40 votes

Lesson: How the Electoral College Works (Grades 3 - 6)

The citizens of the United States do not elect their president directly. When Americans cast their vote for a presidential candidate, they are really voting for an elector--a delegate pledged to vote for that same candidate. There are 538 such electors chosen in every presidential election. As a group they are known as the electoral college

Each state has as many electors as it has members in the U.S. Senate and House of Representatives combined. The electoral college thus includes 535 electors from the states, one for each of the 435 members of the House plus one for each of the 100 senators. Another three electors represent the District of Columbia, for a total of 538.

According to the U.S. Constitution, state legislators decide how electors will be chosen in their states. First, each political party in a state nominates a slate (list) of electors. These electors are usually pledged to support the party's nominee for president and vice president. In some states, electors are legally required to vote for their candidate


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TEXAS REALLY NEEDS OUR HELP!! http://www.dailypaul.com/229005/texas-emergency
-oops wrong thread

a nod's as good as a wink to a blind bat

if you prefer a video

if you prefer a video version, this guy rocks!




The National Popular Vote Bill- 49% of the Way to Go Into Effect

Presidential elections don't have to be this way.

The National Popular Vote bill would guarantee the Presidency to the candidate who receives the most popular votes in all 50 states (and DC).

Every vote, everywhere, would be politically relevant and equal in presidential elections. No more distorting and divisive red and blue state maps. There would no longer be a handful of 'battleground' states where voters and policies are more important than those of the voters in more than 3/4ths of the states that now are just 'spectators' and ignored after the primaries.

When the bill is enacted by states possessing a majority of the electoral votes– enough electoral votes to elect a President (270 of 538), all the electoral votes from the enacting states would be awarded to the presidential candidate who receives the most popular votes in all 50 states and DC.

The bill uses the power given to each state by the Founding Fathers in the Constitution to change how they award their electoral votes for President. Historically, virtually all of the major changes in the method of electing the President, including ending the requirement that only men who owned substantial property could vote and 48 current state-by-state winner-take-all laws, have come about by state legislative action.

In Gallup polls since 1944, only about 20% of the public has supported the current system of awarding all of a state's electoral votes to the presidential candidate who receives the most votes in each separate state (with about 70% opposed and about 10% undecided). Support for a national popular vote is strong among Republicans, Democrats, and Independent voters, as well as every demographic group in virtually every state surveyed in recent polls in closely divided Battleground states: CO – 68%, FL – 78%, IA 75%, MI – 73%, MO – 70%, NH – 69%, NV – 72%, NM– 76%, NC – 74%, OH – 70%, PA – 78%, VA – 74%, and WI – 71%; in Small states (3 to 5 electoral votes): AK – 70%, DC – 76%, DE – 75%, ID – 77%, ME – 77%, MT – 72%, NE 74%, NH – 69%, NV – 72%, NM – 76%, OK – 81%, RI – 74%, SD – 71%, UT – 70%, VT – 75%, WV – 81%, and WY – 69%; in Southern and Border states: AR – 80%,, KY- 80%, MS – 77%, MO – 70%, NC – 74%, OK – 81%, SC – 71%, TN – 83%, VA – 74%, and WV – 81%; and in other states polled: CA – 70%, CT – 74%, MA – 73%, MN – 75%, NY – 79%, OR – 76%, and WA – 77%. Americans believe that the candidate who receives the most votes should win.

The bill has passed 31 state legislative chambers in 21 states. The bill has been enacted by 9 jurisdictions possessing 132 electoral votes - 49% of the 270 necessary to go into effect.

Follow National Popular Vote on Facebook via nationalpopularvoteinc

48 states already go by popular vote by being....

Winner Take All.

One of the ideas behind the EC was to give equal voting power to less populated areas. Each of those areas (districts) voted for a representative(an elector)by popular vote to go onto the EC; which would explain the number of Electors for the College (plus two for senators). Each of those districts are made up by population. By our US Constitution, there is redistricting based on population every 10 years; 2012 being that year. Several states gained an electoral vote while others lost.

It's a States's Legislature making rules for the general election that disenfranchises the EC process and the voters. Statewide-winner-takes-all allows a disproportionate number of electors from those more populated states go onto the college. It would take all of the New England states to be "heard" over California. Most states also gave power to the duopoly to nominate electors which deems a third party incapable of participating in the EC nomination process and a presidential win.

