The Presidential Electoral Process Part 2: The General Election, Electoral College, and Inauguration
Step 5: The General Election Takes place on the same day every year 1stTuesday after the 1st Monday in Nov. Next presidential general election? Voters turn out to cast their ballots for President/VP and for many other offices as well But…when voting for President, they are NOT actually casting their ballots for the candidates.
Here is where the Electoral College comes in…
Step 5: The General Election When voters in each state cast their votes for Prez/VP, they are actually voting for a political party’s slate of electors This is a group of “electors” (people who will cast a ballot) from a political party in each state THESE PEOPLE actually get to cast the “REAL” votes for President and VP These votes are known as Electoral Votes, since they actually elect the president.
Each state has a certain number of Electoral Votes # of EV’s = # of Sens + # of Reps
The Electoral College – How does it work? The winner of each state’s popular vote (the vote of the people) has all of their electors chosen to cast their votes for President and VP. This is called the “winner-take-all” method (**ME, NE)
For example: In 2008, the popular vote in PA turned out this way: John Barack McCain Obama 2,655,855 (44%)3,276,363 (56%)
Who won PA’s electoral votes?
Barack– his entire “slate” of Democratic electors would be chosen…all 21 electoral votes would be cast for BO
The Electoral College The number of electoral votes each state has can change… As each census changes the # of Reps., it also impacts the # of electoral votes But…the total number of electoral votes is always… 538 Why this #?
Step 6: Electoral College meets and votes Each state’s electors meet in their respective state capitals (i.e., Harrisburg) in December to cast their electoral votes for the President The winner must get a majority of the Electoral Votes…(270) What if there is a tie? House chooses the Prez (1 vote per state), Senate chooses the VP
2008 Electoral College results http://elections.nytimes.com/2008/results/president/map.html
Step 6: The Electoral College votes Meet in each state capital to cast their votes for the candidate they support Can vote for anyone, but almost always vote for popular vote winner (s/he’s a member of their party, you know…) Most states do NOT require electors to vote for the popular vote winner **Most electors do vote for the popular vote winner…but a few have not…
Step 7: The Inauguration Occurs on January 20th of the year following the election Sworn in by the Chief Justice of the Supreme Court
The oath of office… "I do solemnly swear (or affirm) that I will faithfully execute the office of President of the United States, and will to the best of my ability, preserve, protect and defend the Constitution of the United States."