QUORA: What is the main purpose of the electoral college?
The main purpose of the Electoral College is as part of the checks and balances put into place by the Founders to prevent the rise of tyranny by preventing the concentration of political power—that is, the power of physical coercion—in any one branch or segment of government. The Electoral College serves both as a check on the power of the federal government over the states and on the dominance of large states over the entire nation. The Founders not only feared Kings but also majoritarian tyranny. The Founders studied history. One of the things they found was that democracies historically have given rise to factionalism, which inevitably leads to dominance by the most powerful electoral factions over weaker factions, manifested through elected legislatures or demagogic leaders.
Consequently, the Founders did not create an absolute, or what I call a fundamentalist, democracy. They created a free republic in which democracy is a constitutionally limited part. This is consistent with the fundamental principle of America. Contrary to the distortions of the so-called Progressives, the fundamental principle of America is the primacy of liberty based on individual rights, not the primacy of majoritarian democracy. (The term “democracy,” in fact, appears nowhere in the Declaration of Independence or the Constitution. That’s no accident.)
For more, see my comments here, here, here, and here.
Voting Rights are Not the ‘Most Fundamental Right’—or Even a Fundamental Right