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The Electoral university is a unique method for indirectly electing the president of the joined States. It was created byArticle II, ar 1, i 2 of the U.S. Constitutionand modified by the12thand 23rdAmendments.

The Electoral College consists of a complete of538 members,one for each U.S. Senator and representative, and also three extr electors representing the ar of Columbia. Each state has actually a variety of electoral votes equal to the an unified total the its congressional delegation, and each state legislature is complimentary to recognize the technique it will use to choose its very own electors.

Currently, every states select electors v a popular vote (although exactly how that vote works can differ), yet that was not always the situation throughout American history. In many states, the state legislative selected electors, a practice which was usual until the mid-1800s.

The Electoral college in 2020

The adhering to is a an overview of just how the Electoral college will job-related in the 2020 presidential election:

Spring and Summer 2020:Nomination the Electors.The political next in every state nominate their electors. Parties and states have different ways that going about this, yet a party's presidential electors are generally loyal or constant party members. The parties want to be certain they have the right to rely on your electors to cast their votes for the party's nominee for president.Nov. 3, 2020:Election Day, once voters in each state will choose their presidential electors. The names of electors space not ~ above the ballot in most states. Rather, when a voter casts a vote for a presidential candidate, s/he is likewise casting a poll for the electors currently selected by the party of that candidate. If a majority of voters in a state vote for the Republican candidate because that president, the Republican slate the electors is elected. If a majority vote for the democratic candidate, the autonomous slate that electors is chosen.Dec.14, 2020:Meeting that the Electors.The electors accomplish in each state and cast their ballots for president and also vice president. Each elector votes on his or her own ballot and also signs it. The ballots are immediately transmitted to assorted people:one copy goes come the chairman of the U.S. Senate (who is additionally the vice chairman of the unified States); this is the copy that will certainly be officially counting later. Other duplicates go come the state's secretary that state, the national Archives and also Records Administration, and the presiding referee in the district wherein the electors meet (this serves together a back-up copy that would replace the main copy sent to the chairman of the Senate if the is lost or destroyed).Dec. 23, 2020:Deadline because that Receipt that Ballots. The electors' ballots from all states must be received by the chairman of the Senate through this date. There is no penalty for lacking this deadline.Jan.6, 2021:Counting of the Electoral Ballots.The U.S. Conference meets in share session to count the electoral votes.Jan.20, 2021:Inauguration Day. The president-elect i do not care the chairman of the joined States.

Nomination the Electors

The U.S. Constitution does not specify procedures for the nomination the candidates because that presidential elector. The 2 most usual methods the says have adopted are nomination by state party convention and by state party committee. Generally, the parties select members known for your loyalty and service to the party, such together party leaders, state and local elected officials and party activists. In some states, the electors’ names appear on the ballot together with the surname of the candidates because that president and vice president. However, in many states, electors' names are not published on the ballot. Once a voter casts a vote for a candidate for President the the joined States, s/he is in actuality spreading a vote for the presidential electors that were selected by that candidate's party.

Awarding Electoral Votes

All 50 states and also the district of Columbia use among two approaches for awarding your electoral votes:

The Winner-Take-All System

In 48 states and the district of Columbia, as soon as a candidate because that president wins a state's popular vote, the party's slate that electors will be the people to cast the vote for president of the United says in December. Because that example, Florida has actually 29 electoral votes. If president Donald trump card wins the state’s popular vote on Nov. 3, the 29 electors nominated by the Republican Party in Florida will be selected. These 29 people will gather on Dec.14to cast their votes for president the the joined States.

The ar System

Maine and Nebraska are the just states that carry out not usage a winner-take-all system. Instead, in these 2 states, one electoral poll is awarded come the presidential candidate that wins the popular vote in each congressional district, and the remaining two electoral votes room awarded to the candidates receiving the many votes statewide. This is recognized as the ar system. The is possible under the district device to split the electoral poll for the state. This happened in 2008 in Nebraska:Barack Obama winner the electoral poll in the conference district consisting of Omaha, while john McCain won in the state's other two districts and won the statewide vote as well, securing the state's two at-large votes. Thus, as soon as the Nebraska presidential electors met in December 2008, over there were four Republican electors and also one Democrat. The election to be the very first time Nebraska's electoral vote was split.


