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Articles on Electoral College

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What happens when an election is contested? Gorilla Studio/Getty

A contested election: 5 essential reads

The upcoming presidential election outcome may be disputed. Five scholars provide a history of contested elections in the US and explain what happens when an election outcome is challenged.
Richard Nixon, celebrating his election on Nov. 7, 1968, campaigned against a backdrop of racial inequality, civic unrest and polarized politics. AFP via Getty Images

1968’s presidential election looks a lot like today’s – but it was very different

There are similarities between the law-and-order language used by the 1968 and 2020 presidential candidates and the racial tension and political polarization both years. But much is different.
If the House of Representatives selects the president, each state would get a single vote – not one vote per House member. iStock / Getty Images Plus

How Congress could decide the 2020 election

Biden and Trump are both preparing for a court battle in November. But when the Electoral College produces no clear winner, it's the House of Representatives that's supposed to select the president.
The Florida legislature could play a role in deciding the 2020 presidential election. AP Photo/Steve Cannon

Could a few state legislatures choose the next president?

This is not the first time the prospect of state legislatures ignoring the popular vote and appointing their own slate of electors has arisen.
With rare exceptions, like the 2000 presidential election, the winning candidate usually declares victory on election night. But the win isn’t actually certified until January. ranklin McMahon/CORBIS/Corbis via Getty Images

Who formally declares the winner of the US presidential election?

No, it's not the TV news networks. The American election certification process is a lot more complicated than that.
Delegates after Donald Trump accepted the GOP presidential nomination at the Republican National Convention in Cleveland, Ohio on Thursday, July 21, 2016. Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call/via Getty

Political conventions today are for partying and pageantry, not picking nominees

Political conventions used to pick presidential nominees in private. Now the public picks the nominee and then the party has a big party at the convention, writes a scholar of US elections.
A congressional staffer opens the boxes containing the Electoral College ballots in January 2017. Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call

Electoral College benefits whiter states, study shows

With a Supreme Court ruling rejecting one of the founders' two reasons for creating the Electoral College, only one reason remains: racism.
Staff of the House of Representatives review Illinois’ Electoral College vote report in January 2017. Samuel Corum/Anadolu Agency/Getty Images

The Electoral College is surprisingly vulnerable to popular vote changes

Mathematically speaking, the Electoral College is built to virtually ensure narrow victories, making it very susceptible to manipulation and disinformation.
On Dec. 19, 2016, Colorado elector Micheal Baca, in T-shirt second from left, cast his electoral ballot for John Kasich, though Hillary Clinton had won his state’s popular vote. AP Photo/Brennan Linsley

Supreme Court to decide the future of the Electoral College

Many Americans are surprised to learn that Electoral College members do not necessarily have to pick the candidate their state's voters favored. Or do they?
Nevada’s six Democratic electors sign their official ballots in December 2016. AP Photo/Scott Sonner

What could replace the Electoral College?

There are many more ways to elect a president than the US method – and several alternatives beyond the popular vote.
North Carolina Electoral College representatives sign the Certificates of Vote in December 2016. REUTERS/Jonathan Drake

The Electoral College will never make everyone happy

A quirk of mathematics gives voters in some small states, like Rhode Island and Nebraska, an extra edge over voters in other states. This happens not only in the US, but in other countries, too.
Will Donald Trump peacefully vacate the Oval Office if he loses the presidential election in 2020? The American 1800 election showed that peaceful transitions of power are the result of choices made by individuals. (AP Photo/Alex Brandon)

Would Trump concede in 2020? A lesson from 1800

Throughout the course of American history, peaceful transitions of power have been the result of choices made by individuals, not the U.S. political system. What does that mean if Trump loses in 2020?
The Supreme Court is on summer vacation, but because of John Roberts, they may have to come back. AP/J. Scott Applewhite

Roberts rules: The 2 most important Supreme Court decisions this year were about fair elections and the chief justice

Conflict made its way to the Supreme Court this past session with two cases – one about the census, the other about gerrymandering. A court scholar says the two cases are intimately connected.

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