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Every four years, millions of Americans wonder why they choose their presidents through the Electoral College, an arcane institution that permits the loser of the popular vote to become president and narrows campaigns to swing states. Most Americans have long preferred a national popular vote, and Congress has attempted on many occasions to alter or scuttle the Electoral College. Several of these efforts—one as recently as 1970—came very close to winning approval. Yet this controversial system remains.


Dr. Kyle T. Kattelman received his Ph.D. in Political Science from the University of Missouri in 2013. He has been an Assistant Professor of Political Science at Fairleigh Dickinson University since the Fall of 2015, having served previously as a Mizzou Advantage Postdoctoral Fellow at the University of Missouri and a Visiting Assistant Professor in the Department of Political Science & Public Administration at Mississippi State University. He teaches a wide variety of courses at Fairleigh Dickinson, including Terrorism, International Relations, Comparative Politics, and American Government. His main research interests concern national security, terrorism and counterterrorism, and coalition stability. Recent publications include work on the success of coalitions in the War on Terror and cooperation over participation in counterterrorist endeavors. He also researches in American politics and publishes work on the effects of state legislatures on interest group dynamics.

Alexander Keyssar is Stirling Professor of History and Social Policy at Harvard’s John F. Kennedy School of Government and the author of numerous books, including Why Do We Still Have the Electoral College? (released July 2020) and The Right to Vote: The Contested History of Democracy in the United States, a 2001 Pulitzer Prize finalist and winner of the Beveridge Award from the American Historical Association for the best book in U.S. history. He has also taught at Duke University, MIT, and Brandeis University.  He teaches courses at Harvard on American political institutions, the comparative history of democracies, and the value of historical thinking for policy makers.