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What is the Electoral College? How does it work?

National — The Presidential Electoral College will meet nationwide on Monday, December 14, to vote formal to elect Joe Biden as the next president of the United States.


What you need to know

  • The Electoral College will meet nationwide on Monday, December 14, to vote formal to elect Joe Biden as the next President of the United States.
  • In each presidential election, 538 electoral votes are won.To win the White House, candidates must win a simple majority of 270 electoral votes
  • Electors are assigned based on the number of House constituencies and the total population of each state
  • Most states take a “all-winner” approach when voting for Electoral College.Maine and Nebraska do not

Monday is the legal day for the Electoral College meeting. In reality, electors meet to vote in all 50 states and the District of Columbia. The results will be sent to Washington and aggregated at a joint session of Congress on January 6, presided over by Vice President Mike Pence.

Electoral votes have received more attention this year as President Donald Trump refused to approve the election and continued to file unfounded fraud allegations.

Biden plans to deal with the country on Monday night after the electors vote. Meanwhile, Trump sticks to his false claim that he won the election, but weakens Biden’s presidency even before it begins. “No, I’m worried about having an illegitimate president in the country. That’s what I’m worried about. The president who lost and lost badly,” Trump said in an interview with Fox News recorded Saturday. Said.

In each presidential election, 538 electoral votes are won. To win the presidential election, candidates need to win a simple majority (270 votes).

Biden won 232 of Trump’s 306 electoral votes. It takes 270 votes to be elected.

In 32 states and the District of Columbia, the law requires electors to vote for the winner of the popularity poll. The Supreme Court unanimously endorsed the arrangement in July.

Electors are generally devoted to political parties, so most of the time they vote for the state winner anyway. There is no reason to anticipate asylum this year. Among the prominent electors are Georgia’s Democratic Party Stacey Abrams and South Dakota’s Republican Governor Kristi Noem.

Voting is clearly low-tech, with paper voting. Electors cast one vote each for the President and Vice President.

Electors, the pre-designated people of each state who cast these votes, are assigned to the states based on the total population and the number of House constituencies.

It sounds simple, but the Electoral College is one of the most disruptive and often confusing parts of the US election process.

Let me explain a little about why the Electoral College is so important.

A brief history

The Electoral College was invented at the 1787 Constitutional Council. This was a compromise between those who wanted the president’s direct popular elections and those who asked Congress for a decision. In an era when there was little national identity and competition between states, there was concern that people would support local candidates and that large, densely populated states would dominate the vote.

The Electoral College has 538 members, which are assigned to each state based on the number of representatives in the House of Representatives and two senators. (Despite the fact that Parliament’s headquarters do not have voting rights in Parliament, the District of Columbia wins three.)

To be elected president, the winner must win at least half plus one, or 270 electoral votes.

This hybrid system means that more emphasis is placed on a single vote in a smaller state than someone in a larger state, which can lead to conflicting results with popular votes.

In fact, part of the presidential candidate’s election strategy is to map the states that candidates can and must win to collect 270 electoral votes.

Who are these “electors”?

The US Constitution provides little guidance on who can be an elector, but it does include strict regulations on who is not eligible for that position. Articles II, 1 and 2 provide that “a senator or member of the House of Representatives, or a person who holds a trust or interests office in the United States, is not appointed as an elector.”

Electoral selection is a two-part process.

The first part of the process varies from state to state, but consists of state-wide political parties selecting electoral candidate slate by nomination at a party convention or by procedural voting from the party’s central committee. I am.

Electors are often high-ranking members of either party and are chosen to honor their service to the government.

The second part of the process occurs during the state general election. When voters vote for the president, they also select state voters to represent their votes in the Electoral College.

The number of electoral voters in a state varies greatly because electors are assigned to states based on the total population and the number of congressional districts.

For example, a less populated state like Wyoming (the state with the lowest population of just over 500,000 in 2019) has three electors each. California is the most populous state with a population of over 39 million and is also the country’s most electoral state at the age of 55.

Actual electoral college

In essence, the Electoral College means that voters do not vote directly for the president. Instead, they choose an elector to vote on their behalf.

Individual states can choose how to allocate final electoral votes in the presidential election, and most states choose the “winner-all-take-all method.” In these states, including the 48 states of the United States and Washington, DC, the person who wins the popular (or people’s) vote also wins all the electoral votes.

