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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].

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Electoral College explained