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Digital Subscriptions > Newsweek International > 2nd December 2016 > TRUMP’S NEW FAVORITE COLLEGE

TRUMP’S NEW FAVORITE COLLEGE

The president-elect got swamped in the popular vote. Is it time for the U.S. to flunk the electoral college?

IF YOU VOTED in the recent presidential election, there’s a pretty good chance you spent some time pondering the qualifications of Donald Trump and Hillary Clinton. There’s almost no chance you were thinking about David Ferriero’s résumé, but you should have been. As the chief archivist of the United States, Ferriero and his colleagues organize the vote of the 538 electors in the Electoral College who actually choose the president.

The Constitution requires all electors to meet in their state capitols to cast ballots. Ferriero collects and organizes them, makes sure the states have followed the rules, then presents the ballots to Congress, which is charged with getting them counted. This antiquated ritual will play out again on January 6; only then will the U.S. officially elect its 45th president.

Outside of a fifth-grade social studies class, most people don’t study the Electoral College, but this year it’s controversial because Trump lost the popular vote (by well over a million votes, and it could be 2 million when the counting’s done). This has happened just five times in American history, but twice in the past 16 years, the other time being George W. Bush’s Electoral College defeat of Al Gore in 2000. But given demographics, it could happen again, and soon.

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LE FRONT TRUMP: EUROPE COULD BE NEXT If the National Front’s Marine Le Pen wins the French presidential election in May, the five permanent members of the U.N. Security Council would be led by Trump, Le Pen, Russia’s Vladimir Putin, China’s Xi Jinping and Britain’s Theresa May, who is ushering the U.K. out of the EU (even though she campaigned, tepidly, for it to remain). With the possible exception of May, none seem thrilled about how the world has worked since the end of the Cold War.
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