The Electoral College


Subhadra M., Staff Writer

     It’s time to vote! Many eligible U.S. citizens have already cast their ballots for this November. Here’s the thing: the candidate with the most votes from the citizens may not win the election. This is because of the Electoral College. 

     There are 538 electors in the Electoral College. Their numbers are not divided equally amongst the states. Each state’s number of electors is the number of representatives plus the number of senators per state. For example, California has 53 representatives, and, like everyone else, 2 senators. So, there are 55 electoral votes in this state.

     On Election Day, people do not vote for president. Instead, they are voting for electors. In most states, whichever party wins the popular vote (that’s direct voting by the people) gets all of the electoral votes. So, if California was won by a Democrat candidate, all 55 votes would go to him/her. 

     In only two states, Maine and Nebraska, this does not hold. Instead, each congressional district within a state (there’s one elector for each) gives a vote to whichever party won it. Then, there will be two extra electors who will vote for the state’s majority winner.

     There’s something that bothers people about this system: an elector does not have to vote for their designated party. This means that if California ended up as a Democratic state in the election, an elector could still vote for any other party. Electors are protected from persecution relating to their vote, but many people dislike the fact that electors might not represent the voice of the people.

     People have many different opinions on the idea of the Electoral College. It is how our country votes, and it is what will determine who the president of the United States will be for the next four years. Let the voting begin!