In Art. II, Sec. 1 of the US Constitution, what is the reasoning for the requirement that the Electors vote for two persons, "of whom one at least shall not be an Inhabitant of the same State with themselves."

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    I'm having trouble locating discussions about this in the Federalist papers (though I'm not very experienced at such), but I think the basic idea was to prevent a "every state votes only for their own guys" degeneracy by forcing them to vote for someone else. – zibadawa timmy Jan 29 '19 at 5:50
  • They have to represent their own local interests. – xuhdev Jan 29 '19 at 6:06
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    I'm voting to close this question as off-topic because it is a question about the motivation for a particular law, and therefore a question of political philosophy, not the law itself. Law SE is not concerned with "why" the law, only "what" the law is. – Nij Jan 29 '19 at 6:17
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    This may be arguably off-topic, but the answer is well-known and easily documented, not a matter of opinion, and the requirement seems odd to many people today. I think it simpler to just provide an answer. – David Siegel Jan 29 '19 at 13:49
  • I asked for the reasoning underlying the provision in an effort to better understanding it not as a political argument. – lgnuckolls Jan 29 '19 at 13:56

There was concern during the drafting of the Constitution that many people would know only or primarily their local officials and political figures, and thus that many electors would vote only for people from their own state, leading to many candidates, none of whom would have anything close to a majority. The provision referred to was intended to avoid this, and encourage a more national election. In practice the problem has not happened. This is arguably one of the consequences of the prompt rise of national political parties, which was not foreseen by the authors of The Federalist Papers nor by many (if any) of those who wrote about the Constitution during the ratification debates.

The Federalist #68 deals with the election of the President. It does not specifically mention this provision, but does say, while discussing the Electoral College:

The process of election affords a moral certainty, that the office of President will never fall to the lot of any man who is not in an eminent degree endowed with the requisite qualifications. Talents for low intrigue, and the little arts of popularity, may alone suffice to elevate a man to the first honors in a single State; but it will require other talents, and a different kind of merit, to establish him in the esteem and confidence of the whole Union, or of so considerable a portion of it as would be necessary to make him a successful candidate for the distinguished office of President of the United States.

The better choice and judgment of a national vs a mere state-wide electorate is a consistent theme though much of The Federalist, particularly the parts written by Madison.

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