Not Sure How to Explain the Electoral College to Your Kids?

The Electoral College is often misunderstood—and perhaps especially hard to explain to our children. We are pleased to announce the release of We Elect a President: The Story of Our Electoral College, just in time for the 2016 election!

The book is sure to be used by a variety of ages, so it includes two different tools: One will help those who want harder material, but the other will help younger children who still need easier explanations.

First, several of the pages include a section called “Emma’s Corner.” This section is aimed at younger readers who might need concrete examples of some of the more nebulous concepts in this book. “Emma” is a real person—Tara’s daughter, who was entering fourth grade as this book was released. Emma helped generate all of the ideas for her “corner.” By contrast, some pages include “The Founders’ Corner.” This section is intended to help those who want a jumping-off point for more discussion or research. Older readers may also be interested to hear how the Founders expressed some of these ideas in their own words.

This book goes to press in the midst of an unusually contentious presidential primary season, so it is worth noting that the parties’ nomination processes are completely separate from the Electoral College and the general election in November. The party nomination processes are a creation of political parties and the states. The Electoral College has its roots in the Constitution. To the degree that our primary process is broken, perhaps we can learn from the Electoral College. Can our Founders’ principles be better reflected in the political primaries?