Elections: Reforming the College

"Perilous," cried one witness. "A real danger," said another.

They were appearing before the Senate Subcommittee on Constitutional Amendments, chaired by Tennessee Democrat Estes Kefauver. Their warnings had to do with a scheme being pushed by Southern segregationist leaders, under which presidential electors would not be pledged to follow the popular vote in their state.

The unpledged elector plan, aimed at loosing states from national party ties, is not likely to get very far. But it does call renewed attention to a wide spread feeling that the U.S. electoral college system, as set forth in the Constitution, is an anachronism. Under...

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