Proposed changes tothe Electoral College

In the years since the very controversial 2000 presidential election, bills have actually been introduced in every state in the country to adjust the process for selecting electors. Throughout the period of 2001-2006, most Electoral college reform receipt proposed convert to the district system. Nobody of this bills passed. In the year since, attention has largely change to the National famous Vote (NPV). This is one idea the would permit states to bypass the Electoral College without amending the U.S. Constitution. Once a state joins the NPV Compact, it guarantees that it will certainly give all of its electoral votes to the party the wins thenationalpopular vote, fairly than the party that wins thestatepopular vote. For instance, if the democratic candidate winner the renowned vote in California, however the Republican candidate winner the popular vote nationwide, California would certainly be compelled to send the Republican slate the electors to the meeting of the electors. The NPV has not however taken effect; claims with a complete of at the very least 270 electoral votes must join before it have the right to function. Read more about the National well-known Vote.

The idea the abolishing the Electoral College and instead electing the president by direct popular poll comes around every few years. Abolishing the Electoral College requires an amendment to the us Constitution. There are two ways to perform that:

Congress can propose an amendment by a two-thirds vote of both chambers. The amendment then has to be validated by the legislatures the three-fourths that the states. All existing amendments to the Constitution were made in this manner.The legislatures that two-thirds the the states can petition conference to convene a constitutional Convention. In ~ a constitution Convention, any part of the Constitution can be amended; activity is not limited to the part governing the Electoral college or any kind of other component of the Constitution. Again, any kind of proposed revised would need to be validated by three-fourths that the states. This an approach has never ever been invoked.

Faithless Electors

There is no federal legislation or constitutional provision requiring electors to poll for the party that nominated them, and also over the years a number of electors have voted versus the instructions of the voters. In 2004, a Minnesota elector nominated by the democratic Party cast a ballot for man Edwards, the vice presidential to run mate of man Kerry--thought to be an accident. Electors generally are selected by the politics party for your party loyalty, and many are party leaders, and thus not most likely to vote other than for their party's candidate.

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In 2016, there were 7 faithless electors, the most due to the fact that 1972—three autonomous electors from Washington state cast their votes for Republican Colin Powell, rather of Democrat Hillary Clinton; one democratic elector indigenous Washington state actors his poll for confidence Spotted Eagle, a woman that is a member that the Yankton Sioux Nation; one autonomous elector native Hawaii actors his poll for Bernie Sanders, rather of Hillary Clinton; one Republican elector native Texas cast his vote for john Kasich, instead of Donald Trump; and also one Republican elector native Texas cast his vote for Libertarian Ron Paul.The last time one elector crossed party lines remained in 1972, as soon as an elector nominated by the Republican Party cast his ballot for the Libertarian ticket.Some states have passed laws that require their electors come vote together pledged. These regulations may either impose a fine on an elector who falls short to poll according come the statewide or district renowned vote, or might disqualify one elector that violates his or her pledge and carry out a instead of elector. In July 2020, the U.S. Can be fried Court ruled that it is constitution for says to spreading this kind of law. The says with laws that effort to tie the votes the presidential electors space below:

Alaska (Alaska Stat.§15.30.090)

Most of the laws cited over require electors to poll for the candidate that the party the nominated the elector, or require the elector to authorize a pledge to execute so. Some go further:Oklahoma imposes a polite penalty that $1,000; in phibìc Carolina, the fine is $500, the faithless elector is deemed to have actually resigned, and a replacement is appointed. In southern Carolina, one elector who violates his or her pledge is topic to criminal penalties, and in new Mexico a violation is a fourth level felony. In Michigan, a candidate who falls short to vote as forced is considered to have resigned, and also a replacement is appointed.