About the National Archives

Welcome Remarks for The Electoral College and the Constitution

September 17, 2020

Greetings from the National Archives. I’m David Ferriero, Archivist of the United States, and it's my pleasure to welcome you to today’s panel discussion on “The Electoral College and the Constitution.”

We are presenting this program in partnership with FMC: The Association of Former Members of Congress, and we thank them for their support.

Before we begin, I’d like to let you know about another program on the National Archives YouTube channel this evening, at 5 o’clock Eastern Time. Political savant and entertainment veteran Ben Sheehan will discuss his book, OMG WTF Does the Constitution Actually Say?: A Non-Boring Guide to How Our Democracy is Supposed to Work, an entertaining guide that explains what the Constitution actually lays out while putting it in modern-day English. By the way, “OMG WTF” in Ben’s title refers to the group Ben founded in 2018 to teach voters about executive races during the midterm elections, with OMG WTF referring to Ohio, Michigan, Georgia, Wisconsin, Texas, and Florida.

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Today we celebrate Constitution Day, the day when the delegates to the Constitutional Convention in 1787 signed the new charter for a federal government. It’s long been a tradition at the National Archives to mark this anniversary with public activities such as a naturalization ceremony for new citizens and programs like this evening’s panel discussion.

Even though we can’t be together this Constitution Day, we can focus on the future. In 2026 (six short years from now), we will be celebrating America’s 250th! Two hundred and fifty years since our Founding Fathers signed the Declaration of Independence in 1776, jeopardizing their lives, committing treason, and risking everything for American Independence. Without the Declaration, we would not have the U.S. Constitution. This year’s Constitution Day may not look like our usual celebration, but we can look forward to marking the 250th anniversary of the United States as a healthier, stronger, and more perfect Union.

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Now it is my pleasure to turn you over to Peter M. Weichlein. Since 2003, he has served as the Chief Executive Officer of the U.S. Association of Former Members of Congress, which celebrates bipartisanship, a collaborative approach to legislating, and reconnects citizens with their representative governments. He plans and directs all policies, objectives, and initiatives for the association, represents FMC in the community, and serves as its spokesperson to the public, the media and Congress.

Thank you for joining us today.