I was thinking about Guam. What would happen if Guam were not made into a state but given one vote in the Electoral College?

A purpose of this is to give Guam a say in the political process nationally. But the primary purpose is to partly neutralize the idea of the Electoral College going into a tie and sending it to the House of Representatives.

Guam voted for the popular vote winner (in a straw poll added to Guam’s election) every presidential election since 2004. Because of this, it is not clear if Guam would favor one party over the other like most states do in presidential and senate elections or which party it would favor.

The territory getting one electoral vote would make Wyoming have 16% more people per electoral vote as of 2018. That is not a terrible discrepancy. The reason for one instead of three is because it almost offsets the population problem relative to Wyoming though that could be seen as a problem in itself.

How could this be done? Could a constitutional amendment be passed granting Guam one electoral vote?

  • A constitutional amendment can accomplish pretty much anything that is physically possible and doesn’t require the agreement or cooperation of other countries. There is no higher US law that could forbid or overturn it.
    – Mike Scott
    Aug 25, 2020 at 12:04

1 Answer 1


Sure. This has actually happened already, when DC was given the ability to appoint electors by the 23th Amendment:

Section 1. The District constituting the seat of Government of the United States shall appoint in such manner as the Congress may direct:

A number of electors of President and Vice President equal to the whole number of Senators and Representatives in Congress to which the District would be entitled if it were a State, but in no event more than the least populous State; they shall be in addition to those appointed by the States, but they shall be considered, for the purposes of the election of President and Vice President, to be electors appointed by a State; and they shall meet in the District and perform such duties as provided by the twelfth article of amendment.

Section 2. The Congress shall have the power to enforce this article by appropriate legislation.

While in this case, they chose to give DC the same number of electors it would have as a state, there's no reason they couldn't have given it 1 or 1000, assuming the amendment was approved

  • 1
    "but in no event more than the least populous State" - Does this mean DC is capped to 3 delegates (currently) even if it had a population the size of California?
    – Jontia
    Aug 25, 2020 at 9:05
  • 4
    @Jontia Under the current constitution, yes, although given the whole district is 68 square miles, it would struggle to get over 8 million, even at the population density of Manlla
    – origimbo
    Aug 25, 2020 at 10:34
  • We should give it one electoral vote to partially offset the population problem. Aug 25, 2020 at 11:19
  • @Jontia: In fact, when the amendment was first ratified, DC had a larger population than six states that had 4 electoral votes (SD, MT, ID, HI, ND, and NH). This is no longer the case, though.
    – dan04
    Aug 25, 2020 at 17:31

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