View Full Version : Non-Football Topic: What is the Electoral College Vote?

10-19-2000, 03:29 PM
I live in a small town. Our lil paper has an article on the front page about the Electoral College vote. From the article it seems that who ever wins the Electoral Vote wins the election even if the canidate DOES NOT win the Popular Vote. Thus it seems the the outcome is derived from a small group of people, not "my vote will count".

From the paper."The Constitution spells out the presidential election process clearly: "Each state shall appoint, in such Manner as the Legislature thereof my direct, a Number of Electors, equal to the whole Number of Senators and Representatives to which the State may be entitled...""

How are these "Select Electors" choosen. Will they vote like me? Or is my vote worthless. Seems kinda goofy.

I guess I fell asleep in my social studies class.



10-19-2000, 03:40 PM
This is correct, you can win the popular vote and still lose the election.

I believe each state does it different, but many states have banded all of it's votes and if you win the state then you get all of thier votes. Some, at least used to, divided them by voting district.

It is all kind of annoying really, if they are going to do it they should do it by the number of people who actually vote, so that if people in a state don't vote they lose power.<P>

10-19-2000, 03:51 PM
So are you saying that if a canidate wins the state by popular vote, then he/she/it is given that states electoral vote value?

I think I see now. Win all of the midwest with podunk electoral votes but miss CA,FL,NY etc, then in theory, win popular vote but not electoral?

10-19-2000, 04:18 PM
in the United States, a group of electors chosen within each state to elect the president and vice president. Each state has as many presidential electors as it has representatives in both houses of Congress.

As originally planned by the framers of the Constitution, the electors actually choose the president. The framers preferred this to a direct popular election because, at a time when travel was difficult and there were no national party organizations, they feared that many regional candidates would divide the vote. Requiring a candidate to win a majority in the electoral college was a way of obtaining a national consensus.

Although the Constitution still allows electors to use their discretion, electors now are usually pledged to support a party's candidate. All the states, except Maine and Nebraska, hold a winner-take-all popular vote for electors. Whichever candidate wins a plurality in a state wins all the electoral votes in that state.<P>

10-19-2000, 04:18 PM
With the winner-take-all system, elected presidents receive a greater percentage of the electoral vote than of the popular vote. Two presidents, Rutherford B. Hayes in 1876 and Benjamin Harrison in 1888, won a majority of the electoral votes even though they received fewer popular votes than their principal opponents. In a very close election, it would again be possible for a popular-vote loser to be elected president. Opponents of the electoral system fear this would undermine the authority of the presidency. It is also feared that a regionally strong third-party candidate who could win even a few states could thwart the intention of the voters. He could throw his electoral votes to a candidate, who would not win otherwise, in exchange for political concessions.

Defenders of the system argue that in a direct popular vote the winner does not have to win a majority of anything--votes or states. Small states or states with a small population fear being overwhelmed by urban centres. Defenders claim a direct-vote system would encourage more splinter candidates.<BR>