What is the Electoral College of the US Presidential Election?

US Presidential

An electoral college is a group of people fully represented from each state in the United States of America. They serve as an intermediary and mediator between the population and the selection of the president. The voters in the electoral college are also called electors. The electoral college determines who wins the US Presidential election, thereby determining the President and Vice President. They are a group of intellectuals, experienced scholars that are has been exposed to leadership, they act as a receptor and filter the ideas of the populace which will eventually produce the President and Vice President.

Are the popular votes in Americans inconsequential?

Americans vote for their preferred Presidential candidate indirectly. Americans vote for a group of officials known as the electoral college when they go to the polls, the electoral college, in turn, cast their votes for their preferred candidate. The candidate with the majority votes from the pectoral college, win the election. The winner must have more than 270 votes out of 538votes of the electoral college. Their votes of the Americans are called popular votes and it’s still important in the process.

Formation of the Electoral College

 Americans vote for the President and Vice President, they also vote for their electors. Each state is well represented in the electoral college and it is based on population. There are 538 electors in total. Political parties also appoint electors in each state, in the forthcoming US Presidential election 2020, if you vote for a particular candidate on Tuesday, the 3rd of November which is on Tuesday, and he or she ends up winning the popular vote, then the electors from the same party in your state will cast their vote for him in their state capital by December.  The state with more population will definitely have more electors while those less populated will also have fewer electors. The US Presidential election process is not complete without the electoral college, they are an integral part of the election process.

Mode of Operation of the Electoral College

California is one of the most populated states in the US and it has the most electors which are 55 in number. The other states that are sparsely populated like Alaska, North Dakota, Wyoming and Washington DC have the minimum of three. The higher the population, the greater the advantage and influence, the same applies to the states with lesser population. All these will still be applicable in the forthcoming US Presidential election 2020.  Normally, states award their electoral votes to the candidate that won the poll of the ordinary voters in the state. For instance, if the Republican candidate gets the majority vote of the ordinary voters in California, the electors will give him or her the 55 electoral college votes in the state.

There are two states(Nebraska and Maine) which divide their electoral college votes according to the commensurate votes received by each candidate. US Presidential candidates target some of these states that could accelerate them towards getting the 270votes such as the populated states. Every state they win gets them closer to the 270 electoral college votes they need.

When will the electoral college cast their votes?

The electors will cast their votes on the first Monday after the second Wednesday in December. It will happen December 19 this year in the forthcoming US Presidential election 2020 which will make them elect  President and Vice President or re-elect the incumbent.

Electoral College votes for each state

The electoral college votes for each state is dependent on the population of the state. Like the most populous state gets the highest number of electoral votes. One of the most populous states in the United State is California of which they have the highest electoral college vote and it is advantageous to the political party that is of the majority there. State less populated gets lesser electoral votes.

According to nytimes.com, every state gets at least three electoral votes, a state electoral vote is a function of the states Senators and Representatives in the congress. Seven states have the minimum of three electors, California has 55 electoral votes, Texas has 38, New York and Florida has 29 each. Washington DC has three electoral votes but with the 23rd amendment, they have been given more electors as the nation’s capital.

Can you win the popular votes of the Americans and you won’t emerge as the winner of the US Presidential election?

Yes, you can get the majority in the popular votes yet you won’t emerge as the winner in the US Presidential election, probably you could have gotten less than 270 votes from the Electoral College. It could visibly be seen in the last five elections, two out of the last five elections had fewer votes in the popular votes and they got enough votes in from the Electoral College to make them a winner.

Using the 2016 election as a case study here, Donald Trump had fewer popular votes of three million than Hillary Clinton but won the Presidential election because the electoral college gave him the majority of their votes. The case is still the same in the year 2000, George Bush won with 271 electoral votes while the Democratic candidate won the popular votes more than half a million.

Why is the Electoral College preferred and chosen?

In the year 1787, the US constitution was made a working document and functional for its citizens, the popular votes to elect a President was far from being possible, it was because of the size and population of the country and the challenges they will encounter communicating.

At a certain time, they were arguments as regards allowing the lawmakers to chose the President at the capital, Washington DC but the plans were futile because it wasn’t feasible again.

Those that drafted the US constitution created the electoral college with each state choosing electors. The electoral votes were determined by the size of the population, southern states had more influence than a popular vote could have given them.

Will the electors vote for the candidate that won the popular votes in their state?

The electoral college are also known as electors, In some states, electors could vote for any candidate they prefer irrespective of the candidate that won in their state. But practically and conventionally, electors always vote for candidates that won in their state. If the electors should vote against the preferred Presidential candidate in their state, there are labelled “faithless” though it’s effect is inconsequential. The “faithless” makes little or no impact in the US Presidential election process. In fact in 2016, seven electoral college votes were against their states wish but it didn’t still change the result.

If there is no candidate with the majority vote, what will be their fate?

The lawmakers, that is the Representatives, which is the lower council will unanimously vote to elect the President. It has happened once in 1824, the candidates divided the votes of the electoral college which made no one to have a majority. It is practically not possible for it to happen today or in the forthcoming US Presidential election 2020 because there are two major parties, Republican and Democratic party.


The Electoral college was created for two distinct reasons. One of the reasons is that they act as an intermediary and a filter between the population and the selection of a President. The second reason is that they serve as part of the government structure that gives extra power to the smaller states. Though no state is cheated due to population but states that are densely populated are still at advantage. The Electoral College tends to tranquil every bias that could be raised by the Americans. According to historycentral.com, one of the aspects of the electoral system that wasn’t mandated in the constitution is the fact that the winner takes all the votes in the state. It makes no difference if you win a state by 50.1% of the votes, you receive the same number of electoral votes.

Leave a Reply !!

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.