Chapter 13: The Electoral College
Why does the U.S. have an electoral college?
The framers of the Constitution thought that not every voter was wise enough to make a correct decision when voting.
Who are the electors and how are they chosen in our state?
The electors are die hard loyal party members. Each state gets one electoral vote for each of its representatives in the House and Senate.
What do the electors actually do? Can they vote anyway they wish?
They vote for the president on December 17th. They can vote any way they want to, but it is frowned upon by their party members if they vote for the other party.
How many electoral votes are there?
Total, there are 538 votes in the electoral college.
How are electoral votes divided among the states?
Each state gets one electoral vote for each of its representatives in the House and Senate. Besides Maine and Nebraska- they award all of their electoral votes to the candidate that wins the state.
How many electoral votes does Indiana have?
How many electoral votes are needed to win?
At least 270.
What happens if no candidate receives a majority? Has this happened before?
The election will be handed over to the House of Representatives. In 1824, when Andrew Jackson won the popular vote and most of the electoral votes, but did not get majority.
Pros of the Electoral College system:
Forces candidates to campaign at local and state level; smaller states benefit.
Cons of the Electoral College system:
Can lose even though a candidate won the popular vote. Most states are ignored because they are a solid red or blue.
Who announces the winner? When does the nation vote?
The president of the Senate. The Tuesday after the first Monday in November.