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Area Students Write Essays 'Should We Do Away With Electoral College?'

PHILADELPHIA (CBS) -- In a post-election critique, there is talk about whether the Electoral College should be abolished, just as disenchanted Democrats on Capitol Hill take up such a bill, now that Hillary Clinton lost the presidential election, despite leading in the popular vote. Area students took up the issue in an essay contest.

In Washington, stunned Democrats want to consider such a bill again, but it is unlikely to gain any traction with Republicans in control of Congress, in this lame duck session.

Here in Philadelphia, young bright minds contemplated such an outcome, that Donald Trump would win the Electoral College and Hillary Clinton would win the popular vote. They are 4th and 5th graders in the five county Philadelphia region who were asked before the election to write about the Electoral College.

The Rendell Center for "Civics and Civic Engagement" announced the Top 10 finalists in the Lenfest Citizenship Challenge Essay Competition. Among them, a group of 5th graders from Radnor Elementary School, who met with former Governor Ed Rendell, to give him their viewpoints.
10-year-old Mallory Toomey predicted the current outcome.

'I kind of did it as an example, to kind of frame the issue," she said.

Her classmate, 11-year-old Sophia Mlodzienski thinks the popular vote winner should prevail."

'Because like, it's our president," she said, "and so the people should like get their way."

Rendell says the 120 essay results were interesting: there was a 60/40 split favoring amending the Constitution and doing away with the Electoral College.

Right after Rendell completed his second term as mayor, he chaired the Democratic National Committee during the 2000 presidential election. Just like this time around, the Democratic nominee, Al Gore won the popular vote but lost the Electoral College, and thus the presidency, to Republican George W. Bush.

The popular vote scenario has presented itself five times in the nation's history, beginning in 1824, when it was Andrew Jackson vs John Quincy Adams.

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