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Electoral college

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Electoral college

  1. 1. The Electoral CollegeThe Electoral College Electing the U.S. PresidentElecting the U.S. President
  2. 2. OriginsOrigins  Article II of U.S.Article II of U.S. ConstitutionConstitution  Established asEstablished as compromise betweencompromise between election of president byelection of president by Congress and election byCongress and election by popular votepopular vote – Based on same bigBased on same big state/small statestate/small state compromises that createdcompromises that created Senate and HouseSenate and House – Most common people knewMost common people knew little about politics andlittle about politics and could not read or writecould not read or write
  3. 3. Article II, Section 1, Clause 2Article II, Section 1, Clause 2 Each state shall appoint, in such manner asEach state shall appoint, in such manner as the legislature thereof may direct, athe legislature thereof may direct, a number of Electors, equal to the wholenumber of Electors, equal to the whole number of Senators and Representativesnumber of Senators and Representatives to which the state may be entitled in theto which the state may be entitled in the Congress: but no Senator or Representa-Congress: but no Senator or Representa- tive, or person holding an office of trust ortive, or person holding an office of trust or profit under the United States, shall beprofit under the United States, shall be appointed an Elector.appointed an Elector.
  4. 4. MechanicsMechanics  Consists of 538 electorsConsists of 538 electors – One for each of 435 members of HouseOne for each of 435 members of House – One for each of 100 members of SenateOne for each of 100 members of Senate – 3 for District of Columbia (233 for District of Columbia (23rdrd Amend.)Amend.) – The decennial census is used to reapportionThe decennial census is used to reapportion the number of electors allocated among thethe number of electors allocated among the statesstates
  5. 5. ProceduresProcedures  For most states:For most states: – Each party chooses their own slate of electorsEach party chooses their own slate of electors – When you cast your vote in a presidentialWhen you cast your vote in a presidential election, you are actually voting for a slate ofelection, you are actually voting for a slate of electorselectors – After the general election, the state GovernorAfter the general election, the state Governor prepares a Certificate of Ascertainment toprepares a Certificate of Ascertainment to show which electors have been appointedshow which electors have been appointed
  6. 6. Selection of ElectorsSelection of Electors  Each stateEach state’s legislature determines how’s legislature determines how their electors are chosentheir electors are chosen – 48 states and Washington, D.C. employ a48 states and Washington, D.C. employ a winner-takes-all method (to determine whichwinner-takes-all method (to determine which slate of electors will be chosen)slate of electors will be chosen) – Maine and Nebraska select one elector withinMaine and Nebraska select one elector within each Congressional District by popular vote,each Congressional District by popular vote, and select the remaining two electors by theand select the remaining two electors by the aggregate, state-wide popular vote.aggregate, state-wide popular vote.
  7. 7. Elector EtiquetteElector Etiquette  No Constitutional provision orNo Constitutional provision or federal law requiring electorsfederal law requiring electors to vote in accordance with theto vote in accordance with the popular vote in their statespopular vote in their states – In 1976, WA elector pledgedIn 1976, WA elector pledged to President Ford voted forto President Ford voted for Ronald ReaganRonald Reagan – In 1988, WV elector voted forIn 1988, WV elector voted for Sen. Lloyd Bentsen as Pres.Sen. Lloyd Bentsen as Pres. and Gov. Michael Dukakis asand Gov. Michael Dukakis as V.P.V.P.  Some states’ laws requireSome states’ laws require electors to cast their voteselectors to cast their votes according to the popular voteaccording to the popular vote – So-calledSo-called “faithless electors”“faithless electors” may be subject to fines or maymay be subject to fines or may be disqualified for casting anbe disqualified for casting an invalid voteinvalid vote
  8. 8. Once Electors Are ChosenOnce Electors Are Chosen  Electors chosen on election day meet inElectors chosen on election day meet in their respective state capitols on thetheir respective state capitols on the Monday after the second Wednesday inMonday after the second Wednesday in December (December 17December (December 17thth this year)this year)  Meeting opened by Election CertificationMeeting opened by Election Certification Official (normally the stateOfficial (normally the state’s Secretary of’s Secretary of State)State) – Reads the Certificate of Ascertainment (toReads the Certificate of Ascertainment (to make sure all electors are present)make sure all electors are present)
  9. 9. What Happens Next?What Happens Next?  Chairman is chosenChairman is chosen  Secretary appointed to take minutesSecretary appointed to take minutes  Electors choose one or two people to actElectors choose one or two people to act as tellersas tellers  Each elector then submits a written ballotEach elector then submits a written ballot with name of Presidential candidatewith name of Presidential candidate  Tellers count the ballots and announceTellers count the ballots and announce resultsresults
