[85] As of 2020[update], Maine and Nebraska are exceptions as both use the congressional district method; Maine since 1972 and in Nebraska since 1996. Boston, Russell & Gardner, for B. Russell, 1820; [repr", "How the Electoral College Became Winner-Take-All", "Founders Online: James Madison to George Hay, 23 August 1823", "Founders Online: Draft of a Resolution for the Legislature of New York for the, "Founders Online: From James Madison to George Hay, 23 August 1823", "Founders Online: From Thomas Jefferson to George Hay, 17 August 1823", "1788 Election For the First Term, 1789–1793", "United States presidential election of 1789", Slave Power: The Free North and Southern Domination, 1780–1860, "Opinion | The Electoral College Was Not a Pro-Slavery Ploy", Constitution of the United States: A Transcription, "The Troubling Reason the Electoral College Exists", Tally of Electoral Votes for the 1800 Presidential Election, February 11, 1801, The Fourteenth Amendment from America Book 9, "The Deadline That Could Hand Trump the Election", "Dates of U.S. Presidential Election "Events": 1789 to the present", "The electoral college isn't a real place: But someone has to answer all the angry phone calls these days", National Archives and Records Administration, "The Electoral College – Maine and Nebraska", "The Electoral College and the PopularVote Explained", Congressional Apportionment. Starting with the 1804 election, the amendment requires electors cast separate ballots for president and vice president, replacing the system outlined in Article II, Section 1, Clause 3. Complaints have emerged over the years but have become far more vocal in the years since the 2000 Bush v. Gore presidential election regarding the Electoral College and whether or not it effectively represents the will and voice of the American people. [182], U.S. territories are not entitled to electors in presidential elections. Each house appoints two tellers to count the vote (normally one member of each political party). [170] Outcomes of this sort are attributable to the federal nature of the system. [181] Individuals would similarly have a stronger incentive to persuade their friends and neighbors to turn out to vote. Faithless electors are comparatively rare because electors are generally chosen among those who are already personally committed to a party and party's candidate. Trending. I do not recommend a Constitutional amendment lightly. The vice president and the speaker of the House sit at the podium, with the vice president in the seat of the speaker of the House. Hamilton was also concerned about somebody unqualified but with a talent for "low intrigue, and the little arts of popularity" attaining high office. Electors are nominated by a party and pledged to vote for their party's candidate. [187][188] The Democratic and Republican parties, as well as other third parties, have, however, made it possible for people in U.S. territories to vote in party presidential primaries.[189][190]. [145] Winner-take-all systems ignore thousands of votes; in Democratic California there are Republican districts, in Republican Texas there are Democratic districts. [94] Under Section 3 of the Fourteenth Amendment, any person who has sworn an oath to support the United States Constitution in order to hold either a state or federal office, and later rebelled against the United States directly or by giving assistance to those doing so, is disqualified from being an elector. Madison wrote to George Hay: The district mode was mostly, if not exclusively in view when the Constitution was framed and adopted; & was exchanged for the general ticket [many years later].[50]. In some states, the electors are nominated by voters in primaries the same way other presidential candidates are nominated. James Wilson then made a motion for electors for the purpose of choosing the president. Click to see full answer. Hamilton argued that electors meeting in the state capitals were able to have information unavailable to the general public. In the Congressional apportionment provided in the text of the Constitution with its Three-Fifths Compromise estimate, "Virginia emerged as the big winner [with] more than a quarter of the [votes] needed to win an election in the first round [for Washington's first presidential election in 1788]." Proponents of the current system argue the collective opinion of even a small state merits attention at the federal level greater than that given to a small, though numerically equivalent, portion of a very populous state. After the certificates from all states are read and the respective votes are counted, the presiding officer simply announces the final state of the vote. [149], Of the 43 multi-district states whose 514 electoral votes are amenable to the method, Maine (4 EV) and Nebraska (5 EV) use it. [207], The closest the United States has come to abolishing the Electoral College occurred during the 91st Congress (1969–1971). ", "Debates in the Federal Convention of 1787: May 29", "Debates in the Federal Convention of 1787: June 2", "Debates in the Federal Convention of 1787: September 4", "James Wilson, popular sovereignty, and the Electoral College", "The Debates in the Federal Convention of 1787 by James Madison", "Debates in the Federal Convention of 1787: September 6", "U. S. Electoral College: Frequently Asked Questions", "Presidents Winning Without Popular Vote", "Updating the Electoral College: The National Popular Vote Legislation", Draft of a Resolution for the Legislature of New York for the Amendment of the Constitution of the United States, 29 January 1802, "Resolves of the General Court of the Commonwealth of Massachusetts: Passed at Their Session, which Commenced on Wednesday, the Thirty First of May, and Ended on the Seventeenth of June, One Thousand Eight Hundred and Twenty. They became, as Justice Robert H. Jackson wrote, "voluntary party lackeys and intellectual non-entities. Arizona, Idaho, Louisiana, North Dakota, Oklahoma, Rhode Island, South Dakota, Tennessee, Iowa, Louisiana, Missouri, Massachusetts, New Jersey, Michigan, Illinois, Pennsylvania, Nevada, Utah, South Carolina, Arizona, Washington, Georgia. Finishing in second place was Democratic-Republican Party candidate Thomas Jefferson, the Federalists' opponent, who became the vice president. [117][118] Faithless electors also may face censure from their political party, as they are usually chosen based on their perceived party loyalty.