11/25

2019

Center for Global Humanities Lecture/Seminar Series

American Democracy and the Electoral College

Portland Forum in Innovation Hall
Robert Alexander

Free and open to the public

In the aftermath of the 2016 election, heated calls to abolish the Electoral College were made in large part because the winning candidate received nearly 3 million fewer votes from across the country than their opponent. At the same time, many lauded the institution for working as intended—particularly as it relates to federalism. Debate over the body continues to ferment as the 2020 election looms. Alexander's book, Representation and the Electoral College, examines the origin, evolution, and practice of the Electoral College. Much of the controversy relating to the institution revolves around whether one relies on the original Electoral College or the evolved Electoral College to inform their perspective. Understanding the origin and evolution of the body allows us to more appropriately evaluate contemporary arguments over the institution. This lecture will discuss how the original body has changed and what these changes have meant for representation regarding the Electoral College. Alexander will spend particular attention examining a commonly overlooked feature of the Electoral College—presidential electors. The behavior of these mostly anonymous individuals is critical to the operation of the body. Having gathered the most extensive dataset on electors, there is much more happening beneath the surface than most realize. This was especially important in 2016.

Address

Portland Forum in Innovation Hall
716 Stevens Avenue
Portland, ME 04103
United States

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Robert Alexander Lectures at U N E Center for Global Humanities

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