IMO we need the EC more so now than ever simply because we can't trust of voting machines as we obviously witnessed. BUT--- The states' legislatures should only do the reporting of the winner by district, a proportinate mix of electors nominated by the people. The duoply shouldn't have the power decide who should be the electors either. Parties are not people. This is what got us into this mess. No wonder the establishment acts on such entitlement.

Can somebody explain

how state electoral slates are created if a contender runs as independent individual who does not represent a party? Is it even possible?

It's the State that decides.

"According to the U.S. Constitution, state legislators decide how electors will be chosen in their states."

Free includes debt-free!

Having thought about this for some time

I think I finally understand the principle of the Electoral College, although I've not yet seen it explained as such:

direct democracy is dangerous because a majority can be unethically incorrect while forcing a minority to participate [ex. taxation].

Arguing further that freedom dignifies conscience, those who are willing to participate in the political process assumedly exercise virtual judgment to reasonably inform themselves of various issues and subjects.

When it then comes to electoral politics, the principle of choice subsequently 'refines' competing ideas and candidates to ultimately produce the 'best delegate for the job'.

I imagine there are other factors regarding the structure of the E.C. and it is difficult to discern among multiple 'theories', however it appears much confusion could be avoided if the process more simply stated: "as a citizen I am voting for this EC delegate who will be civicly competing against other delegates to elect the President", for example.

Thoughts anyone?

Its also about population densities

If the Election were to be decided solely based off the popular vote, there would be disaster! think of BIG Metropolitan areas like NYC, LA, Chicago, etc. that have more than 500,000 people 50% of them are Obama supporters. Small states like Iowa, Colorado wouldn't stand a chance in electing their candidate whom they see fit in their state. I was against it but I realize now it is an important duty of active patriots who do more than sit on their ass and watch TV.

His name is Edward Snowden

What is Capitalism?

Big City Realities

With a National Popular Vote, big cities would not get all of candidates’ attention, much less control the outcome.
The population of the top five cities (New York, Los Angeles, Chicago, Houston and Philadelphia) is only 6% of the population of the United States and the population of the top 50 cities (going as far down as Arlington, TX) is only 19% of the population of the United States.
Suburbs and exurbs often vote Republican.

If big cities controlled the outcome of elections, the governors and U.S. Senators would be Democratic in virtually every state with a significant city.

A nationwide presidential campaign, with every vote equal, would be run the way presidential candidates campaign to win the electoral votes of closely divided battleground states, such as Ohio and Florida, under the state-by-state winner-take-all methods. The big cities in those battleground states do not receive all the attention, much less control the outcome. Cleveland and Miami do not receive all the attention or control the outcome in Ohio and Florida.

The itineraries of presidential candidates in battleground states (and their allocation of other campaign resources in battleground states) reflect the political reality that every gubernatorial or senatorial candidate knows. When and where every vote is equal, a campaign must be run everywhere.

With National Popular Vote, when every vote is equal, everywhere, it makes sense for presidential candidates to try and elevate their votes where they are and aren't so well liked. But, under the state-by-state winner-take-all laws, it makes no sense for a Democrat to try and do that in Vermont or Wyoming, or for a Republican to try it in Wyoming or Vermont.

Even in California state-wide elections, candidates for governor or U.S. Senate don't campaign just in Los Angeles and San Francisco, and those places don't control the outcome (otherwise California wouldn't have recently had Republican governors Reagan, Dukemejian, Wilson, and Schwarzenegger). A vote in rural Alpine county is just an important as a vote in Los Angeles. If Los Angeles cannot control statewide elections in California, it can hardly control a nationwide election.

In fact, Los Angeles, San Francisco, San Jose, and Oakland together cannot control a statewide election in California.

Similarly, Republicans dominate Texas politics without carrying big cities such as Dallas and Houston.

There are numerous other examples of Republicans who won races for governor and U.S. Senator in other states that have big cities (e.g., New York, Illinois, Michigan, Pennsylvania, and Massachusetts) without ever carrying the big cities of their respective states.

The main media at the moment, TV, costs much more per impression in big cities than in smaller towns and rural area. Candidates get more bang for the buck in smaller towns and rural areas.

