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Understanding the Electoral College

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Attendees wear their campaign memorabilia while waiting to hear Donald Trump speak at U.S. Bank Arena on October 13, 2016 in Cincinnati, Ohio.  (Photo: Ty Wright/Getty Images)

A 2013 Gallup poll found that six in 10 American voters would choose to get rid of the electoral college and instead elect officials based on the popular vote. But like it or not, on Tuesday the next president of the United States will have to reach 270 electoral votes. In this hour, we’ll refresh your memory about how the electoral college actually works and hear why critics want it abolished or reformed.

KQED’s Complete 2016 Election Coverage

Guests:

Jack Rakove, William Robertson Coe professor of history and American studies and professor of political science, Stanford University: author, "Revolutionaries: A New History of the Invention of America"

Lara Brown, associate professor and interim director, Graduate School of Political Management, George Washington University

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