Friday, December 2, 2016

The Electoral Process: How the President is Chosen

                                                      Article by Sarah Cloutier and Andres Vargas
                                                          Multimedia supplied by Ashley Davis
                                                                     Edited by Jakob Saucier

          The electoral college is just one part of our very complicated presidential election process. Each state has a different number of electoral votes. The number of votes for each state is decided by how many State Representatives there are; you have one vote for every State Representative you have plus two more due to your Senators. For a presidential candidate to win, they need to win 270 electoral points or more, out of all 538. Almost all the states have a “winner take all” system. That means whichever presidential candidate wins the state, gets to have all the electoral votes of that state. There are only 2 states that do not go with this system. These two states are Nebraska and Maine, and while Nebraska has 5 electoral votes, Maine only has 4. Since they don't have the “winner take all” system, their votes can split. Some votes could go to one candidate while the rest go to the other.

What is the U.S. electoral college and how does it work?

        The smallest number of electoral votes for one state is 3. The largest number of electoral votes per one state is currently 55. The state that holds all 55 electoral votes is California. This makes California a very valuable state to the candidates. They will want to try and make California like them and their views so they can win all their electoral votes. Winning California's votes is a big deal, and can put the candidate way ahead. But, California has had a very Democratic history when it comes to voting.
    Some non-voters could get mistaken and believe that the popular vote is what elects the president. However, they are incorrect. One candidate could win the popular vote and still not become president. In fact, during the 2016 election between Donald Trump and Hillary Clinton, Clinton won the popular vote but did not win the majority of Electoral votes, therefore she did not win the presidential candidacy. Trump won, due to the fact that he won the majority of the 538 Electoral votes.
But what happens if neither candidate gets 270 Electoral votes? Well, the three most politically powerful representatives of each state, from the House of Representatives, come together and decide on which candidate to vote on. The same process applies to the Senate, but with the Vice President. This could result in a Republican President with a Democratic Vice President, or vice-versa. Another unlikely situation that may occur is if the popular vote and the Electoral College differ in results. This can occur is if one candidate wins a few very powerful states by a grand majority, putting that candidate in the popular lead. Then, they lose many states by a close margin, slowly bringing down the popular vote lead. These losses could either take over the popular vote in favor of the candidate winning the majority of the Electoral College, or they could not add up to be enough to take over the popular candidate. This can result in the difference of winners between the Electoral College. Thus, the majority votes of many major states outweigh the losses of the close losses. This difference in results of the Electoral College and the popular vote has happened a few times in U.S. history, such as when Al Gore won the popular vote, but George W. Bush won the Electoral vote. It is the electoral college that officially decides who our president will be. Even though it may seem like your vote doesn't matter, it does. It determines where the electoral college votes will go. You also help determine things in your local community when voting. So just know that every vote does count, so use it wisely!

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Soni, Jimmy. "What Is The Electoral College? How It Works And Why It Matters." The Huffington Post., n.d. Web. 28 Nov. 2016.

Http:// "How the Electoral College Became Winner-Take-All - FairVote." FairVote. N.p., n.d. Web. 28 Nov. 2016.
Kiersz, Andy. "Here's the Final 2016 Electoral College Map." Business Insider. Business Insider, 28 Nov. 2016. Web. 30 Nov. 2016.
"U. S. Electoral College, Official - What Is the Electoral College?" National Archives and Records Administration. National Archives and Records Administration, n.d. Web. 30 Nov. 2016.

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