History of the Electoral College - Reading Comprehension
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History of the Electoral College Reading Comprehension
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History of the Electoral College
By Phyllis Naegeli
  

1     The way we choose our president is unique. In many democratic societies, the people directly elect the leader. In others, the country's legislative body chooses the leader. However, in America, we have a system of indirect election called the Electoral College. This system came into use following the Constitutional Convention. During the drafting of our Constitution, the state delegates reached the topic of choosing our president. Three different options were weighed during the debate.
 
2     Some delegates wanted to give Congress the authority to choose our president. They believed that the Congress represented the will of the people and therefore, should choose their leader. Those in opposition felt this would concentrate too much power in one branch of the government. Their concern was that this would upset the system of checks and balances needed in the three-branch system. Additionally, they believed that bargaining would be necessary to choose a leader. They feared this would bring about corruption and division in the lawmaking body of our government.
 
3     The second option considered was allowing state legislatures to choose the president. Many delegates felt this would undermine the whole reason for a strong central government. Opponents believed the states' fierce loyalty to their own rights would never allow them to compromise in choosing a president. Because states would prefer someone from within their territory, it would be difficult for one candidate to receive a clear majority. Additionally, the larger states would have an advantage over the smaller states solely because of their population. This would lead to "favorite sons" - popular politicians in a region or state - gaining an unfair advantage.

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