The time to vote is almost upon America. With the COVID-19 pandemic running rampant throughout the world, many people have sought safe ways to vote.
American voters’ ballots are collected, counted, and the winning candidate is assigned the state’s electoral votes. The Electoral College was designed by the Founding Fathers of the U.S. Overall, there are 538 members, one for each U.S. representative and senator. There are three additional electors to represent the District of Columbia.
Every state has been assigned electoral votes, which are equal to the total of their Congressional delegation — including two Senators and the number of Representatives allotted for their state. Then each state legislature is free to determine the process on which to use their electors.
For example, the state of California has two Senators and 53 Representatives. Therefore California is allotted 55 electoral College votes.
In states like Alaska and Wyoming, both only have one Representative. So. they each have a total of three Electoral College votes.
In each election, 538 Electoral College “Elector” votes are up for grabs. This system is fairly simple, really. The person who receives the most votes in the state wins the Electoral College votes for that state.
However, Maine and Nebraska distribute their votes slightly differently. They divide the states into two Congressional districts, and each district is given one Electoral Vote. This leaves two votes for the overall winner in Maine and three in Nebraska.
Once all the votes are counted, the candidate who wins the majority of the votes wins the election. If at any time there becomes a tie, the newly-elected House of Representatives will decide the outcome.
Therefore if the House has to be the deciding vote, the majority vote rules — 26 out of 50 votes, currently, the House comprises 26 Republicans, 20 Democrats, with the remaining four spots split evenly.
In the 240 years the Electoral College been around, it has received a lot of mixed feelings. Some people believe that some states are overrepresented, even with them having the minimum of three Electoral College votes.
Written By Sheena Robertson
Edited by Cathy Milne-Ware
Election Central: Electoral College: How Does It Work?; Jack Walker
National Conference of State Legislatures: The Electoral College
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Featured and Top Image Courtesy of Timothy K Hamilton’s Flickr Page – Creative Commons License