The Eagle Report

Editor: Susan Sanders | Publisher: OverWatchUSA and Tom Dunn

Electing Our President

by | Oct 3, 2020 | Politics

In order to understand how our founders intended for us to elect our president, we should first recognize the form of government we have and why. Our founders knew all too well what happens when a government is given too much power; eventually it will oppress its citizens.

Our Form of Government

Our founders wanted to ensure the central government was restricted in what it could do, and that the remainder of the power was left to the People and the States.

The government created by our constitution is a union of separate independent, sovereign states and a national government.

The national, or federal, government was given very specific enumerated powers. These powers consist of the only areas in which the federal government has lawful authority over the states. In all other matters the states retain their sovereignty and independence.

Protections were inserted in the Constitution to preserve states’ sovereignty and independence. One of those protections was to assign to the state legislatures the task of choosing their senators. This provision is found in Article I, Section 3 of the Constitution. The election of the representatives to the House was reserved to the People.

The provision that appointed the state legislatures to choose their senators ensured that state governments would have a strong presence and influence within the federal government. The House would represent the People and the Senate would represent the States.

This concept of two houses of Congress, one being chosen by the People, and the other being chosen by the States, ensured that no law could get passed by Congress without the consent of the People and the States.

Article II – Original Intent

Article II of our constitution outlines how our president is to be elected and who is eligible. To be eligible to hold the office of the President of the United States one must meet three criteria: one must be a natural born citizen, must be at least thirty-five years of age, and must have lived in the United States for at least fourteen years.

When the citizens go to the polls in the general election, they are not voting for the president and vice president. They are voting for the electors who will cast their votes for the president and vice president.

Each state appoints electors equal to the total number of their senators and representatives in Congress. The Constitution does not stipulate how the states select their electors. It leaves that up to each state’s legislature. However, it does stipulate that no sitting senator or representative can serve as an elector.

Electors would meet in their respective states and vote by ballot for two candidates. The electors were required to vote for at least one person who resided in a state other than their own, and they were prohibited from designating which one they wanted for president and which one they wanted for vice president. Once the votes were cast, a list was made indicating all the people who received votes and the number of votes for each.

The electors would then sign the list, certify it, seal it, and deliver it to the president of the Senate. The president of the Senate would, in the presence of the Senate and the House, open all the certificates and count the votes. The candidate who received the greatest number of votes would become president. The candidate with the second greatest number of votes would become vice president.

12th Amendment – Procedural Change

The 12 th Amendment was ratified on June 15, 1804. It was drafted in response to what many agreed were weaknesses in the Electoral College. Following the rules of the original Electoral College could result in the president belonging to one political party and the vice president belonging to another.

This could occur because electors were required to vote for two people, not indicating which one was chosen to be president and which one was chosen to be vice president. So, it came down to just who came in first and who was the runner up. This happened in 1796 when John Adams, aligning himself with the Federalist Party became the president, and his ideological rival Thomas Jefferson, a member of the Democratic-Republican Party, became the vice president.

This outcome revealed the constitutional flaw that the 12 th Amendment was enacted to remedy. Previously, according to the Constitution, all candidates were on the same ballot, which meant running mates could in essence be challenging each other for the same office.

The 12th Amendment was a procedural change that required the electors to cast two votes, one specifically for president, and one for vice president. It prohibited the electors from voting for two people on the presidential ticket, therefore ensuring that we would not have the president and vice president belonging to two different parties.

This amendment also barred anyone who is constitutionally ineligible to be president from being elected as vice president.

Electing our President Today

The process by which we elect our president today is similar to the original intent of our founders with three significant exceptions:

  • The 12th Amendment requires the electors to cast a separate vote for president and vice president rather than casting two votes for president.
  • The 17th Amendment changed the makeup of the Senate by removing the state legislatures as the voting block that would seat our senate and giving that vote to the People.
  • In the 1824 election, the majority of states changed the way they select their electors by implementing the winner-take-all method.

In the election of 1800, four years before the ratification of the 12 th Amendment, for the first time, the presidential candidate selected a running mate to be his vice president. This practice continues today and ensures that the two highest offices in the land will be held by people with the same political views and vision for our country.

The 17th Amendment took back the state representation in the Senate and gave it to the People. Due to this change, we have lost the power of the states to influence the federal government on behalf of states’ legislatures.

The Constitution left it up to the states to decide how to choose their electors. Unfortunately, this left a way for states to effectively disenfranchise a large part of their electorate. The purpose of the Electoral College was to ensure that all districts, and every state, had a voice, regardless of their population. The winner-take-all method awards an entire state’s electoral votes to the candidate who wins the popular vote. This is contrary to what our founders intended.

Of the People, By the People, For the People

Our right to vote is one of the most precious and priceless rights we have as Americans. Our founders fought and died for our right to be free and to enjoy the inalienable rights bestowed upon us by God. The Declaration of Independence asserted that “among these are life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness; that to secure these rights, governments are instituted among men deriving their just powers from the consent of the governed.”

The consent of the governed means that as American citizens, we have the right to choose our representatives. Every American citizen has the right to vote for who will lead this nation in the highest office of the land and be Commander in Chief of our army. There can be no greater privilege, there can be no greater responsibility.

Susan Sanders
Susan Sanders
+ posts

Susan was born in Texas and lived in several states before settling in the Greenville area of the Upstate. She works as an Accounting Manager and holds a Bachelor’s degree in Business Administration. She served as the Media Director for the Constitution Party of Ohio for two years. She is a constitutional conservative and enjoys writing articles and opinion pieces on political issues and current events.

More articles you may like…

God is in Control

God is in Control

You know that feeling—tension begins to grip your gut. Your breathing gets fast and moves high up in your chest. Your throat closes down a bit and your heart quickens. Recognize it? Fear, often masquerading as stress. Current State of Affairs You don't ingest it. It's...

read more
The Democrat Strategy to Win: LIE, LIE, LIE

The Democrat Strategy to Win: LIE, LIE, LIE

As I watched the Democrat National Convention, I was aghast. Aghast at all the lies. I thought to myself, “Who in their right mind believes these people?” I grew profoundly sad because I knew the answer—millions of Americans.

read more