I'm confused about electoral votes.

Reply Fri 14 Oct, 2011 10:50 am
Ok, so I know that when you cast a vote for a candidate on Election Day, you are actually endorsing the elector who would then cast his electoral vote for that candidate. I know that there are specific numbers of electors allocated to each state, depending on the number of representatives of that state in congress, which is in turn partly dependent on the state's population.
The thing is, since electors are chosen or nominated by each state prior to Election Day, and each one is pledged to vote for a particular candidate, how does that come into play on Election Day?
For example, California has 55 electoral votes. Say 25 electors have pledged to vote for Candidate A, 20 for Candidate B and 10 for Candidate C. Wouldn't that mean that on Election Day, even if the majority of the population (say, 55%) voted for Candidate B, only 20 electors are able to vote for him, so Candidate A wins because PRIOR to the real election 25 electors have already confirmed that they would cast their vote for Candidate A. Why even have an election? Why not just an election for electors? How does this work?
I'm also quite sure that it works by a winner-takes-all system where the candidate with the highest votes but not necessarily the absolute majority of the votes ends up getting all the electoral votes of that state, and then the winning candidate has to get the majority and not just the highest number of votes of all electoral votes in the nation. How do actual votes translate to electoral votes? Sorry it's such a longwinded question it's just been bugging me for a quite a while.
Reply Fri 14 Oct, 2011 12:07 pm
How does the Electoral College work?

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Joe Nation
Reply Fri 14 Oct, 2011 01:02 pm
All the States, except Maine and Nebraska, use a winner-take-all system.
Whichever candidate wins the majority of the popular vote in a State gets all of its Electoral Votes.

There's debate every four years about the fairness of the system, whether it empowers the less populous States or the more populous.

The issue for me is that it takes certain States off the campaign trail. Why would anybody campaign in a truly Red State? No Democrat will win it for the foreseeable future and no Republican will lose it, so why would either party bother to show up or spend any money on campaigning there? So watch the coming campaign or review past ones to see what States were fly-overs and which ones are described as (dun dun dun) battleground States??

Without the Electoral College every person's vote would count in the Presidential Election. (and Al Gore would have been President.)

Every four years I read where somebody has proposed a Constitutional Amendment to discontinue the Electoral College. I got real excited the first time I read about it.

Joe(That was in 1958)Nation
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Reply Mon 17 Oct, 2011 02:38 pm
For 40 years, I have urged a constitutional amendment to change presidential elections to be decided by popular vote instead of the Electoral College. I hate the idea of an Electoral College being able to change my vote to a person for I didn't vote.

It was created to protect the southern state's demands to protect their rights to continue slavery.


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