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A role for state legislatures

The Creation of the Electoral College

by Dr Nicholas Cole (npcole)

Cite as: Dr Nicholas Cole, ‘A role for state legislatures’ in N. P. Cole, Grace Mallon and Kat Howarth, The Creation of the Electoral College, Quill Project at Pembroke College (Oxford, 2016), item 63.

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A role for state legislatures


If state legislatures were not to have a role in choosing the executive magistrate, perhaps they would be less suspicious of the consolidation of power if they were able to remove him. The threshold suggested here is a relatively low one compared with the security with which the President was ultimately imbued.

This proposal would have allowed the President to be removed by a majority vote in at least half of all state legislatures, and for any cause whatsoever (rather than the final, 'high crimes and misdemeanours') ---- though many details are unspecified. Over what time-scale would such requests have to be made, for example?

While the proposal did not find favour with the Convention, it is illustrative of the ways in which delegates were negotiating the balance of power between the state and national government.

Approved for publication