Janus Constitution Day 2017

Miami University's 2017 Constitution Day Lecture:

Why I love the Electoral College (And You Should Too)

Allen C. Guelzo, Henry R. Luce Professor of the Civil War Era, and Director of Civil War Era Studies at Gettysburg College

On September 11, 2017, the Department of Political Science welcomed renowned Civil War scholar Allen C. Guezlo from Gettysburg College.  Dr. Guezlo, while renowned for his writing on President Abraham Lincoln, addressed a topic that has seen increasing relevance in this century- the Electoral College.  A passionate defender of the institution, Dr. Guelzo, like any great history professor, began his lecture with a trip back in time.  He explained that federalism, the sharing of power between the national and state government, is the essence of the Electoral College.  He argued that our federal system was never intended to be pure democracy, as a national popular vote would indicate.  He further argued that a pure popular vote would skew representation toward the largest population centers (New York, Los Angeles, Chicago), where it would be most efficient to campaign.  On the assertion that the Electoral College gives too much power to rural states, he argued the problem is the large states (NY, CA) should probably be divided into smaller states to have a more equitable balance in the Senate and Electoral College.  Overall, Dr. Guezlo’s studies in history clearly informed his belief in the continued utility of the Electoral College.