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The Road to Now

Bob Crawford (The Avett Brothers) & Dr. Ben Sawyer (MTSU History) share conversations with great thinkers from a variety of backgrounds – historians, artists, legal scholars, political figures and more –who help us uncover the many roads that run between past and present. For more information, visit TheRoadToNow.com If you'd like to support our work, join us on Patreon: Patreon.com/TheRoadToNow
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Now displaying: Page 1
Feb 12, 2024

The Constitution empowers the electoral college to select the President, but the process for counting electors’ votes remains in the hands of Congress. In this episode, Constitutional Law Professor Edward Foley explains the origins of the electoral college, how and why the 12th Amendment changed the process for electing Presidents, and the concerns that led Congress to codify the procedure for counting electors’ votes in 1887. Edward also offers some specific ways that updating the Electoral Count Act of 1887 might help us avoid some of the potential problems that might arise in upcoming elections.

Edward Foley holds the Ebersold Chair in Constitutional Law at The Ohio State University, where he also directs its election law program. He is a regular contributor to The Washington Post and the author of multiple books, including Ballot Battles: The History of Disputed Elections in the United States (Oxford University Press, 2016) and Presidential Elections and Majority Rule (Oxford University Press, 2020). You can follow him on twitter at @NedFoley.

This is a rebroadcast of episode 224, which originally aired on February 22, 2022. We think this is a perfect episode to set up our multi-episode series on contested presidential elections, which kicks off on February 19 (aka Presidents' Day)! Each episode of the series focuses on the years that third party candidates, tense inter-party rivalries and other campaign surprises, both reflected and shaped the country in that year and for generations to come. Bob and I have an all-star lineup of guests, and we’re kicking off with Lindsay Chervinsky on the 1824 election and John Quincy Adams’ Corrupt Bargain!

This is a rebroadcast of RTN #224, which originally aired on February 22, 2022. The original episode was edited by Gary Fletcher. This rebroadcast was edited by Ben Sawyer. 

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