Questions tagged [electoral-college]

In the United States, the President is not elected directly by popular vote, but by electors chosen by each state, which can sometimes produce a different outcome from the popular vote. Use with the [united-states] tag

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74
votes
10answers
21k views

What is the most someone can lose the popular vote by but still win the electoral college?

As the 2016 election results continue to come in, it looks pretty clear that Hillary Clinton will win the popular vote but will lose the electoral college. I know this has happened before and usually ...
60
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12answers
16k views

Does the Electoral College system really favor low population areas?

I was reading some questions on this site, and I stumbled up this comment. I'll transcribe the relevant parts of it here in case it ever goes away: You could throw in something about how Hillary ...
41
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4answers
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Who would become the US President if a fictional character like Cthulhu is elected?

In the year 20XX, Cthulhu is "elected" President of United States. Namely, by "elected", I mean that enough people in the right patterns and places vote for Cthulhu[1] that 270+ electoral votes by ...
35
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8answers
11k views

Can a president win the electoral college and lose the popular vote?

Let me preface this by saying I'm not American (but I'm British so I can't be too high and mighty about voting systems -Brexit). Last chance I got to look at the popular vote figures, Hillary is ...
33
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4answers
4k views

In the Electoral College, why can electors vote in contrast to their pledge ('faithless')?

The United States uses an Electoral College system, where electors pledge to cast their vote in a particular way. However, these electors have the ability to vote in a manner that directly contradicts ...
32
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8answers
26k views

Who would have won the 2016 presidency if all states' electors were allocated proportionally?

Hypothetically, if all states were to allocate their electors proportionally to the votes in their state, who would have won the last election? That is, let's say that there was a constitutional ...
23
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3answers
54k views

Which US states give proportional Presidential electoral college votes to candidates?

The US Presidential election uses an "electoral college" system, where each state gets a certain number of "electors" (votes), and those electors cast the official votes for President. Each state's ...
22
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1answer
4k views

Why were there only 531 electoral votes in the US Presidential Election 2016?

I just read this Wikipedia article. It says Trump won with a 304 to 227 for electoral votes. That's 304 + 227 = 531 votes. But the total number should be 538. Where did the 7 votes go?
19
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9answers
5k views

Do Presidential Campaigns often visit non-competitive states in the days right before the election?

According to the FiveThirtyEight polling averages, the most competitive states Trump needs to push him over 270 electoral votes are: Florida - where Biden leads by +2 Arizona - Biden +3 Pennsylvania -...
19
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5answers
6k views

How many people would it take for California to run the country?

Every ten years, the census reapportions Congressional representation. There are 385 seats in the House that are "up for grabs" based on each state's population. Since a majority in the House is 218 ...
19
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2answers
3k views

How exactly was the Texas v. Pennsylvania lawsuit supposed to reverse the 2020 presidential election?

This question seems fairly straightforward. I believe it must have been answered somewhere, or I'm missing something very trivial. Texas state Attorney General Ken Paxton sued Georgia, Michigan, ...
18
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2answers
4k views

What is the Legal Process if Electoral Certificates are Damaged?

Plenty of interesting questions have arisen related to the unprecedented riot at the Capitol in Washington D.C. on January 6, 2021. In a recent report printed in the New Yorker, Keith Stern, a ...
18
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2answers
3k views

How can Trump be President-Elect before the Electoral College vote?

In the USA, the President is elected by the Electoral College. After the United States Presidental Election, 2016, Donald Trump was referred to as President-Elect as soon as his candidacy was ...
18
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1answer
1k views

How do electoral college votes work with Indian reservations?

As far as I know, citizens from Indian reservations can vote for president, but every-time we see discussions about Presidential elections, votes are assigned by the electoral college per state. How ...
17
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2answers
3k views

What happens if the Vice-President were to die before presiding over the official electoral college vote count?

The President of the US Senate (who is the Vice-President ) is responsible for presiding over the electoral college's votes formally in a Joint Session of Congress. However, what if the Vice-President ...
17
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3answers
3k views

Did the candidacy of Ross Perot swing the 1992 presidential election?

