Would you vote to abolish the Electoral College? Yesterday, we reported on the rising political furor over our system of electing presidents. Today, let’s find out how your opinion stacks up with others.
FIRST: How many proposals have been made to reform or eliminate the Electoral College? 100? 200? 300?
You might be surprised. I was.
The answer is: Over 700 proposals to amend, reform, or abolish the Electoral College have been introduced in Congress over the past 200 years, according to the National Archives & Records Administration (NARA). “There have been more proposals for Constitutional amendments on changing the Electoral College than on any other subject,” NARA reports.
SECOND: What do Americans think?
The answer is: If the Electoral College were put to a popular vote—it would be dumped. A majority of Americans oppose this system of indirect elections, preferring that the president be elected directly by citizens. Sixty-one percent in 2000 wanted to replace the Electoral College with a system of direct elections, according to Gallup, and this was the same percentage in 2004. A survey in 2010 by a different polling outfit puts the figure even higher: three of four (74%) Americans want to scrap the Electoral College.
In past surveys, a large majority of lawyers have favored abolishing the system, according to NARA. In contrast, most political scientists support it.
Would you vote to abolish the Electoral College?
What would you replace it with?
Originally published at www.OurValues.org, an online experiment in civil dialogue on American values.