  10. 10. Then What?Then What?  Certificate of Votes are preparedCertificate of Votes are prepared – States number of electoral votes cast forStates number of electoral votes cast for which candidatewhich candidate – 5 original copies signed by every elector; one5 original copies signed by every elector; one copy sent to President of the U.S. Senate bycopy sent to President of the U.S. Senate by certified mailcertified mail  Staff member in the Vice PresidentStaff member in the Vice President’s office’s office collects the Certificates of Vote from eachcollects the Certificates of Vote from each state when they arrive.state when they arrive.
  11. 11. Is It Official Yet?Is It Official Yet?  Certificates are arranged – unopened – inCertificates are arranged – unopened – in alphabetical order and placed in specialalphabetical order and placed in special mahogany boxesmahogany boxes – AL through MO (and D.C.) go into one boxAL through MO (and D.C.) go into one box – MT through WY go into the other boxMT through WY go into the other box  A Joint Session is called to count theA Joint Session is called to count the electoral voteselectoral votes – Always on January 6Always on January 6thth of year followingof year following election at 1 p.m.election at 1 p.m.
  12. 12. And Then?And Then?  The V.P. and Speaker of the House sit atThe V.P. and Speaker of the House sit at the front podiumthe front podium  Senate pages bring in the 2 boxesSenate pages bring in the 2 boxes  Each chamber appoints 2 tellers to countEach chamber appoints 2 tellers to count the votesthe votes  Relevant portions of Certificate of Vote areRelevant portions of Certificate of Vote are read for each state, in alphabetical orderread for each state, in alphabetical order  If there are no objections, the presidingIf there are no objections, the presiding officer declares the result of the voteofficer declares the result of the vote
  13. 13. ResultsResults  A majority of 270 electoral votes isA majority of 270 electoral votes is required to elect the Pres. and V.P.required to elect the Pres. and V.P. (538 divided by 2 = 269)(538 divided by 2 = 269)  True or False: A candidate must win theTrue or False: A candidate must win the electoral votes in more than half of the USelectoral votes in more than half of the US states to become president.states to become president.
  14. 14. New Electoral MapNew Electoral Map
  15. 15. What Could Go Wrong?What Could Go Wrong?  What happens if no candidate gets aWhat happens if no candidate gets a majority of the votes (i.e., 270)?majority of the votes (i.e., 270)? – The House of Representatives decidesThe House of Representatives decides – Happened in 1800 and should haveHappened in 1800 and should have happened in 1824happened in 1824  Is it possible to win the popular vote butIs it possible to win the popular vote but lose the electoral college vote?lose the electoral college vote? – Happened in 1876, 1888 and 2000Happened in 1876, 1888 and 2000
  16. 16. 18001800  Two major political parties at the time:Two major political parties at the time: Democratic-Republican and FederalistDemocratic-Republican and Federalist  In Electoral College, Thomas JeffersonIn Electoral College, Thomas Jefferson and Aaron Burr, both from D-R party eachand Aaron Burr, both from D-R party each got 73 Electoral College votes, while Johngot 73 Electoral College votes, while John Adams, the Federalist candidate, got 65Adams, the Federalist candidate, got 65  As per Constitution, House of RepsAs per Constitution, House of Reps decided: Adams voted President anddecided: Adams voted President and Jefferson was made V.P.Jefferson was made V.P.
  17. 17. 18241824  All candidates from Democratic-RepublicanAll candidates from Democratic-Republican partyparty  War hero Andrew Jackson got 99 votes, JohnWar hero Andrew Jackson got 99 votes, John Quincy Adams (son of former Pres. JohnQuincy Adams (son of former Pres. John Adams) got 84, William Crawford got 41 andAdams) got 84, William Crawford got 41 and Henry Clay got 37. No one got majority of 131Henry Clay got 37. No one got majority of 131 needed to win.needed to win.  Clay was Speaker of the House and promised toClay was Speaker of the House and promised to withdraw if his supporters would vote for Adamswithdraw if his supporters would vote for Adams (who had promised Clay the Secretary of State(who had promised Clay the Secretary of State cabinet position)cabinet position)  Adams became President as a result whichAdams became President as a result which many believed was a very corrupt arrangementmany believed was a very corrupt arrangement
  18. 18. 18761876 Samuel Tilden (Democrat) Rutherford B. Hayes (Republican)
  19. 19. 18881888 Grover Cleveland Benjamin Harrison
  20. 20. 20002000 Al Gore (Democrat) George W. Bush (Republican)
  21. 21. On a clean, full-size sheet of notebook paper,On a clean, full-size sheet of notebook paper, answer the following questions:answer the following questions: 1.1.What is the minimum number of states aWhat is the minimum number of states a candidate can win and become president?candidate can win and become president? 2.2.Name those states?Name those states? 3.3.In your opinion, should the United StatesIn your opinion, should the United States change how we elect our president? If not,change how we elect our president? If not, why not? If so, how should we change itwhy not? If so, how should we change it ?? AssignmentAssignment

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