The Electoral College
Electoral College - 12 Grade Government
1) What is the Electoral College?
2) Why was it created?
3) Does it work?
Indirect v. Direct Voting
• A direct voting system • An indirect voting
allows citizens to system allows citizens
actually cast their vote to vote for a panel
for elected officials. who will then cast
their vote for an
• EX: Local Elections elected official.
• EX: Electoral College
What is the Electoral College??
• The Electoral College is a group of
representatives elected through the
• These electors represent individual
states in electing the President of the
of the Electoral College
• Established in the Constitution of the
United States in an attempt to create a
representative voting system.
• Larger states have a larger electoral
vote in order to maintain a percentage
based voting system.
Did our founding
fathers have faith that
the American people would
make wise decisions when
electing the President??
How many Electors
for each State?
• Each state has a set number of
Electors determined by adding the
number of Senators (2) with the
number of Representatives in the
• Washington DC has 3. WHY?
• Ohio has 18
in the House, plus 2
• Ohio has 20
How are Electors Selected?
• Each candidate selects their own
electors for each state.
• The candidate who receives the most
popular votes in a state will win its
electors. (Exception: Maine and
Ohio - 20 Electoral Votes
• George W. Bush - 20 Electors for OH
• Al Gore - 20 Electors for OH
• Ralph Nader - 20 Electors for OH
• Pat Buchanan - 20 Electors for OH
• The Winner of each state sends
only his Electors to vote for the
• Each set of electors
meets in their respective
state capitols to cast
• The electors meet on the Monday
after the 2nd Wednesday in
December of Presidential election
years to vote.
• President of the
Senate (VP) counts
the official votes.
Winning in the Electoral College
• There are 538 total electoral college
• A majority of the electoral vote is
needed to win.
• 270 electoral votes are needed to win.
Winning in the Electoral College
• If a majority is not won, no candidate
is awarded the Presidency. The House
of Representatives will then vote to
determine who the winner is.
• Each state has 1 vote, and the reps
from that state must determine how
their state will cast their vote.
COLLEGE WORK ??
Problem #1 - Population
California - 54 Penn. - 23
New York - 33 Illinois - 22
Texas - 32 Ohio - 21
Florida - 25 Mich. - 18
• 8 States = 223 Electoral College Votes
Problem # 2 - Small States
• Are less populated states given
equal representation without the
• Should they be given equal
What is the SOLUTION?
1) Register to Vote - Students will work online and visit the
sites specific web sites in order to register to vote. Each
student will complete the appropriate form and print an
additional copy to turn in at the end of class.
2) US Constitution Worksheet - Students will use this
primary document to determine the rights guaranteed to
various individuals and organizations. Students will
complete the worksheet by listed what Article and what
Section each statement was originated.
• Electoral College Map - Each student will evaluate the
Electoral College map from the 2000 Presidential Election
and answer a series of questions regarding its validity,
usefulness, and their personal opinion of the process.
• Bonus Quiz - Students will attempt to answer VERY
difficult questions concerning previous Presidential
Elections. Completion of this assignment will take
considerable research on the part of the students, and each
question answered correctly will earn that student 1 bonus
• Mini Research Project - Each student will prepare a 3-5
page research project on one of the 43 presidents, and will
be required to present that material to the rest of the class.
Each paper should include biographical information,
success and/or failure in the election process, and various
interesting facts about his Presidency.
Electoral College Websites
• The Electoral College -
This web site includes interactive maps, charts and
graphs that will help to develop understanding of the
• Why the Electoral College? -
This site answers basic questions about the foundation
and usefulness of the Electoral College. It also shows
distributions of electoral college votes over the 50 states.
• Does it Work? - http://www.presidentelect.org/
This is an excellent site that allows the reader to
investigate freely the concepts of the Electoral College,
and ask questions if necessary.
• CNN Presidential Coverage -
CNN has established a very effective web site that
deals with the controversial issues of the 2000 election.
• Electoral College Breakdowns -
Maps of both state EC distributions and the
breakdowns of past Presidential Elections.