Reading the Wikipedia article on the 1992 presidential candidacy of Ross Perot, one would get the impression that it made no difference to the outcome of the election. However, after looking at the ...
16
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3answers
4k views

Are Running Mates Constitutional (US President/VP)

I was reading over the US Constitution and Amendments when Amendment 12 jumped out at me. I've always thought that Amendment 12 specifically said that Presidential Candidates and Vice Presidential ...
15
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1answer
5k views

What if there is no Presidential winner on Jan 20?

In the year 2000, the state of Florida was in the process of various recounts when Bush v Gore put an end to the process on Dec 12, 2000, which allowed George W. Bush to become the 43th President ...
15
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3answers
4k views

Is the result of the general election final on 8th of Nov, 2016?

I'm a little bit confused by reading about the faithless elector. If one candidate won more than 270 votes on the election day. Is there an chance when the electors come to vote in December, some of ...
14
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4answers
3k views

Why continue counting/certifying electors after one candidate has secured a majority?

As I understand it, a presidential candidate needs to secure 270 electoral votes to have a majority and thereby officially win the election. As I also understand it, when the joint session of Congress ...
14
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2answers
4k views

Must the Vice President preside over the counting of the Electoral College votes?

The Vice President, being the President of the Senate, presides over the counting of the Electoral College votes during a joint session of Congress. Following the count, the VP then officially ...
14
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8answers
5k views

How can the US electoral college vote be so different to the popular vote?

I've seen some of the YouTube and news outlet pieces on the mechanics of how the USA's electoral college voting system works. But if electors are supposed to follow the popular vote and the popular ...
14
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3answers
2k views

What would be needed for the U.S. to abolish or reform the electoral college?

What would it take to reform the U.S. Presidential Elections such that either The President is elected by popular vote, abolishing the electoral college completely, or every state is mandated to ...
14
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1answer
1k views

What happens if US presidential electors die or are otherwise incapacitated between being elected and casting their own votes?

On 2020-11-03, voters in U.S. states and the District of Columbia will vote for members of the electoral college (this is often called the Presidential Election). On 2020-12-14, those members will ...
13
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5answers
6k views

Is it possible for someone to win the presidency due to faithless electors?

Suppose a presidential candidate wins over 270 pledged electors. If several of these pledged electors become faithless and cast their vote for the losing candidate, will the presidency actually go to ...
13
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1answer
3k views

Can faithless electors be grounds for impeachment?

Reading comments on previous question (about faithless electors replacing VP), one sentiment expressed was that there's pretty much no way to undo anything that faithless electors do if they choose ...
12
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2answers
2k views

What procedures are in place to stop a U.S. Vice President from ignoring electors?

Rep. Louie Gohmert (R-Texas) and President Donald Trump's defeated electors appear to be suing Vice President Mike Pence in a Federal Court in Texas. Gohmert and a handful of the electors sued Pence ...
12
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1answer
929 views

Why does the 2021 resolution to abolish the electoral college explicitly allow voting for a candidate of one's own state?

A January 11, 2021 Congressional resolution proposes to amend the U.S. Constitution to abolish the electoral college. The resolution contains a clause explicitly allowing voting for candidates who ...
12
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1answer
1k views

What would happen if the National Popular Vote Interstate Compact was ratified between a presidential election and when the electoral college votes?

The National Popular Vote Interstate Compact is an agreement between several US states to award their electoral college votes to the winner of the national vote. This agreement is designed to only ...
12
votes
1answer
600 views

What is the maximum count of faithless electors Clinton can possibly get in 2016?

At the time of writing, it looks like Clinton will end up with 232 pledged electoral votes, and Trump with 306. So 37 electors would have to flip just for a tie. My understanding is that some states ...
12
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3answers
947 views

Are state laws restricting electors' votes constitutional?

Several states have laws that purport to restrict or punish faithless electors for their electoral votes. See Wikipedia's Faithless elector: Legal position. Michigan and Minnesota even claim the ...
11
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2answers
768 views

If Congress discards a state's electoral votes, does it change the number needed for a majority?

According to the 12th Amendment, a majority of "whole number of Electors appointed" is needed to elect a US President or Vice President, or else it's thrown into a contingent election by the House (...
11
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3answers
4k views

Could faithless electors really change the USA president?

