Bell Ringers
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On September 3, 2018

Bell Ringer: Electoral College

Electoral College and Smaller States

Frank Fahrenkopf, Co-chair on the Commission on Presidential Debates, discussed the Constitutional compromise that created the electoral college.


The United States Electoral College is a body of electors established by the United States Constitution. The sole purpose of the Electoral College is electing the president and vice president of the United States. This Bell Ringer explains key terms and vocabulary within the AP U.S. Government and Politics exam.

Bell Ringer Assignment

  • Why does the United States conduct a census every ten years?
  • How has political campaigning changed over time?
  • What were Alexander Hamilton's thoughts about the Electoral College? Do you agree? Why?
  • What happens if the Electoral College fails to reach a majority vote?
  • What are three modern arguments against the Electoral College?
  • What is a minority elected president?
  • What effect did the Electoral College have on the 2016 election?
  • AP Gov Students- Questions to Consider: Describe the process in the United States presidential elections be sure to include: incumbency advantage, primaries, caucuses, party conventions, congressional and state elections, and the Electoral College. Explain how the Electoral College impacts democratic participation. Describe the compromises deemed necessary for the adoption and ratification of the Constitution.

Additional Resources



  • Caucuses
  • Constitution
  • Constitutional Compromise
  • Electoral College
  • Incumbency Advantage
  • Popular Vote
  • President
  • Primaries


AP U.S. Government Key TermsCampaigns & Elections


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