Alan Keyes is a former Presidential candidate of the America’s Independent Party, after failing to receive the nomination of the Constitution Party in 2008. Here, he write extensively concerning the methods by which individual states choose their presidential electors.
In the first years of the republic, the different States adopted various methods for choosing the Electors:
Some State legislatures decided to choose the Electors themselves. Others decided on a direct popular vote for Electors either by Congressional district or at large throughout the whole State. Still others devised some combination of these methods. But in all cases, Electors were chosen individually from a single list of all candidates for the position.
What all these methods had in common was that they focused voters’ attention on the individuals being considered for the office of Elector, not on their allegiance to any Party or candidate. In this way, all the States acknowledged and respected the fact that the Constitution says simply that the individual Electors will cast their votes, not that they do so at the direction of their respective States. Thus it does not require that they do so in accordance with any slavish allegiance to any State, Party, or individual that might supersede their allegiance to the Constitution of the United States, and the people whose sovereign voice it represents.
(In this respect, members of the Electoral College are in much the same position as were the members of the U.S. Senate during the time when the original provision of the Constitution was in effect that placed the election of U.S. Senators in the hands of the State legislatures. Once elected, the fact that they were chosen by their respective State’s legislature did not per se give the legislature any prerogative simply to dictate how they would vote on any given issue. Of course, since U.S. Senators could be re-elected, they obviously had a political interest in maintaining majority support in the legislature, especially during the election cycle in which they approached the end of their six-year term. But Presidential Electors have no office that endures beyond the performance of the singular function for which they are elected.)
In order to restore the integrity of representation, grassroots voters must reclaim the initiative in the political process. What better way could they have of dramatically ending the elite faction’s usurpation of their initiative than to demonstrate their ability to outflank its usurping forces in the context of selecting the most visible and important individual officer in the land.
This is part of an on-going column in RenewAmerica, a newsletter connected to an organization founded by individuals supporting Alan Keyes.