The Electoral College vs. Popular Vote Explained

Today, electors meet of their respective states on the primary Monday after the second Wednesday of December — Dec. 14 this 12 months — to solid separate ballots for president and vp, with the candidates who obtain a majority of votes being elected.

Electors are chosen each 4 years within the months main as much as Election Day by their respective state’s political events. Processes fluctuate from state to state, with some selecting electors throughout state Republican and Democratic conventions. Some states checklist electors’ names on the overall election poll.

The course of of selecting electors may be an “insider’s game,” mentioned Kimberly Wehle, a professor on the University of Baltimore and the writer of “What You Need to Know About Voting and Why.” They are sometimes state legislators, social gathering leaders or donors, she mentioned.

The vital quantity is 270. A complete of 538 electoral votes are in play throughout all 50 states and Washington, D.C. The whole variety of electoral votes assigned to every state varies relying on inhabitants, however every state has at the very least three, and the District of Columbia has had three electors since 1961.

Most are, and it helps to think about voting on a state-by-state foundation, Professor Amar mentioned.

“It’s just like in tennis,” he mentioned. “It’s how many sets you win and not how many games or points you win. You have to win the set, and in our system, you have to win the state.”

Two exceptions are Maine and Nebraska, which depend on congressional districts to divvy up electoral votes. The winner of the state’s fashionable vote will get two electoral votes, and one vote is awarded to the winner of the favored vote in every congressional district.

There are arguments that the states with smaller populations are overrepresented within the Electoral College, as a result of each state will get at the very least three electors no matter inhabitants. In a stark instance, sparsely populated Wyoming has three votes and a inhabitants of about 580,000, giving its particular person voters much more clout within the election than their hundreds of thousands of counterparts in densely populated states like Florida, California and New York. And the American residents who reside in territories like Puerto Rico, Guam and the U.S. Virgin Islands aren’t represented by any electors.

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