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Election by National Legislature reinstated

The Creation of the Electoral College

by Kat Howarth (KatHowarth)

Cite as: Kat Howarth, ‘Election by National Legislature reinstated’ in N. P. Cole, Grace Mallon and Kat Howarth, The Creation of the Electoral College, Quill Project at Pembroke College (Oxford, 2016), item 82.

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Election by National Legislature reinstated


Although the idea of an electoral college had been agreed only three days previously, here a move back to election by the Legislature was passed with only four delegations voting against it. Though there was debate on the motion and objections by Gerry and others, this switch suggests that at this point in the Convention the delegates were still extremely undecided between various possibilities for the election of the Executive. There was still no one plan which had convinced the assembled delegates, which allowed for this about face shortly after it seemed like an electoral college had triumphed.

The basis for this motion was concern amongst some of the delegates that those who would volunteer or be chosen as electors would not be capable of undertaking the task and responsibility of choosing a candidate for President.

Approved for publication