What is the Electoral College?

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 Tuesday, 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.

How does the Electoral College work?

Every four years, voters go to the polls and select a candidate for President and Vice-President. In all but two states, the candidate who wins the majority of votes in a state wins that state’s electoral votes. 

How are the electors selected?

This process varies from state to state. Usually, political parties nominate electors at their state conventions.

Do electors have to vote for their party’s candidate?

Neither the Constitution nor Federal election laws compel electors to vote for their party’s candidate.

What happens if no one gets a majority of Electoral College votes?

 

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