November 03, 2020

ABA Legal Fact Check details workings of the Electoral College; election experts available

WASHINGTON, Nov. 3, 2020 — An ABA Legal Fact Check on the Electoral College, which explores the history and workings of the constitutional body that formally elects the next U.S. president, is available here to assist reporters and editors working on post-election stories.

In addition, the ABA Standing Committee on Election Law has subject matter experts available to help reporters navigate through any election law issues that might arise in the next few days and weeks.

While the National Archives reports that over the past 200 years more than 700 proposals have been introduced in Congress to reform or eliminate the Electoral College, none has become law because of constitutional hurdles. The Constitution and the courts, however, have allowed the states some leeway to make changes to how their electors are chosen, such as the single-district electors in Maine and Nebraska.

The ABA Legal Fact Check, which was posted in 2019 and updated after a U.S. Supreme Court decision this summer, examines how the Electoral College was created as a compromise by the Founding Fathers in 1787. Some argued for the election of the president by a vote of Congress while others supported the election of the president by a popular vote of qualified citizens. Debate intensified in 2016 after the election of the fifth U.S. president who won the presidency despite losing the popular vote.

ABA Legal Fact Check seeks to help the media and public find dependable answers and explanations to sometimes confusing legal questions and issues. The URL for the site is www.abalegalfactcheck.com. Follow us on Twitter @ABAFactCheck.

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