If the vote of the Electoral College results in a tie, the House of Representatives will pick the President by a state-by-state vote with each state delegation having one vote. One member from two-thirds of the states participating will be required to make a quorum. A majority (50% plus one) of all the states will be required to make this decision before March 4th. (The Twentieth Amendment gave them more time.) The Vice-President will automatically become President at this point.
The Constitutional guidelines for the President are the same for the Vice-President, except that the Senate votes on the Vice-President candidates. In conclusion, at each election cycle in recent years, the Electoral College has come under attack. The media elites consistently slight the Electoral College. Every four years, the reporters and pundits repeat the stock phrases about the Electoral College including “constitutional relic,” “archaic”, and “antiquated”. Despite its odd and often criticized processes, the Electoral College has served the United States well.
Because of its efficiency and effectiveness, the Electoral College represents the model of representative government that current “fiscal reformers” are advocating. The electors meet for one day – not even in Washington – cast their two votes (one for president, one for vice president), then they disband. Some states don’t even pay for their lunch on that day. If only the federal government could be so efficient and effective!
Ultimately, the states elect the President of the United States. The highest popularly elected officials in the United States are the states’ governors, not the President. Any change toward a popular voting system undermines the states, and the very basis for the Federal system.
[For more information, you can search online for the article: Rethinking the Electoral College—Or Not by Tara Rossor. Additional information can be found at: usgovinfo.about.com/od/thepoliticalsystem/a/electcollege.htm or at: En.wikipedia.org/wiki/U.S._Electoral_College. For dangers of the direct popular election see: Direct Election of the U.S. President: Unacknowledged Perils from the Electoral College Web Zine.]
Final Comments on Separation of Powers
The Framers of the Constitution were exceptionally uncommon men born at the right time in history. They were born for such a time as this. They were not brilliant geniuses but were men who had a firm foundation in the Bible and were inspired through biblical principles and prayer to put together a new nation. There is no other way to explain it. Ours is the first nation where the people were to be in charge and elect representatives to represent them in managing the nation and its laws. It was the laws that were to guide the nation not a king or a dictator. We were to be a nation ruled by laws, hence the phrase “rule of law”, because laws applied as written cannot be biased. Whereas man is usually bias in passing judgment.
Therefore the framers were careful to create a system that had specific division or separation of power (responsibilities) with many built in checks and balances within each separation. As we have just discussed the Electoral College is one of checks. All of these were thought necessary because of the common belief that absolute power corrupts. That is one absolute everyone can agree on even today. The human nature of man is such that power is a very tempting thing and unless tempered by law and a strong moral and spiritual compass it ends in tyranny.
The whole concept of Separation of Power comes from a belief in the sin nature of man and from the personal experience of the Colonists living under a Monarch who was an immoral tyrant. Today these concepts are rarely spoken of anywhere but in church and sadly very few churches still address this biblical concept. We should be very grateful to these wise men who selflessly gave up power they could have grabbed at the end of the Revolutionary War. They cared more for the people of this nation than they did about themselves and were willing to sacrifice for all future generations to live in an environment of liberty that allowed for the opportunity to prosper and thrive.
Now this generation is faced with the soft tyranny of an all-encompassing federal government that seeks to control every area of our lives shutting down personal rights, liberty and opportunity to succeed. We as parents and grandparents must pick up the mantle of liberty and inspire the next generation to carry the torch of freedom and personal liberty. We can only do this by knowing our history which propels us to love this country and understand how our system works so we can impart these truths to them to live and then give it to the next generation.
That is why I spend so much time on the inner workings of government. These things are not taught in the government schools in a way that inspires students to love this nation and be proud, patriotic Americans who respect the rule of law and individual rights. I pray that you will use these blogs as teaching tools with your children and grandchildren.
Next Week: How Important is Local Government
Dinner Table Discussion Questions: Where else do we find a specific division of power or responsibilities? Who first lays out this division along with ten simple laws? How can we as a family be used to promote liberty in my community?