UNF Spinnaker

Electoral College explained

Darvin Nelson, News Editor

When you cast a vote, you’re not really voting for the president, but rather a group of people to vote for them called the Electoral College. Many voters may not know what the Electoral College is, or why it exists. Here is an explanation of the Presidential Election’s extra step.

The Electoral College is a group of people appointed by each state who officially elect the next president of the United States.

In the Constitution, it states the number of electors of each state has. Florida has 29 electoral votes for this election.

There have been 538 electors in each presidential election since 1964. The number of electors is the same as the number of the voting members of the U.S. congress: 435 representatives, 100 senators, and 3 electors from D.C. 

During a race, the presidential candidates are trying to add up states in order to reach just over 270 electoral votes (almost half of 538) and win the election.

The number of electors in a state is based on its population size. Every decade, the number of electors per state can change based on the decennial census.

California has the most electoral votes with 55. Texas falls in second place with 38, and Florida and New York are tied with 29 votes each with the third most electoral votes.

Whichever candidate wins in Florida gets all 29 electoral votes. The other candidate would get no electoral votes from Florida at all.

There are states that parties can count on for electoral votes, with a long history of voting for that party. Some of the Democrat’s Safe States are Ore., Md., and Mich. Some Republican Safe States include Miss., Kan., and Ala.

Unpredictable states, or Swing States include Fla. and Ohio.

A candidate can gain the presidency even when losing the popular vote (cast by voters) by winning the electoral vote. This has happened only five times in the nation’s history — once with Bush in 2000, and most recently with Trump in 2016.

Many Americans think the Electoral College should not be used any longer. Does society still need the Electoral College?

Data also shows that most of the people who want to keep the system in place are Republicans.

The American Bar Association (ABA) states that “The basis for the Electoral College is found in Article II, Section 1 of the Constitution, which spells out how the president shall be chosen. It gives each state ‘in such manner as the legislature thereof may direct’ electors equal to its representation in Congress.

The national polls give you an idea of who many people might favor, but don’t display who may actually win. When you’re watching the election coverage with the big map of the U.S. on the screen, make sure you got a calculator, so you can start adding up the electoral votes to keep track of who’s really gonna be the next President of the United States.

Featured image by Lucas Sankey via Unsplash.

__

For more information or news tips, or if you see an error in this story or have any compliments or concerns, contact [email protected].

About the Writer
Leave a Comment

If you want a picture to show with your comment, go get a gravatar.




Navigate Left
  • Kamala Harris is sworn in as vice president by Supreme Court Justice Sonia Sotomayor as her husband Doug Emhoff holds the Bible during the 59th Presidential Inauguration at the U.S. Capitol in Washington, Wednesday, Jan. 20, 2021.(Saul Loeb/Pool Photo via AP)

    Election Coverage

    AP: Vice President Harris: A new chapter opens in US politics

  • A light rain falls at the U.S. Capitol as preparations continue prior to the 59th inaugural ceremony for President-elect Joe Biden and Vice President-elect Kamala Harris in Washington on Wednesday, Jan. 20, 2021. (Erin Schaff/The New York Times via AP, Pool)

    Daily

    Live: Biden and Harris Inauguration

  • President-elect Joe Biden tears up as he speaks at the Major Joseph R. "Beau" Biden III National Guard/Reserve Center, Tuesday, Jan. 19, 2021, in New Castle, Del. (AP Photo/Evan Vucci)

    Election Coverage

    AP: Biden’s first act: Orders on pandemic, climate, immigration

  • Clouds form over the White House in Washington, Monday, Jan. 18, 2021. (AP Photo/Pablo Martinez Monsivais)

    Daily

    AP: Joe Biden’s hefty to-do list starts with a flurry of orders

  • UNF Political Science Professor speaks on the impeachment proceedings against Trump

    Daily

    UNF Political Science Professor speaks on the impeachment proceedings against Trump

  • Live: U.S. House of Representatives vote on article of impeachment against Trump

    Daily

    Live: U.S. House of Representatives vote on article of impeachment against Trump

  • President Donald Trump speaks to the media before boarding Air Force One, at Andrews Air Force Base, Md. The President is traveling to Texas. (AP Photo/Alex Brandon)

    Daily

    AP: Trump takes no responsibility for riot as he heads to Texas

  • President-elect Joe Biden elbow bumps Senate candidate Raphael Warnock in Atlanta, Monday, Jan. 4, 2021, during a campaign rally for Warnock and Jon Ossoff. (AP Photo/Carolyn Kaster)

    Daily

    AP: Warnock makes history with Senate win as Dems near majority

  • President-elect Joe Biden speaks after the Electoral College formally elected him as president, Monday, Dec. 14, 2020, at The Queen theater in Wilmington, Del. (AP Photo/Patrick Semansky)

    Daily

    AP: Electoral College makes it official: Biden won, Trump lost

  • President-elect Joe Biden speaks during an event at The Queen theater in Wilmington, Del., Tuesday, Dec. 8, 2020, to announce his health care team. (AP Photo/Susan Walsh)

    Daily

    AP: Biden vows to reopen most schools after 1st 100 days on job

Navigate Right
UNF's #1 Student-Run News Source
Electoral College explained