THE single most vilified provision of the U.S. Constitution has no immediate bearing on the critical issues of civil rights, inflation or war, although ultimately its effect on them is immeasurable. Nor does the passage involve the two "pops" for which reformers have been crusading in recent months: popular nationwide primaries and popular tax-supported campaign financing. It concerns instead the 59-word paragraph in Article 2 of the Constitution that establishes the Electoral College as the mechanism for choosing a President. In the 180 years since ratification, more than 500 proposals have been advanced in Congress for abolishing or altering the College....

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