How do Americans elect their new President every four year? The process that determines the U.S. presidency seems convoluted and complicated to non-Americans around the world. (To be fair, many Americans don’t get it either!) Most of the countries governed by democracy elect their nation’s highest office directly through some forms of popular vote such as plurality, simply majority, and two-ballot systems. In the United States, however, the electoral college plays a critical role in deciding the winner. Why does not America elect their leader based on popular vote which is the ultimate expression of democracy?
This two-weeks course offers an overview of the U.S. Constitution that sets the rules for presidential election and the history behind the idiosyncratic voting system known as electoral college. We will also go through some important presidential elections in the past that tested the legitimacy of the electoral college system. By the end of this course, you should understand the nature of federalism in the U.S. that significantly differs from a centralized form of government adopted by other countries.