Excuse my ignorance, but how exactly are the electoral votes decided upon, and how exactly does that affect the presidential elections? I understand the basics, but not the specifics.
IronLionZion wrote:Excuse my ignorance, but how exactly are the electoral votes decided upon, and how exactly does that affect the presidential elections? I understand the basics, but not the specifics.
Each of the 50 states gets a certain number of electoral votes. They each get 2 plus at least 1 more based on the population. So a small state like Vermont only gets 3 while a big state like California gets 55 electoral votes. Washington DC is special and gets 2 electoral votes.
One election day, each state tallies the votes. Whoever gets the most votes within the state gets all of the state's electoral votes. Whoever gets the most electoral votes wins.
Party registration doesn't affect electoral votes, but it's not precisely one person-one vote either. Electoral votes are determined by your congressional district, and not all have equal population. I do not believe all states require their electoral votes to go to just on candidate. That is, a state could have a split vote - as I understand it.
Now believe this - some states require their electors to vote in the electoral college as the voters have instructed. Some do not. Nobody seems really sure what happens if an elector is required to vote a certain way, and doesn't.
I happen to like the way votes are allocated, especially as my state is not highly populated. I do not care for the electoral college itself.
I guess your answer, ILZ, is "or what?"
roger raised a good point about accountability.
Isn't the punishment for being a "maverick elector" only a slap on the wrist in a few states?
For the other states there isn't much vote switching because the parties pick the delegates so they stick with the part faithful. If someone did go out on a limb the worst that could happen to then is their party wouldn't be sure never to pick them again.
These were the states I had in mind. In theory a maverick elector could be a king maker and the only punishment would be that he doesn't get to do it again?
To me the biggest hole in the system is that in theory some of them could apoint a president in close elections. They'd have no real motivation to reflect the will of the people.
Hmm, in the states where the law states that the vote reflect the popular vote what happens if they don't?
I'm not talking about punishment, but does the elector's vote still count?
Yeah, you got sumtin' againat that? :p
It's usually up to the state to determine what the actual popular vote counts are and notify the parties if their slate of electors are going or not. Since it's in the law, if the Sec. of State called the wrong party and told them they were going I'd guess the winning party would get a court injunction in a hurry. I don't think it's ever happened.
It'd still count. I don't know that there is any real remedy if it happened. I suppose the voters could sue the elector... *shrugs*