the winner-take-all system
is not fair and should be outlawed.. Many favor a constitutional
amendment to address the issue. It is reasonable to assume that some
people fear that a constitutional amendment might lead us to
abandon the Electoral College altogether. Even activists are reluctant
to call for a constitutional amendment perhaps because of nostalgia
and reverence for what was penned by the nation’s founders.
In California, the home of the Harry Singer Foundation, Governor
Schwarzenegger vetoed AB 2948 the 2006 National Popular Vote
Proposal. That legislation demanded that California’s electors vote
for the U.S. popular vote winner even though not the popular choice
of California voters.

The chart reproduced below shows the distribution of 2004 and 2008
Electoral Votes based on the 2000 Census.
161

Total Electoral Vote: 538; Majority Needed to Elect: 270
State 2004 and 2008
Alabama 9
Alaska 3
Arizona 10
Arkansas 6
California 55
Colorado 9
Connecticut 7
Delaware 3
D.C. 3
Florida 27
Georgia 15
Hawaii 4
Idaho 4
Illinois 21
Indiana 11
Iowa 7
Kansas 6
Kentucky 8
Louisiana 9
Maine 4
Maryland 10
162

Massachusetts 12
Michigan 17
Minnesota 10
Mississippi 6
Missouri 11
Montana 3
Nebraska 5
Nevada 5
New Hampshire 4
New Jersey 15
New Mexico 5
New York 31
North Carolina 15
North Dakota 3
Ohio 20
Oklahoma 7
Oregon 7
Pennsylvania 21
Rhode Island 4
South Carolina 8
South Dakota 3
Tennessee 11
Texas 34
163

Utah 5
Vermont 3
Virginia 13
Washington 11
West Virginia 5
Wisconsin 10
Wyoming 3

Frequently Asked Questions
These are questions not covered by the students earlier in this
book and from the government web site:
http://www.archives.gov/federal-register/electoral-college/faq.html

How does the Electoral College process work in my State?
For information on the electoral process in your State, you may wish
to contact the Secretary of State of your State.

To find your Secretary of State, go to the web site for the National
Association of Secretaries of State: http://www.nass.org.


Where do I find the names of the 2004 Presidential electors??
The 2004 Certificates of Ascertainment list the approved electors for
the 2004 Presidential election.


May I attend the meeting of my State’s electors to watch them
vote?
164

Generally, each State’s electors vote at their respective State
capitols. Each State determines whether or not the voting is open to
the public.
To find out if your State’s Meeting of Electors is open to the public
and if so, what the process is to view the vote, contact your:
Governor’s Office the Secretary of State.


What proposals have been made to change the Electoral College
system?.
Opinions on the viability of the Electoral College system may be
affected by attitudes toward third parties. Third parties have not
fared well in the Electoral College system. Candidates with regional
appeal, such as Governor Thurmond in 1948 and Governor Wallace
in 1968, won blocs of electoral votes in the South, which may have
affected the outcome, but did not come close to seriously challeng-
ing the major party winner. The last third party or splinter party
candidate to make a strong showing was Theodore Roosevelt in 1912
(Progressive, also known as the Bull Moose Party). He finished a
distant second in electoral and popular votes (taking 88 of the 266
electoral votes needed to win)…. Any candidate who wins a majority
or plurality of the popular vote has a good chance of winning in the
Electoral College, but there are no guarantees (web site offers the
results of 1824, 1876, 1888 and 2000 elections).


Is there an online source listing the names and voting records of
presidential electors for all previous presidential elections back
to 1789?
We are not aware of a centralized, comprehensive source. This web
site has the information for the past three elections:
1992 Electoral College Votes
1996 Electoral College Votes
2000 Electoral College Votes
This web site also offers links to State web sites relating to the
Electoral College. Indiana and Maryland have posted the names and
voting records of their electors on their respective web sites:

165


How many times has the Vice President been chosen by the U.S.
Senate?
Once, In the Presidential election of 1836, the election for Vice
President was decided in the Senate. Martin Van Buren’s running
mate, Richard M. Johnson, fell one vote short of a majority in the
Electoral College. Vice Presidential candidates Francis Granger and
Johnson had a “run-off” in the Senate under the 12
th
Amendment,
where Johnson was elected 33 votes to 17.
166

Appendix L


Spending limits are an infringement on free speech but limits on
contributions are not.
The 1976 Supreme Court ruled in Buckley v. Valeo, that the 1974
spending limits on campaigns was unconstitutional because spending
is a form of free speech protected by the First Amendment guarantee
against government interference. On the other hand, limits on
contributions to political campaigns were upheld as not necessary to
uphold the integrity of the electoral process.
While debating Colorado Republican Committee v. Federal Election
Commission, on June 27, 1996, Justice Clarence Thomas, counseled
reversal of the 1976 Buckley v. Valeo decision. He claimed its
rationale for allowing contribution limits, while banning spending
limits, was misguided. He wrote, “I believe that contribution limits
infringe as directly and as seriously upon freedom of political
expression and association as do expenditure limits.”
In October, 1998 Twenty-six State Attorneys General led by Tom
Miller of Iowa filed a friend-of-the-court brief asking the U.S.
Supreme Court to reconsider its 1976 ruling that mandatory
campaign spending limitations
Iowa Attorney General Miller alleged that unrestricted campaign
spending threatens public confidence in the election process.
Legislatures at every level should not be barred from considering
whether spending limits are necessary to protect the electoral
process.”
167



DNC = Democratic National Committee RNC = Republican National Committee
DSCC = Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee
DCCC = Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee
NRSC = National Republican Senatorial Committee
NRCC = National Republican Congressional Committee
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