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Article II, Section I, Paragraph II
“Each state shall appoint, in
such Manner as the
Legislature thereof may direct,
a Number of Electors, equal to
the whole Number of Senators
and Representatives to which
the State may be entitled in the
Congress: but no Senator or
Representative, or Person
holding an Office of Trust or
Profit under the United States,
shall be appointed an Elector.”
The Electoral College Process
Each State is given a number
of Electors equal to the
number of its Senators and
the number of Representatives
that it has
New Jersey has 2 senators
and 13 representatives
Therefore, New Jersey has 15
Who picks the electors?
The major political parties in
each state select their electors
at their party conventions
The Electoral College Process
How it works
On the Monday following the second Wednesday of December, each State's
Electors meet in their respective State capitals and cast their electoral votes- one
for president and one for vice president.
The electoral votes are then sealed and transmitted from each State to the
President of the Senate who, on the following January 6th, opens and reads them
before both houses of the Congress.
The candidate for president with the most electoral votes is declared president.
The candidate needs at least 270 electoral votes to win.
In the event that no one wins a majority of electoral votes for president, the U.S.
House of Representatives selects the president from among the top three
contenders, and the Senate chooses the Vice President.
Each State casts only one vote, and a majority of the States is required to elect the
Then, at noon on January 20th, the newly elected president and vice president are
sworn into office.
Why was it created?
The Framers thought that
the rural farmers of the
new nation wouldn’t know
much about politics
Was this true? Why?
Partially, since in the late
1700’s it was difficult to
learn information about
the candidates because
there was a lack of
1. It insures the states play a role in the election of a
president (state conventions chose the electors)
3. It makes candidates spend time campaigning in both
big cities and smaller cities in the battleground
5. In very close elections, recounts will usually be
confined to a state, rather than an across-the-country
1. The winner of the Electoral College might not be the
candidate who received the most popular votes of the
people (…is this new president legitimate?)
3. Direct election are seen as more consistent with
democratic principles than the Electoral College
5. If presidents were elected by direct popular vote, they
would wage a campaign and advertise all across the
nation, rather than in only certain states.