Understanding how the electoral college works in us presidential election

The Electoral College really chooses the president, a month after the people cast their ballots. US citizens aged 18 and older will cast their votes for the next president of the United States on November 8,

Understanding how the electoral college works in us presidential election

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Matt Blitz 71 comments Mike C. A day earlier, a lengthy and expensive manual vote recount process in Florida was stopped by the United States Supreme Court despite Bush leading by only votes. This election result was highly unusual, not just because of Supreme Court decisions and hanging chads.

It was also only the fourth time in United States history that a candidate had garnered a majority of the popular votes but lost the election- Gore received 50, votes and Bush 50, Bush won because of the Electoral College system — a much maligned and complex way of determining the future leader of America.

How does it work? Why does America use the Electoral College? To begin with, contrary to popular belief, when Americans go to the polls to seemingly vote for the next president of the United States, they are, in fact, not actually voting for the president.

Understanding how the electoral college works in us presidential election

Rather, they are casting a vote for a group of electors who will then vote for the president as they see fit. To reduce any chance of confusion, rather than having people explicitly vote for electors on the ballot, the presidential candidate a given group of electors is pledged to vote for is put on the ballot instead.

Specifically, on January 6th the current vice president opens voting during a Joint Session of Congress. This may seem to be something of a technicality, but there are many completely legal scenarios in which a different president may be chosen than the one who appears to have won after the general public has cast their ballots for electors.

More on a couple of these scenarios in a bit. So who are these voters that actually elect the president and how are they chosen? There are only two federal laws that pertain to who can be an elector.

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You can thank the Civil War for that one. Beyond those two restrictions, anyone can be an elector.


As for who ends up being an elector, that depends on the political parties and how a given state legislature sets the method of selection.

Their number is equal to the number of electoral votes the state has, which in turn is equal to the number of senators two per state and number of representatives determined by population said state has, or in the case of the District of Columbia, a set three electors thanks to the 23rd Amendment.

More on why this was considered so important in a bit. Today, this is obviously not an issue for anyone so long as the presidential candidate picks a vice presidential candidate from another state than their own.

This can potentially result in a splitting of the votes.

Understanding how the electoral college works in us presidential election

For instance, inNebraska ended up with four Republican electors and one Democrat. There are some state laws, however, pertaining to this; 29 states and the District of Columbia have laws that require the electors vote the way the popular vote has instructed them too.

That also leaves 21 states that do not have such laws, allowing electors to vote as they see fit instead of how the general public directed them too. It turns out, this seems to have been what the founders intended.Understanding the US Electoral College Every four years, the US elects a president, but voters don't have the final say.

The Electoral College really chooses the president, a month after the. This List of University of Oregon alumni includes graduates of the University of Oregon as well as former students who studied at the university but did not obtain a formal degree..

The university opened in and the first class contained only five members, graduating in The university has over , alumni, 10 of whom are Pulitzer Prize winners, and 2 of whom are Nobel laureates. The official U.S. Electoral College web site, providing current information about the presidential election, information about the roles and responsibilities of state officials and Electors, instructions for state officials and Electors, the timeline of key dates for the presidential election, information about laws and legal requirements related to the presidential election and the Electors, and Electoral vote distribution .

Elizabeth Drew explains the crucial role America's Electoral College plays in the presidential election, as a president is not chosen directly by the people but by an institution known as the Electoral College, in a manner prescribed by the US constitution and a complex set of state and federal laws.

The Complete Book of the US Presidents, an incredible source of information and data, by William Degregorio..

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Beautiful photographs, fascinating articles, and an interesting grouping of presidents by type, in The American President by Kunhardt, Kunhardt and Kunhardt.. Presidential Campaign Songs for every president from Washington to Clinton (except for Chester Arthur), performed by Oscar Brand.

Democrats are banking on changing demographics going their way, but nothing is for certain, according to new study.

The Great Republic: Presidents and States of the United States