The U.S. Electoral College Voting System

November 6, 2012, by Ken Jorgustin

What is the Electoral College and what does it have to do with the presidential election?

In the United States, the president is not chosen by democratic popular vote.

The Electoral College is made up of 538 electors who cast votes to decide the President and Vice-President of the United States. When voters go to the polls on election day, they will be choosing which candidate receives their state’s electors.

The candidate who receives a majority of electoral votes (270) wins the Presidency. The number 538 is the sum of the nation’s 435 Representatives, 100 Senators, and 3 electors given to the District of Columbia.

The candidate who wins the majority of votes in a state wins that state’s electoral votes.