17 terms

Electoral College

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When do Presidential elections take place?
Once every four years
Do citizens directly elect senators, representatives, governors and mayors?
Yes. When citizens vote for these, the majority wins.
Do citizens elect the President directly?
No. Citizens are really voting for an elector.
Who are citizens actually voting for in the Presidential Election?
Citizens are actually voting for the elector representing the candidate they are voting for.
When Americans vote, what is it called?
popular vote
What happens when a candidate receives the most popular votes?
The candidate who gets the most popular votes gets all that state's electoral votes.
What are electors called?
As a group, electors are the Electoral College.
How many electors are there?
538
How many electors does Virginia have?
2 Senators + 11 Representatives = 13 Electors for Virginia
Why did the framers of the Constitution create the Electoral College?
The framers of the Constitution did not trust American people to choose the President directly.
What happens when a candidate wins the vote in a state?
That candidate wins all that state's electors. Since the number of electors is based on population, big states are important to the campaigns of candidates.
Why does the number of electors matter?
The goal in a Presidential election is to win the majority of 538 electoral votes, or 270. Once they get 270, they win.
When do the electors vote?
Citizens of the United States vote on the first Tuesday of November (but never November 1st), but electors don't vote until December.
What happens if there is a tie?
Members of the House of Representatives vote for the president, and members of the Senate vote for the Vice-President.
When do the election results become official?
Election results become official on January 6th.
When does the new President take office?
The new President takes the oath of office on January 20th.
Where does the number of electors come from?
100 for each Senator
435 for each district in the country
3 for the District of Columbia