Electoral College and Slavery

Yale Con Law professor Akhil Amar was on the WYBC show today. He told us that the formation of the electoral college was in response to demands of the Southern States for power. He explained that because slaves could not vote, but were counted 3/5 towards representation in the electoral college, Southern voters received a disproportionate share of electoral votes.  During the first 32 out of 36 years of this country,  we were represented by a President from Virginia, a Southern slave state.  The irony of this is not lost on me: the more slaves there were, the stronger the chances of electing a person who would not abolish slavery, because the slave state itself became more populous and powerful in a presidential election. To me, this is stunning news, because I was always taught that the purpose of the electoral college was to represent smaller states.

If the organizations who represent blacks in this country understood the origin of the electoral college, I believe they would lead the fight to abolish it. The electoral college is an anachronistic vestige of an earlier time and does not belong in a republic in which one man(person) / one vote is the established method of electing our leaders.   



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