Process of the Electoral College

Cade Clark, MVCurrent Writer

Despite the recent election, many people still don´t know how the electoral college works.

The Electoral College is the United States election system used to decide the President. Every four years, all 538 of the electors come together and the candidate who takes at least 270 electoral votes is declared the president-elect. 

It is not that easy though. Each state has different amounts of electoral votes based on population. California, the state with the biggest population, has 55 electoral votes. Seven states and the Capitol are each represented with 3 electoral votes a piece. The states with 3 votes include: North Dakota, Alaska, Delaware, South Dakota, Montana, Vermont, and Wyoming. In some people’s eyes, the fact that some states only have 3 votes, can be problematic, because a candidate can win even though they got fewer votes and the voters do not have to vote in favor of the popular vote.

This leads to who the electors even are. The 538 electors represent each U.S. Senator, each U.S. representative. 

According to the National Public Radio, “How electors get picked varies by state, but in general, state parties file slates of names for who the electors will be. They include people with ties to those state parties, like current and former party officials, state lawmakers and party activists.”

The Electoral College has decided the election since the 1788-1789 election with 69 voters nominating George Washington. Some people want it abolished because of how the results can turn out. For example, due to population and representation, a vote cast in Wyoming is three times more powerful than one cast in California, which means that a person voting in Wyoming is more likely to have their vote matter and their voice heard. Others, however, want it to stay in place due to its ability to keep the smaller states relevant on a national scale and keep a strong two-party system.