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How the Electoral College Works

How the Electoral College Works

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How the Electoral College Works

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  1. How the Electoral College Works

  2. Why was it Created? • Framers questioned whether uninformed citizens would select an adequate leader for the nation if the people chose the “wrong” President, the EC could override the vote. • Wanted to establish a role for the states in the election process = federalism • Candidate with an overwhelming majority of votes in one part of the country couldn’t be elected by a slim overall popular majority

  3. United States Constitution • The United States Constitution outlines how the President is to be elected. Article II Section: Electoral College • 538 people called electors responsible for electing the Pres and VP • # of members in House of Reps (435) + # of members in Senate (100) + 3 for Washington D.C (23rd Amendment) = 538

  4. The Number of Electoral College Votes Each State has is Determined by: Total Number of Electoral College Votes Number of Representatives Number of Senators + = Changes with Census… Each State has Two Senators Each State has at Least One Representative Determined by Population at time of Census

  5. Ohio 2012 Presidential Election 2010 Census Data Number of Representatives Total Number of Electoral College Votes Number of Senators + = 16 2 18

  6. Steps in the Electoral College Process

  7. Step 1: Popular Vote • On election day, voters choose who they want to be President & Vice President • What we’re actually choosing are ELECTORS who represent the political party of the candidate we like • These electors are then supposed to vote for the candidate that wins the popular vote in a given state

  8. Step 2: Winner Take All • Winner takes all • Candidate who wins the popularvotewithina state…wins all of the electoral votes for that state • 48 States • Nebraska and Maine have proportional system - each candidate gets some votes • Majority rules • Candidate who wins the majority of votes wins the election • Need 270 Votes to win

  9. Step 3: Voting • Meeting of Electors - Electors meet in each State capitol to cast votes for the candidate they represent (Monday after the 2nd Wednesday in December).

  10. Step 4: Counting Ballots • Those votes are then sent to the president of the Senate in DC • The president of the Senate counts the votes on January 6 before a joint session of Congress • If there is a tie, the President will be decided by the House of Representatives

  11. Flaws of the Electoral College

  12. # 1 - Person who doesn’t win popular vote can be elected President • 4 Elections • Jackson (41.3%) v. J.Q. Adams (30.9%) • J.Q. Adams winner • Hayes (4.0M) to Tilden (4.2M) • Hayes winner • Cleveland (5.5M) to B. Harrison (5.4) • Harrison winner • Gore v. Bush (2000)

  13. 2000 Presidential Election 435 Representatives 100 Senators 3 Electoral Votes for Washington D.C. + ______________ 538 Electoral College Votes Majority = 270 Electoral College Votes Candidate Electoral Votes Popular Vote George W. Bush 271 50,456,002 Al Gore 266 50,999,897

  14. #2: Electors Don’t Have to Do What We Tell Them To • Electors have refused to vote for their party’s nominee • 1796 • 1820 • 1948 • 1956 • 1960 • 1968 • 1972 • 1976 • 1988 • 2000 • 2004 an elector from MN voted for John Edwards (twice, Pres & VP)