The National Popular Vote bill would not change the need for candidates to build a winning coalition across demographics. Any candidate who ignored, for example, the 16% of Americans who live in rural areas in favor of a “big city” approach would not likely win the national popular vote. Candidates would have to appeal to a broad range of demographics, and perhaps even more so, because the election wouldn’t be capable of coming down to just one demographic, such as soccer mom voters in Ohio.

Now More Than 2/3rds of States and Voters are Ignored

With National Popular Vote, every vote would be equal. Candidates would reallocate the money they raise to no longer ignore more than 2/3rds of the states and voters.

Presidential candidates concentrate their attention on only a handful of closely divided "battleground" states and their voters. There is no incentive for them to bother to care about the majority of states where they are hopelessly behind or safely ahead to win. 9 of the original 13 states are considered “fly-over” now. In the 2012 election, pundits and campaign operatives agree already, that, at most, only 12 states and their voters will matter. They will decide the election. None of the 10 most rural states will matter, as usual. About 76% of the country will be ignored --including 19 of the 22 lowest population and medium-small states, and 17 medium and big states like CA, GA, NY, and TX. This will be more obscene than the 2008 campaign, when candidates concentrated over 2/3rds of their campaign events and ad money in just 6 states, and 98% in just 15 states (CO, FL, IN, IA, MI, MN, MO, NV, NH, NM, NC, OH, PA, VA, and WI). Over half (57%) of the events were in just 4 states (OH, FL, PA, and VA). In 2004, candidates concentrated over 2/3rds of their money and campaign visits in 5 states; over 80% in 9 states; and over 99% of their money in 16 states.

More than 2/3rds of the states and people have been merely spectators to presidential elections. They have no influence. That's more than 85 million voters ignored. When and where voters are ignored, then so are the issues they care about most.

Policies important to the citizens of ‘flyover’ states are not as highly prioritized as policies important to ‘battleground’ states when it comes to governing.

The number and population of battleground states is shrinking as the U.S. population grows.

As of March 10th, some pundits think there will be only Six States That Will Likely Decide The 2012 Election

If so

it is a remarkable testament to the visionary ideals of the founding fathers.


Founders Did Not Establish the Current System

In 1789, in the nation's first election, the people had no vote for President in most states, only men who owned a substantial amount of property could vote, and only three states used the state-by-state winner-take-all method to award electoral votes.

The Electoral College is now the set of dedicated party activists, who vote as rubberstamps for presidential candidates. In the current presidential election system, 48 states award all of their electors to the winners of their state. This is not what the Founding Fathers intended.

The Founding Fathers in the Constitution did not require states to allow their citizens to vote for president, much less award all their electoral votes based upon the vote of their citizens.

The presidential election system we have today is not in the Constitution. State-by-state winner-take-all laws to award Electoral College votes, were eventually enacted by states, using their exclusive power to do so, AFTER the Founding Fathers wrote the Constitution. Now our current system can be changed by state laws again.

Unable to agree on any particular method for selecting presidential electors, the Founding Fathers left the choice of method exclusively to the states in section 1 of Article II of the U.S. Constitution-- "Each State shall appoint, in such Manner as the Legislature thereof may direct, a Number of Electors . . ." The U.S. Supreme Court has repeatedly characterized the authority of the state legislatures over the manner of awarding their electoral votes as "plenary" and "exclusive."

The constitution does not prohibit any of the methods that were debated and rejected.

It was sad to see from all the postings yesterday most people

didn't even know what delegates were. Some of them even worked at the polls!

egapele's picture

I'm not ashamed to admit I need a lesson on this.

I've bookmarked this for a read later. Thanks for posting.

I think they "teach this" to 3rd graders on purpose

Because they know 3rd graders won't be able to understand it. I didn't understand it until I was 40!

Don't feel bad, I'm 45

What began as a disagreement between my son and I led to some extensive research into the EC, that was weeks ago and we are just beginning to get a grip on it. The process isn't all that difficult to grasp, but the ramifications are rather broad to say the least.

πολλα γαρ πταιομεν απαντες ει τις εν λογω ου πταιει ουτος τελειος ανηρ δυνατος χαλιναγωγησαι και ολον το σωμα