Participation, and Elections

“We the People,”(12th edition by Benjamin Ginsberg and 5 others) Chapter 7, “Political Parties, Participation, and Elections,” Pages 204-241

“What You Can Do: Register to Vote,” Page 242

Study Guide, Pages 242-245

“Amid Pandemic and Upheaval, New Cyber Risks to the Presidential Election,” New York Times online, June 7, 2020

How we vote, and how government manages voting, is an ongoing issue in American politics. In recent years, online voting has been explored as an option. It hasn’t gone very far because of security concerns. But many state and local governments store and process voting information in online systems. Are those systems secure against hackers, and what does it mean for the 2020 presidential election? Follow this link:

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You’re going to vote for president this year — or are you? Actually, in Florida, you’re going to vote for a committee of 29 people who may or may not vote for the candidate you selected. Those 29 are called electors. But you won’t see them on the ballot, which instead will list the candidates for president and vice president.

Confusing? Well, yes. It’s the Electoral College, established in Article 2, Section 1 of the Constitution. (See Pages A15-16 of your textbook.) The third paragraph of Article 2, Section 1 is in italics because it was replaced by the 12th amendment. (See Pages A22-23.) To understand the Electoral College, follow these three links to the National Archives website:

“What Is the Electoral College?” National Archives

https://www.archives.gov/electoral-college/about

“Electoral College History,” National Archives

https://www.archives.gov/electoral-college/history#whyec

“Distribution of Electoral Votes,” National Archives

https://www.archives.gov/electoral-college/allocation

Here is some additional reading that should be helpful for your essay:

“The Electoral College Is Hated by Many. So Why Does It Endure?” New York Times online, by reporters Jonathan Mahler and Steve Eder, Nov. 10, 2016

“In Defense of the Electoral College,” by Richard A. Posner, University of Chicago Law School senior lecturer, Slate online, Nov. 12, 2012

https://slate.com/news-and-politics/2012/11/defending-the-electoral-college.html

The U.S. Supreme Court is expected to rule soon — possibly next Monday — on a major issue regarding the Electoral College. Read about it here:

“Supreme Court to decide the future of the ElectoralCollege,” by Morgan Marieta, political science professor, University of Massachusetts, in The Conversation online, June 17, 2020

https://theconversation.com/supreme-court-to-decide-the-future-of-the-electoral-college-138754

WATCH:

Video, “Does your vote count? The Electoral College explained,” 5:21

RESPOND:

With your new knowledge of the Electoral College, write an essay of between one and two pages, which in Microsoft Word would be 22 to 44 lines double spaced. The topic:

WHY THE ELECTORAL COLLEGE IS THE BEST WAY TO ELECT A PRESIDENT

or

WHY THE ELECTORAL COLLEGE SHOULD BE REPLACED (AND BY WHAT)

Type one line at the top of Page 1: Your Name, POS 2041, Electoral College

 

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