The U.S. Constitution mentions that the President and Vice chairman of the United states are come be preferred every four years by a tiny group of civilization (currently 538) who space individually described as “presidential electors” and also collectively referred to as the “Electoral College.”

The Constitution specifies that every state is licensed has been granted to one member that the Electoral College because that each that its U.S. Representatives and U.S. Senators. Today, there space a complete of 538 electoral votes in the Electoral College. This total of 538 corresponds to the

435 U.S. Representatives from the 50 states, plus 100 U.S. Senators from the 50 states, plus 3 members of the Electoral university to i m sorry the ar of Columbia ended up being entitled under the 23rd revised (ratified in 1961).

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Every 10 years, the 435 U.S. Representatives space reapportioned amongst the says in accordance v the recent federal census, thereby instantly reapportioning the membership of the Electoral College amongst the states. The map below shows the number of electoral votes for each state, according to the 2020 census.

Each politics party nominates its very own candidates (typically long-standing party activists, officeholders, or donors) for the position of presidential elector. In most states, the nominees for the position of presidential elector room nominated by district and state conventions the each different political party in the state. There room a range of other approaches used. Because that example, in Pennsylvania, the presidential candidate self or herself directly nominates their presidential electors. 

Members the the Electoral College room elected by every state and the ar of Columbia ~ above the Tuesday ~ the an initial Monday in November in presidential election years. In 2020, choice Day is Tuesday November 3, 2020. This date is collection by a federal law passed through Congress, and also may only by adjusted by Congress.

Forty-eight of the 50 states elect their presidential electors using the so-called "winner-take-all" dominion -- the is, 100% of the state"s presidential electors room awarded come the candidate who obtained the most renowned vote within each state. In Maine and Nebraska, one presidential elector is chosen from each of the state"s congressional districts, and also two presidential electors are elected on the communication of the statewide vote. For example, in 2008, Nebraska"s electoral votes separated 4-1, v McCain receiving four and Obama receiving one (as a result of his win Nebraska"s 2nd congressional district). In 2016, Maine"s electoral votes split 3-1, through Clinton receiving three and also Trump receiving one (as a an outcome of his win Maine"s second congressional district in the northern component of the state). 

The 538 members the the Electoral College cast their votes because that President and Vice chairman in meetings held in the 50 state capitals and the district of Columbia in mid-December of presidential choice years. If all 538 electors room appointed, 270 electoral votes (i.e., a majority of 538 members the the Electoral College) are forced to selected the President and also the angry President.


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The 3 Wyoming members that the Electoral college met in December 1996 in Cheyenne to actors their votes because that the Robert Dole because that President and Jack Kemp for Vice President.

The day for the meeting of the Electoral university is created by commonwealth election law (United says Code. Title 3, chapter 1, ar 7). In 2020, the designated day for the conference of the Electoral university is Monday, December 14. This day is collection by a federal law enacted in 1934, after ~ the 20th Amendment adjusted the date for the presidential inauguration indigenous March 4 come January 20.


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The 3 North Dakota members of the Electoral university met top top December 15, 2000, in Bismarck to actors their votes for the Bush-Cheney ticket. Gov. Man Hoeven (left) observes previous Gov. Ed Schafer placed his signature to ballot because that Electoral College. The various other two electors are previous state senator Bryce Streibel the Fressenden and also former Lieutenant branch Rosemarie Myrdal.

The people have the right, under the U.S. Constitution, to poll for U.S. Representatives. The 17th modification (ratified in 1913) provided the world the right to vote for U.S. Senators (who were chosen by state legislatures under the original Constitution). However, the world have no commonwealth constitutional appropriate to poll for president or Vice president or for your state’s members the the Electoral College. Instead, the constitution (Article II, section 1, clause 2) provides:

“Each State shall appoint, in together Manner together the legislative branch thereof might direct, a number of Electors, same to the whole number of Senators and also Representatives to which the State may be entitled in the Congress….”

As the U.S. Can be fried Court observed in the 1892 case of McPherson v. Blacker:

“The constitution does not administer that the meeting of electors shall be by popular vote, nor the the electors shall it is in voted for upon a basic ticket, nor the the bulk of those who exercise the elective franchise deserve to alone pick the electors.” …

“In short, the appointment and also mode of meeting of electors belong specifically to the states under the structure of the united States.”

In 2000, the U.S. Can be fried Court in Bush v. Gore reiterated the principle the the world have no federal constitutional ideal to poll for chairman or Vice president or for your state’s members the the Electoral College..

“The separation, personal, instance citizen has actually no federal constitutional appropriate to vote for electors for the chairman of the United claims unless and also until the state legislature chooses a statewide election as the method to perform its strength to appoint members of the Electoral College.”

The Constitution’s delegation of strength to the claims to choose the manner of picking their members the the Electoral university is unusually unconstrained. That contrasts substantially with the limitations included in the structure on state strength over the manner of conducting conference elections (Article II, section 4, clause 1).

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“The Times, Places and Manner of stop Elections because that Senators and Representatives, shall it is in prescribed in each State by the legislative thereof; but the Congress may at any type of time by regulation make or alter such Regulations….”

In a 1919 case involving a state statute entitled “An act approving to females the best to vote for presidential electors,” the Maine supreme Judicial Court composed (In re Opinion of the Justices):

ach state is in order to clothed v the absolute strength to appoint electors in together manner together it may see fit, without any type of interference or control on the part of the commonwealth government, except, the course, in situation of test discrimination as to race, color, or previous problem of servitude….”


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Certificate that Ascertainment showing that Wyoming cast its three electoral votes for the Bush-Cheney ticket since that slate the candidates received much more popular votes in Wyoming than any kind of other slate.