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whats the point in this? seems pretty stupid
Electoral College The collective term for the 538 electors who officially elect the president and vice-president of the United States. Presidential candidates require a majority of 270 college votes to win the presidency. The number of electors each state is allocated is equal to the combined total of its senators and representatives in Congress.
The college system was originally conceived before the existence of political parties and was designed to allow the electors to act as independent voters. Electors are now considered expected to follow the wishes of the majority of voters in each state.
However, there have been a number of cases in recent elections where at least one elector has voted for a candidate other than the one they were pledged to.
Two states, Nebraska and Maine, have eliminated the "winner takes all" process and instead now divide their electors in accordance with the proportion of the popular vote given to each candidate.
into slightly more manageable numbers. The idea of the colleges might be pretty superfluous now, but in the times before instant communication and rapid travel, it was pretty critical.
The Presidential election is separate from that of Congress, and so the two need to be kept separate.
- and there have been some tentative suggestions to switch to a popular vote in the recent past - is that the electoral system encourages the candidates to travel to all parts of the the country to make their case.
It means that the candidates focus upon specific states. Nobody bothers campaigning in New York, or California, or Texas - if the electoral college were replaced with a popular vote then it would actually force candidates to travel more and campaign more broadly, asking for everyone's votes.
Personally I think a popular vote makes more sense in the modern age, but the EC has proven pretty resistant. It's certainly more entertaining...
I'll be very lazy here and quote from Wikipedia regarding the breadth of travel argument
'Proponents of the Electoral College claim the Electoral College prevents a candidate from winning the Presidency by simply winning in heavily populated urban areas. This means that candidates must make a much wider appeal than they would if they simply had to win the national popular vote'
'Supporters of the Electoral College claim candidates must build a popular base that is geographically broader and more diverse in voter interests'.
using a seat/electorate-based system in which each seat has equal value. I'm all but ignorant when it comes to how the US electoral system works, but it strikes me as bizarre that one state (Cal.) plays such a huge role in determining the outcome.
Obviously, equality of the vote demands that Californian voters have comparable representation through higher electoral college votes than voters from other states. But when ALL the votes from a state go one way or the other, that seems ridiculously UN-representative.
it's basically a way of preventing charisma-based leaders winning over experienced, solid leaders. The idea behind it is that the states choose who sits in the electoral college, and then the college choose the best man for the job of president. Basically, the 'founding fathers' thought that the average joe was an idiot and that choosing a leader should be taken out of his/her hands, and left up to a small set of clever, reasonable people.
As electors now have no choice in the matter (they vote the way the people in their state say - democracy innit), it's now just a formality.
I bet those could count anything. Plus, flashy flashy lights.
basically, there are a set of electors in each state which relates to the population of each state (ie, texas has 34 and wyoming has 3) they then say to the voters in their state, 'if you vote for me, i'll vote for this guy for you" so the electors support their chosen candidate, and when 'average joe' clicks the button to vote for who they want to be president they are actually voting for the corresponding candidate. And then i think the party the 'winning' elector represents gains the whole electorate vote for that state.
I think there have been a few occasions of electors not voting the way they say they will, but i think there are laws against that now.
It's a bit of a weird system, but it's only 'failed' three times, when the person with the most of the popular vote has not been made president (once with Al Gore, the other two in the 1800's)