Maybe title isn't 100% accurate.

So let's say there is state X, where people have to pick 30 electors. As I know there is a rule 'winner takes all'. What happens when one of parties win in state slightly? I mean 51% voters picked 20 electors who supports candidate A, and 49% of them voted for 20 electors supporting candidate B. Which one electors will be chose to "final" voting (sorry for lack of specialist vocabulary)?

I mean state needs to type 30 people, but there is only 20 from victory party. What happens then?

  • The situation you describe could never occur. While the exact rules vary from state to state, essentially a voter is voting for a set of electors chosen by the party, and the most votes for a given party/candidate selects that set of electors, so where there is winner takes all, the set of electors is equal to the total number of electors for that state
    – eques
    Commented Nov 11, 2016 at 16:56

2 Answers 2


Voters do not pick any number of electors directly. If a state has 30 electors and party A wins with 51% of the popular vote, then 30 electors supporting the candidate for party A will be chosen.

Any party who received any electors will receive all 30.

  • Ok, that's what I thought (about parties). Well, but I thought voters picks particular electors, doesn't it depend on state? Who chose these 30 electors? Party power?
    – Szkaplerny
    Commented Nov 9, 2016 at 2:10
  • No, there is no state where voters pick electors directly. Almost no one except party leaders have any idea who the electors even are. The electors are typically trusted party members. Commented Nov 9, 2016 at 2:48
  • Expect that ones faithless? ;) Thanks for answers, I'm from EU, so maybe my questions were silly :/
    – Szkaplerny
    Commented Nov 9, 2016 at 2:57
  • 1
    @Szkaplerny despite the talk of "faithless electors"; it's an extremely rare occurrence. There was one in 2000 and the last time a faithless elector crossed party lines was 1972.
    – eques
    Commented Nov 11, 2016 at 16:53

Almost all states follow a "winner-takes-all" policy: if a candidate gets a plurality of the vote in that state, then the group of electors chosen by that candidate's party are the ones who vote.

There are two exceptions to this: Nebraska and Maine. In those states, two electors are allocated to the party that wins a plurality statewide. Additionally, one elector is allocated for each congressional district that a party's candidate wins.

Note that this is plurality, not majority. Utah is likely to split 35% Trump/25% McMullan/25% Clinton/5% other. Despite not getting a majority, the Republicans would still get all six electoral votes from that state.

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