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Law - International, Foreign and Comparative Law | Understanding the Fundamentals of the U.S. Presidential Election System

Understanding the Fundamentals of the U.S. Presidential Election System

Belenky, Alexander S.

2012, XVIII, 426 p.

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  • Proposes how to make the national popular vote a decisive factor in determining the election outcome while keeping the Electoral College as a contingency plan
  • Indicates a logical mistake in the text of the U.S. Constitution which has remained undetected for more than 200 years
  • Analyzes the "Achilles Heel" of the National Popular Vote Plan to introduce direct popular presidential elections in the U.S. de facto, without amending the U.S. Constitution
  • Discusses four puzzles of the Twelfth Amendment to the U.S. Constitution

This is the first book on the U.S. presidential election system to analyze the basic principles underlying the design of the existing system and those at the heart of competing proposals for improving the system. The book discusses how the use of some election rules embedded in the U.S. Constitution and in the Presidential Succession Act may cause skewed or weird election outcomes and election stalemates. The book argues that the act may not cover some rare though possible situations which the Twentieth Amendment authorizes Congress to address. Also, the book questions the constitutionality of the National Popular Vote Plan to introduce a direct popular presidential election de facto, without amending the Constitution, and addresses the plan’s “Achilles’ Heel.”  In particular, the book shows that the plan may violate the Equal Protection Clause from the Fourteenth Amendment of the Constitution. Numerical examples are provided to show that the counterintuitive claims of the NPV originators and proponents that the plan will encourage presidential candidates to “chase” every vote in every state do not have any grounds. Finally, the book proposes a plan for improving the election system by combining at the national level the “one state, one vote” principle – embedded in the Constitution – and the “one person, one vote” principle. Under this plan no state loses its current Electoral College benefits while all the states gain more attention of presidential candidates.

Content Level » Research

Keywords » The Electoral College - The National Popular Vote Plan - The Presidential Succession Act - The Twelfth Amendment - the "winner-take-all" principle

Related subjects » International, Foreign and Comparative Law - Law - Political Science - Probability Theory and Stochastic Processes - Social Sciences & Law

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