Let's say Trump wins the Nov 8 2016 election but, because some Alabama electors break their pledge, the electoral college chooses Clinton on Jan 6. It seems that those electors would then just need ...
11
votes
1answer
660 views

What does the December 8th deadline mean for the certification of the results of the Electoral College?

I have just read the Atlantic article which describes a possible constitutional crisis in the USA in aftermath of the current presidential election. Prevention of the election result certification in ...
9
votes
4answers
3k views

Why Would the President-elect have a Transition Visit before December 19? [duplicate]

I understand that the President-elect is not officially elected until December 19 - why would there be a transition visit to the White House if that's the case? Isn't it technically premature?
9
votes
3answers
459 views

Why are they called faithless electors?

I recently read this question: Could faithless electors really change the USA president? I gather that a faithless elector is an elector who goes against the votes cast, but why are they called a ...
9
votes
5answers
2k views

Does the Electoral College majority requirement play a role in keeping the US in a two party system?

From the 12th Amendment of the Constitution (emphasis mine) The person having the greatest Number of votes for President, shall be the President, if such number be a majority of the whole number of ...
9
votes
3answers
606 views

Is an arrangement like the US Electoral College that unusual? In the sense of intentionally granting extra representation to smaller groups of voters?

The US Electoral College is getting a fair bit of criticism for letting the US Presidency be decided, recurrently, with less than 50% for the winner. However, it seems to me that at least some other ...
9
votes
4answers
2k views

Would Third Party Candidates in the United States fare better under a proportional representation split of electoral votes?

One major difficulty in winning election as a third party candidate is the first-past-the-post , winner-take-all system of allocating votes in the electoral college. It tends to support a primary ...
9
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2answers
1k views

Why was the Electoral College the system selected by the founding fathers?

What advantages did the founding fathers see in electoral college that made them pick it over other potential voting systems?
9
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3answers
2k views

In the event of a Presidential candidate's death after the printing of ballots, would the Electors of certain states be able to vote at all?

In several states, Electors can be disqualified for refusing to vote for the candidate who received the most votes. One such example is Arizona (the first one alphabetically with such a requirement), ...
9
votes
2answers
471 views

Ballot rounds U.S. electoral College

Is there a requirement to send the election of the U.S. president and vice-president to the House if no candidate gets a majority on the first ballot or can the Electoral College have multiple ballots ...
9
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2answers
2k views

How are Electoral College electors chosen for write-in votes for President?

In the United States, when people vote for president, they actually vote for the electors. For instance, the Ohio ballot says the following: "A vote for any candidates for President and Vice ...
9
votes
1answer
559 views

When will the votes of the electoral college become public (knowledge)?

I think/understand there are three (or four) key dates here. After the votes have been counted for each state, the electors will be appointed if the results are conclusive. On December 13rd, 2016, ...
9
votes
1answer
757 views

A small set of questions on objections to the Electoral College vote by members of Congress

According to this website article (bold emphasis added)... In 2017, the new federal Congress convenes on January 6 for the official Electoral College vote count. The Vice President will open the ...
9
votes
1answer
455 views

Do Virginia Democrats support the National Popular Vote Interstate Compact?

Virginia is not currently a member of the National Popular Vote Interstate Compact. The NPVIC is very popular with Democratic voters (a 2018 Pew Research Center Poll showed 75% of Democrats support ...
9
votes
1answer
287 views

Electors: Are Their Identities Public Information?

Is the identity of each elector who will vote in December available to the public? Or would it be a state by state process to get their identities? (I have sent message to electoral.college@nara.gov - ...
9
votes
1answer
624 views

Can Congress reject presidential electoral votes? What majority is required and can the decision be reverted?

Does "safe harbor" provision prevent Congress from voting to reject presidential electoral vote(s)? What kind of majority is required for such a rejection? Is it possible to revert such a ...
9
votes
1answer
303 views

Why is the possibility of state legislatures invalidating the popular vote being discussed? [duplicate]

It has been discussed that one of the alternatives for Trump to keep the presidency is that... Republican legislators in states like Pennsylvania would invalidate the electoral results and simply ...
8
votes
7answers
2k views

Why are California Republicans against the National Popular Vote Interstate Compact?

States allocate their electoral college votes however they want to. Some, including California, legalized NPVIC (national popular vote interstate compact). This forces the state to give all its ...