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Who Is?

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Who Is?
46 min2020 OCT 27
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In 2000 and 2016, the candidate who lost the popular vote was elected president. Somehow, that’s democracy at work, and it’s thanks to a baroque institution called the Electoral College. Born out of the same contentious negotiations in 1787 that gave America the Three-fifths Compromise and the structure of the Senate, which bestows equal representation on Wyoming (the least populated state) and California (the most), the Electoral College remains with us today despite numerous attempts to abolish it. That’s because the Constitution is almost impossible to change, and because the Electoral College ultimately values some votes more than others. But America is changing, and as the composition of the electorate shifts as America grows more diverse, is the Electoral College a symbol of the insurmountable structural problems embedded in our democracy or a distraction from the power we exercise when we all vote?

Rev. Dr. William Barber II, president of Repairers of the Breach and co-chair of the Poor People’s Campaign

Alexander Keyssar, the Matthew W. Stirling Jr. professor of history and social policy at Harvard’s Kennedy School of Government

Sanford Levinson, the W. St. John Garwood, Jr. Centennial Chair in Law at the University of Texas Law School

Mark Hugo Lopez, director of global migration and demography research at the Pew Research Center

Representative Emilia Sykes, who represents Ohio’s District 34 in the Ohio House of Representatives, where she is Democratic Minority Leader

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