Speaking of candidates barely raked up in 51% of the referendum in California, all 55 state electors still go to the candidates in question.

Two states, Nebraska and Maine, have chosen different systems for assigning electoral college votes. Candidates who win the state’s popularity poll, called the “House Constituency” system, receive two voters, with the remaining votes (two in Maine and three in Nebraska) being the popularity of each constituency. Assigned to voters.

This more complex system could eventually lead the two states to vote for multiple candidates.

In 2008, then-candidate John McCain won three popular state-wide votes throughout Nebraska, two of the state’s three districts, and three electoral votes. However, McCain’s opponent, Barack Obama, won a popularity vote in Nebraska’s Second Parliamentary District and became the first Democrat to win an electoral vote in the state since 1964.

In 2016, Donald Trump also won a popularity vote in Maine’s second constituency, winning additional electoral votes from his victory.

In fact, Trump won the Electoral College’s 304 votes against Hillary Clinton’s 227 in 2016, but lost a little over 2% in popularity. Seven “dishonest electors” voted for other candidates.

It was the fifth time in history that the president lost the popularity poll, but still got enough electoral support to win the White House. Before President Trump was defeated in the 2020 elections, more Americans (65,853,514 million per official count) voted for Clinton than any other defeat candidate in modern history.

So how did Trump still win?

According to Pew Research, the mismatch can be explained by Trump’s very narrow wins in large states such as Wisconsin, Florida and Pennsylvania. Although he only won the state’s popularity vote by a small margin, Trump won all the electoral votes. As a result, Clinton’s voting sweep, which is popular in states such as California, Illinois, and New York, was not sufficient to exceed the 270 threshold required for Electoral College votes.

Electoral Opposition Opponents Despite Clinton’s 2016 Defeat and Al Gore’s 2000 Popularity Vote Victory, George W. Bush’s Electoral College Wins as Reasons to Modify the Electoral College Process Is listed.

According to the National Conference of State Legislatures (NCSL), legislation has been introduced in all states since 2000 to change the presidential election process. Initially, most proposals were to switch to the system used in Maine and Nebraska, but recent legislation calls for a complete switch to national popularity polls.

According to the NCSL, under this system, the state “promises to give all electoral votes to the party that wins the national general vote, not the party that wins the state’s general vote.”

It will not be easy to completely abolish the electoral college, and a constitutional amendment will be required. Such a move is unlikely to occur in the near future, as it requires two-thirds of the votes in both houses and then ratification by three-quarters of the state parliament.

How this will shape after 2020

President Biden’s aide is sending a message to President Trump and his supporters. It was a long time ago.

As the electoral college will officially elect Biden as president on Monday, his aides said the Republicans would accept Trump’s defeat in light of their long-term interests (and national interests) and Corona. He says he wants to pay attention to fighting the virus pandemic and avoiding the economy.

Republicans generally support Trump because he makes unfounded claims about fraudulent elections, and they show Biden no sign that it looks like a honeymoon time. Biden takes power in a narrowly divided Senate — next month’s final vote in Georgia will determine who will control the Senate — and won a seat even if the Republicans lose Trump So the majority of the Democrats in the Senate have diminished.

However, aides point to Biden’s strong approvals, recording a record 81 million votes and voters worn by the pandemic to encourage Republicans to cooperate. Biden’s senior adviser Mike Doniron said American voters want the Democrats and Republicans to synchronize.

“The agenda that the presidential election is advocating is at the forefront of what people want in life,” Doniron said. “So I think it will be in the interests of the country, it will be in their own interests to get in and out of the way.”

Biden’s team took Trump to the White House four years ago to recapture Rust Belt, which helped the Democratic presidential candidate win in Arizona and Georgia since the 1990s, in claiming a mission. Pointing out President-elect. Biden also won a popularity vote of over 7 million people, backed by a strong show with women, people of color and independents.

“We have won many times at this point in so many different ways. Biden’s Deputy Director Jen O’Mary Dillon shrugged Trump’s challenge,” said “(Monday). ) Is obviously a big day, probably because it requires a little more imports than before. “

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

What is the Electoral College? How does it work?

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