Jonathan Gienapp on the Electoral College

Professor Jonathan Gienapp discussed in a Stanford News interview the historical origins of the Electoral College and its significance in the last U.S. Presidential election. The interview tackled the following questions in the context of the January 6, 2021 siege of the U.S. Capitol Building: 

  • Why did the United States devise a system like the Electoral College, considering no other modern democracy uses a system like this one?

  • What have been some previous attempts to reform the Electoral College and why did they fail?

  • One of the criticisms of the Electoral College process centers around the divergence that can occur between winning the Electoral College and the national, popular vote. Can you explain this dynamic a little further?