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could be elected if they were chosen at large, and naturally the majority party abandoned the district system in favor of the State-wide system.
To-day all States choose their quota of electors by a general State-wide ticket; thus a State whose Democratic voters are in the majority will select all Democratic electors, and a State whose Republican voters are in the majority will select all Republican electors. For instance, in 1884 the Democratic party in New York had a majority of only about 1000 in a total vote of more than 1,000,000; but all of the thirty-six Democratic electors were chosen and cast their votes for the Democratic candidate, Mr. Cleveland. On the other hand, the Republican party in Pennsylvania had a majority of 81,000 in a total vote of 866,000, and hence all of the Republican electors were chosen. In other words, in these two States Blaine received 80,000 more popular votes than Cleveland, but Cleveland received six more electoral votes than Blaine. If the Democrats had not carried New York State Blaine would have been elected President of the United States instead of Cleveland.
On several occasions the presidential candidate who received the most popular votes throughout the country did not receive the most electoral votes, and was therefore not elected. For instance, in 1888 Harrison received 233 electoral votes against Cleveland's 166 and was elected, though Cleveland received about 100,000 more popular votes than Harrison. This was due to the fact that Cleveland's electors piled up votes in the Southern States, whereas the Harrison electors carried Northern States by small majorities. The accompanying table shows exactly how the popular vote and electoral vote were cast for each candidate at this election.
1 There are several instances where the electoral vote of a State has been divided, even with the State-wide ticket. In 1908 Maryland gave two electoral votes to Taft and six to Bryan, although a small majority of the voters of the State thought they were casting their full vote for Taft. The election was so close that the few voters who blundered by marking their ballots for the first-named Taft electors only, believing that they were thereby voting for all of the Taft electors, caused six votes to go to Bryan.
56,197 58,752 124,816 50,774 74,584 12,973 26,657 40,496 370,473 263,361 211,598 182,934 155,134 30,484 73,734 99,986 183,892 236,370 142,492
30,096 236,257 108,425
7,229 45,728 144,344 648,759 134,784 416,054
33,291 526,091 21,968 13,736 138,988 88,422 45,192 150,438
85,962 117,729 37,567 74,920 16,414 39,561 100,499 348,278 261,013 179,887 103,744 183,800 85,032 50,481 106,168 151,856 213,459 104,385
85,471 261,974 80,552
5,362 43,458 151,493 635,757 147,902 396,455
26,522 446,633 17,530 65,825 158,779 234,883
In brief, the President is to-day elected as follows: Each political party nominates a candidate for the presidency at a national convention (see Sec. 149) held in June or July of the “presidential year.” About the same time the various parties in each State nominate in any manner the State legislature permits the quota of electors to which the State is entitled. These nominees are voted for in the various States on the Tuesday following the first Monday of November in each “leap year.” To illustrate, a Democrat in New Jersey votes for the fourteen Democratic electors as shown on the ballot on the following page.
If, after the State election board has received all of the returns of the election from the various local election boards, it is found that the Democratic electors have received more votes than any other set of electors, they assemble at the capital city, Trenton, and cast their votes the second Monday of the January next following. These votes are signed by each elector, certified by the Governor, sealed and sent to the president of the United States Senate. Each of the other States follows the same method.
On the second Wednesday in February the president of the Senate opens these returns and, in the presence of the two houses, counts them and declares the candidate elected who has received the majority of electoral votes (now 531). candidate has a majority (266) of all the electoral votes, the House of Representatives elects one of the three leading candidates, the representatives from each of the 48 States casting one vote. If no candidate receives a majority (25) of these votes by the fourth of March next following, the Vice-President is inaugurated as President.
The uselessness of our Electoral College is expressed in an interesting way by Elbert Hubbard in the following sentences : “ The original argument [in favor of the Electoral College] was that the people should not vote directly for President, because the candidate might live a long way off, and the voter could not know whether he was fit or not. So they let the
In Black ink & Black Lend Ponell in the
of for President and Vice President for when you desire to
for President and Vice Prudent for whom Vo Dupin to + Vote
+ Vete To Vote for part of the Elector of Any Party, Mark.
To Vote for Pot of the Elector of Any Party, Marta Crono X or Plus + in black ink or Black Lead Ponent
Crou X or Plue + In Black ink or black Lead Pencil In the DQUARE at the Left of the Name of Each Elector
In the DQUARE at the Late of the Name of Lach Elector for whom You Desire to Voto VOTE FOR FOURTEEN
for Whem You Doamne to Vote VOTE FOR FOURTEEN ELECTORE
PSIDENT AND VICE-PRESIDENT
. OP TELE UNITED STATES
WILSON AND MARSHALL
JAMES P PIELDER AUSTEN COLGATE.
JOHN W. WESCOTT NORMAN OREY
JOSEPH E. NOWREY. P WALLIS ARMSTRONG
JOHN 9. WARE LEWIS S. THOMPSON.
Vote for one National Prohibition
S ROY HEATH
JOHN J DONNELLY
DANIEL E POMEROY
JOHN A. WILDRICK
FRANK I. ECKERT
GEORGE C WARREN, JA
GEORGE AL ROYLE
ARCHIBALD O CRAIO
JOIN J. O'DONNELL
SAM W HOKE
WILLIAM H. DERRICK
JAMES THOMAS PHILLIPS,
CHARLES DE YONKER
FREDK C FINCH
CHARLES O. SANDBERO
BARTON T. FELI.
ELMER E. MARGERUM
ANDERS H. LYZELL
FLORENCE D. GREINER
ROBERT BRUCE CROWELL
citizen vote for a wise and honest elector he knew. The result is that we all now know the candidates for President, but we do not know the electors. The Electoral College in America is just about as useful as the two buttons on the back of a man's coat, put there originally to support a sword belt. have discarded the sword, yet we cling to our buttons.”
However, it would not be practical to elect the President by a direct popular vote of the people, because a State with unrestricted suffrage casts several times as many votes as a Southern State of the same size with suffrage restricted by educational qualifications. But presidential electors should be dispensed with, each state retaining its apportioned number of electoral votes. Then the voters would cast their ballots directly for the presidential candidate of their preference, and the candidate receiving the most popular votes in each State would be entitled to all the electoral votes of the State. This method of electing the President would save the trouble of nominating presidential electors, the cost of printing their names on the ballots, the expense of having them assemble to cast their votes, and would avoid the difficulties arising from the death of electors before their votes are cast.
60. Term of the President. - The President-elect is inducted into office on March fourth following his election, and serves until the fourth of March four years later. There is no legal limit to the number of terms he may serve, though in practice no President has been elected oftener than twice.
61. Succession to the Presidency. - The Constitution provides that in case the President is removed by impeachment, death, resignation, or inability, his duties shall devolve upon the VicePresident; and by the Presidential Succession Act of 1886 it is provided that in case of the inability of both the President and Vice-President to perform the duties of the office, the cabinet officers shall succeed in the following order: (1) Secretary of State; (2) Secretary of the Treasury; (3) Secretary of War; (4) Attorney-General; (5) Postmaster-General; (6) Secretary of the Navy; (7) Secretary of the Interior.