|Electoral College Not First Choice|
When the Founding Fathers took on the question of how to elect a new president, the Electoral College was neither their first, nor their only idea.
In all, the delegates of the Constitutional Convention considered five ways of choosing the President of the United States:
By debate and vote in the U.S. Congress
By the popular vote of the people
By vote of the State legislatures
By vote of the State governors
By electors - the Electoral College system
Once they settled on using electors to elect the president, the Founding Fathers argued over how the electors, themselves would be appointed.
Delegates considered plans to select electors by popular vote in the States, by lottery from members of Congress, by the State legislatures and by the governors.
Unable to agree, the delegates compromised by leaving the question of how to select electors up to the State Legislatures.
"Each State shall appoint, in such Manner as the Legislature thereof may direct, a Number of Electors, equal to the whole Number of Senators and Representatives to which the State may be entitled in the Congress:..." -- Article 2, Section 1, Clause 2, U.S. Constitution
The delegates also had to decide how to deal with the failure of the electors to choose a president. They first decided to have the Senate select the president by a vote of the Senators, but later decided to move the task to the House, with voting to be done by state.
"... the said House shall in like Manner chuse the President. But in chusing the President, the Votes shall be taken by States, the Representation from each State having one Vote." -- Article 2, Section 1, Clause 3, U.S. Constitution
Presently, the Constitution devotes no less than one full article and nine amendments to the office of President of the United Sates.