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Reasons Founding Fathers founded Electoral College

1. Shorten list of candidates
2. Didn't trust people to do it directly
3. Didn't want the President to owe his job to Congress

Natl Election Day

Tues after first Mon in November
vote for slate of Electors

Selection of Electors

state party convention

# of Electors


# of Electors per State

2 Senators plus # of people in the house

WI Electoral Votes


Minimum # of Electoral Votes per State


District of Columbia Electoral Votes


How # of Electors changes

10 year census and a change in the number of people in the House

2 Exceptions to winner takes all of Electoral Votes

Nebraska and Maine

When winning electors go to their respective state capitals to vote

Mon after 2nd wed in December

January 6

newly elected Congress meets to open and count ballots

Majority of 538


20th Amendment

if the President dies between voting time and January 6th, the VP becomes President

If no one gets 270 votes...

House picks President from top 3 candidates (each state gets one vote [50 votes, 26 majority], District of Columbia ruled out, if state delegation can't agree, loose vote for round, 2/3 quorum)
Senate chooses from top 2 candidates to elect VP (each Senator gets one vote [100 Senators, 51 Majority], 2/3 quorum)


# of people needed to be present to make decision official of the House

January 20 (No majority...)

neither House nor Senate can agree until natl election day, Speaker of the House becomes Pres

Speaker of the House

only Pres until House and Senate make decision

12th Amendment

further clarifies Electoral College by separating voting for Pres and voting for VP by the Electors

Jefferson vs. Aaron Burr

tie, 36 rounds in House, 12th Amendment

Weaknesses of Electoral College

1. Can win popular vote and still lose President
2. No majority of EC voters, election goes to House/Senate, where the Pres owes his job to Congress (against Founding Fathers)
3. Electors don't have to vote for who they're pledged to

Jackson vs. Quincy Adams

Jackson lost but had popular vote

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