New Documentary Sets Out to Understand the Electoral College

New Documentary Sets Out to Understand the Electoral College

Janson Media today announced the release of the new feature-length documentary, Safeguard: An Electoral College Story, a timely and urgent new public affairs documentary which examines the U.S. electoral college system. The film avoids any partisanship to ask the questions: How does it work? What happens if we change the rules? Can a democratic system be designed to protect minority rights? Does our Constitution strike the right balance?

Alexander Hamilton and James Madison worked to create and defend the Electoral College system in the U.S. Constitution. The process is democratic — but it works in stages, and through the states. This design forces candidates to reach out across the country rather than focusing on just one region or group of population centers. And it keeps presidents from controlling elections — including their own reelections.

Publisher and former presidential candidate Steve Forbes, Princeton historian Allen Guelzo, and a host of experts explain why we really have the Electoral College, what it does, and what could happen if we abandoned it.

“The Electoral College is so misunderstood, and so subject to assumptions and half-truths,” said Trent England, executive director of Save Our States, a nonprofit that seeks to preserve the Electoral College. “But it’s a fascinating institution. I thought there was a good story to tell that can help Americans understand and appreciate the constitutional system we have through the Electoral College, which has become more interesting to Americans over the last four years.”

The New York Times warned in 1977, “the political habits, traditions and expectations that have grown up around the Electoral College have served the nation well. If they are to be maintained, the College has to be preserved rather than lightly abandoned in favor of a vacuum."

“The Constitution," said Abraham Lincoln, "must be maintained, for it is the only safeguard for our liberties.”

“The core function of the Electoral College is to require presidential candidates to appeal to the voters of a sufficient number of large and smaller states, rather than just try to run up big margins in a handful of the biggest states, cities, or regions," writes Dan McLaughlin of the National Review. "Critics ignore the important value served by having a president whose base of support is spread over a broad, diverse array of regions of the country.”

Safeguard was produced by the Oklahoma Council for Public Affairs, and written and directed by M.A. Taylor. Janson Media has released the film nationally on Amazon Prime Video, and will make the film available to its broadcast and payTV clients and educational institutions in the coming weeks and months.

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