High School Lesson
The Origins of the Electoral College
The Electoral College, the process by which Presidential races are ultimately decided, is the subject of ongoing debate and controversy. The Electoral College always decides the outcome of the Presidential election, but five times in our history and two times in the last five elections, the Electoral College selected a president who did not win the majority of the votes across the nation.
When the U.S. was established, the important topic of how to elect a President was controversial and debated for months. Some suggested that Congress choose the President while others argued that it should be a democratic vote by the people. The compromise the Framers came up with was the Electoral College, which has been in effect ever since. The Electoral College is in the Constitution, Article II, Section I, Clause II.
The Electoral College is still controversial because many people question its origins and because of how it affects modern day elections. Many believe it is unfair, inequitable.
About this Lesson Plan
This lesson provides an opportunity for students to learn more about the Electoral College, consider different viewpoints about the Electoral College and write a persuasive letter that expresses their opinion about the Electoral College.
- Students will understand what the Electoral College is and reflect on its origins.
- Students will consider two points of view on the Electoral College.
- Students will explore their own opinion about the Electoral College by writing a persuasive letter.