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The Electoral College


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The Electoral College

  1. 1. The Electoral College
  2. 2. 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.”
  3. 3. The Electoral College Process  Electoral Allocation  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 Electoral votes  Who picks the electors?  The major political parties in each state select their electors at their party conventions
  4. 4. 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 president.  Then, at noon on January 20th, the newly elected president and vice president are sworn into office.
  5. 5. 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 effective communication.
  6. 6. The Pros  Pros 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 states. 5. In very close elections, recounts will usually be confined to a state, rather than an across-the-country recount.
  7. 7. The Cons  Cons 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 system. 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.
  8. 8. The Electoral Map