Maybe it is time to dust off the Constitution. Remember that document? It defines America. It does three essential things. Most people don't realize that. Any constitution does just three things:
- Define the organization of a government
- Define the operation of that government
- Define the limits of the power of that government
See? You didn't know that did you? You ascribed much broader purposes to the document but in the process you overlooked the essential power of the writing itself.
Why should we go back to the document? Because we need to review how it prescribes the choosing of our chief executive. You don't know what it says. Hell, Al Gore apparently didn't know what it said when he whined that George Bush didn't win the election in 2000.
Here it is:
2: Each State shall appoint, in such Manner as the Legislature thereof may direct, a Number of Electors, equal to the whole Number of Senators and Representatives to which the State may be entitled in the Congress: but no Senator or Representative, or Person holding an Office of Trust or Profit under the United States, shall be appointed an Elector.3: The Electors shall meet in their respective States, and vote by Ballot for two Persons, of whom one at least shall not be an Inhabitant of the same State with themselves. And they shall make a List of all the Persons voted for, and of the Number of Votes for each; which List they shall sign and certify, and transmit sealed to the Seat of the Government of the United States, directed to the President of the Senate. The President of the Senate shall, in the Presence of the Senate and House of Representatives, open all the Certificates, and the Votes shall then be counted. The Person having the greatest Number of Votes shall be the President, if such Number be a Majority of the whole Number of Electors appointed; and if there be more than one who have such Majority, and have an equal Number of Votes, then the House of Representatives shall immediately chuse by Ballot one of them for President; and if no Person have a Majority, then from the five highest on the List the said House shall in like Manner chuse the President.
Ok, you thought you knew that. But did you notice that there is not one single word in that description about any general election? There is nothing about a common citizen casting a single vote!
"Each state shall appoint" in a manner determined by the state legislature means that electors aren't themselves elected.
Why was it done this way? Quite simply because the Founding Fathers had a pretty firm belief that an emotional electorate would succumb to pandering and payoffs leading to corrupted and ineffective governance. And they have been proven absolutely correct, haven't they?
(Please note that the 1-2 selection of President and VP was modified by the 12th Amendment but still doesn't include any citizens voting.)