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Larson, Caldwell Educate Voters in Video on Electoral College
The Electoral College, one of the most frequently misunderstood concepts of the United States' presidential election process, is the subject of a video on the U.S. government's Web site, www.America.gov. The video features commentary by the nation's leading scholars, including two Pepperdine professors: Dan Caldwell, Distinguished Professor of Political Science at Seaver College, and Ed Larson, Hugh and Hazel Darling Chair in Law at the Pepperdine School of Law.
The video, which is just over two minutes long, explains the complicated, representative system of the Electoral College and discusses its drawbacks and benefits in a format similar to VH1's pop-culture commentary shows.
Caldwell notes in the video, "On the ballot it looks like people are voting directly for the president and the vice president; they aren't."
Larson goes onto explain, "Instead of just choosing by popular vote, throughout the country, each state has a number of electoral votes. Then whoever wins the plurality of that state gets all the electoral votes. Whoever has the majority of the electoral votes, becomes president."
Offering a bit of comic relief, Caldwell admits, "Even my fellow political scientists often have a hard time understanding it, and I do too!"
Larson says that he was happy to lend to the video in an effort to educate voters. "In America, the Electoral College chooses the president and the president sets the course of the nation's foreign policy. This video can help viewers to understand the nature of this peculiar devise for allocating enormous power that impacts everyone," he says.
Click here to view the video.