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Final Amicus Curiae lecture features Electoral College

By ELIZABETH STEWART
On November 30, 2012

The final installment of the Amicus Curiae lecture series on constitutional democracy featured a lecture about the Electoral College and its relevance in modern politics.

George C. Edwards III, professor of political science at Texas A&M University and visiting professor at Oxford University, presented his arguments for abolishing the Electoral College system for electing the president of the United States of America Thursday evening at the Marshall University Foundation Hall.

Patricia Proctor, director of the Simon Perry Center for Constitutional Democracy said she thinks it is appropriate to end the lecture series, which has focused on the election all semester, with a discussion about the Electoral College process when choosing a president. Proctor said that Edwards had flown in last night from Oxford University in England specifically to speak to students and members of the community.

I think its important to bring a message and to engage in discussion about these issues, so when I have the opportunities, Im eager to do it, Edwards said.

Edwards presented his argument to a room full of people while striking down several popular arguments in favor of the Electoral College election system.

What most people dont realize is that under the Electoral College, it doesnt matter whether people vote, Edwards said. Edwards also pointed out that the Founding Fathers reasoning and initial intentions for forming the Electoral College which he points out is no longer relevant in this day and age and that it actually weakens the incentive to vote.

There were some points that are new to me, and while I dont know if I agree with everything he said it was really, really interesting, said Adam Fridley, political science and economic major from Foster, W.Va.

Proctor pointed out that informing people about the election system has been important to make this lecture series a success.

I think people are interested in these issues and they might not even know it, but they are interested in issues that control how government works, Proctor said.

Other students in attendance echoed Proctors thoughts on the importance of being informed.

As a political science major I found this topic really interesting, even though my focus is on international politics, I believe it is important for me to learn more about how the Electoral College works, said Ashley Clark, political science and international affairs major from Ona, W.Va.

The semester long lecture series was sponsored by the Simon Perry Center for Constitutional Democracy and the West Virginia Humanities Council.

Elizabeth Stewart can be contacted at stewart52@marshall.edu.



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