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How the electoral college works

posted 22 Oct 2012, 02:12 by Mpelembe   [ updated 22 Oct 2012, 02:12 ]

The US presidential election is decided by the electoral college. The electoral college system consists of 538 electors who represent the 50 states and vote according to the result of the popular vote in their respective state. To win the presidential election a candidate must receive 270 electoral college votes. 

(ABC/US Government) - The total number of Electoral College votes (538). The winner is the first person to pass 270.  The number of electoral college votes allocated to each state. Plus the total number of votes after population is taken into account for four states: North Dakota (3),Florida (29), Texas (38) and California (55)

Example of the winner of the popular vote taking all the Electoral College votes.

Using the example of the 2000 presidential election to show the winner of popular vote nationally (Al Gore: 48.4%, George W. Bush: 47.9%) losing the election after failing to gain a majority of Electoral College votes (Gore: 266, Bush: 271).

“The US presidential election is decided by the electoral college. The college consists of 538 electors. To be elected president, a candidate must receive a majority of theelectoral college votes or 270 votes.”

“Each state receives three electoral college votes. The rest are allocated proportionately according to the population of each state.”

“With the exception of Maine and Nebraska, the candidate who wins the popular vote in a state receives all of that state’s electoral college votes. A candidate with 49 percent of the vote can end up empty-handed.”

“The winner-takes-all system means it is possible for a candidate to win the popular vote, yet still lose the election. This happened in 2000, when Al Gore garnered 48.4 percent of the vote, but still lost after George W. Bush received 271 electoral collegevotes.”



US Government