[119]. Chernow, Ron. § 9), each state's electors must complete six certificates of vote. [136] Delaware ended its practice the following election (1832), while South Carolina continued using the method until it seceded from the Union in December 1860. All jurisdictions use a winner-take-all method to choose their electors, except for Maine and Nebraska, which choose one elector per congressional district and two electors for the ticket with the highest statewide vote. A republican government (i.e., representative democracy, as opposed to direct democracy) combined with the principles of federalism (with distribution of voter rights and separation of government powers), would countervail against factions. This avoided a party-run legislature or a permanent body that could be influenced by foreign interests before each election. And it's going to get worse", "Puerto Rico and a Constitutional Right to vote", "Trying to Fit an Oval Shaped Island into a Square Constitution: Arguments for Puerto Rican Statehood", "Guam Legislature Moves General Election Presidential Vote to the September Primary", "In Guam, 'Non-Binding Straw Poll' Gives Obama A Commanding Win", "Nominating, but not voting for president", "Puerto Rico and Other Territories Vote in Primaries, But Not in General Election", "One Man, 3.312 Votes: A Mathematical Analysis of the Electoral College", "The Mathematics and Statistics of Voting Power", Majority and Plurality in U.S. The Senate in 1975 reduced the required vote for cloture from two-thirds of those voting (67 votes) to three-fifths (60 votes). [182] It permitted Southern states to disfranchise large numbers of slaves while allowing these states to maintain political clout within the federation by using the Three-Fifths Compromise. Each state gets an elector for each representative they have in Congress — both senators plus every House member. Critics argue that the Electoral College is less democratic than a national direct popular vote and is subject to manipulation because of faithless electors;[6][7] that the system is antithetical to a democracy that strives for a standard of "one person, one vote";[3] and there can be elections where one candidate wins the national popular vote but another wins the electoral vote, as in the 2000 and 2016 elections. Maryland is given one electoral vote for each Maryland congressional district, in addition to one electoral vote for each of the two Maryland Senators. The electoral votes are deteremined based on the 2010 US Census. Here's a guide to how many votes each state gets this year to decide the presidency. The letter read in part: My fourth recommendation is that the Congress adopt a Constitutional amendment to provide for direct popular election of the President. Madison agreed entirely, saying that when the Constitution was written, all of its authors assumed individual electors would be elected in their districts, and it was inconceivable that a "general ticket" of electors dictated by a state would supplant the concept. [129], The only time the Senate chose the vice president was in 1837. Some scholars have suggested that Article I, Section 10, Clause 3 of the Constitution requires congressional consent before the compact could be enforceable;[233] thus, any attempted implementation of the compact without congressional consent could face court challenges to its constitutionality. The Electoral College consists of 538 electors, and an absolute majority of at least 270 electoral votes is required to win the election.According to Article II, Section 1, Clause 2 of the Constitution, each state legislature determines the manner by which its state's electors are chosen. [220] A second motion for cloture on September 29, 1970, also failed, by 53 to 34. The substitution of electors obviated this difficulty and seemed on the whole to be liable to the fewest objections. Section 3 of the Twentieth Amendment specifies that if the House of Representatives has not chosen a president-elect in time for the inauguration (noon EST on January 20), then the vice president-elect becomes acting president until the House selects a president. The United States Electoral College is the group of presidential electors required by the Constitution to form every four years for the sole purpose of electing the president and vice president. This has already happened in three elections, 1824, 1876, and 1888. 39, Madison argued that the Constitution was designed to be a mixture of state-based and population-based government. States using popular vote by district have included ten states from all regions of the country. [184] For example, an electoral vote represents nearly four times as many people in California as in Wyoming. [157] In January 2010, a bill was introduced in the Nebraska legislature to revert to a winner-take-all system;[158] the bill died in committee in March 2011. "The President of the Senate shall, in the presence of the Senate and House of Representatives, open all the certificates and the votes shall then be counted.". [231], It has been argued that the Equal Protection Clause of the Fourteenth Amendment to the United States Constitution bars the winner-takes-all apportionment of electors by the states; according to this argument, the votes of the losing party are discarded entirely, thereby leading to an unequal position between different voters in the same state. Then on Election Day, the voters select a ticket and thereby select the associated electors. Electoral Vote: Winner: 306: Main Opponent: 232: Total/Majority: … The allocations below are based on the 2010 Census. [51] However, Hamilton's untimely death in a duel with Aaron Burr in 1804 prevented him from advancing his proposed reforms any further. This resulted in the president and vice president being of different political parties. Each state receives its number of electoral votes based on population, but every state has at least 3. 2 345 6. [99][100] Maine and Nebraska are the only states not using this method. There are two versions of the congressional district method: one has been implemented in Maine and Nebraska; another was used in New York in 1828 and proposed for use in Virginia. The House of Representatives has been required to chose the president only twice: in 1801 under Article II, Section 1, Clause 3; and in 1825 under the Twelfth Amendment. Then Jackson won in 1828, but would have lost if the College were citizen-only apportionment. States select 535 of the electors, this number matches the aggregate total of their congressional delegations. "Representation of the Antebellum South in the House of Representatives: Measuring the Impact of the Three-Fifths Clause" in David W. Brady and Mathew D. McCubbins, eds., Party, Process and Political Change in Congress: New Perspectives on the History of Congress (2002), Stanford University Press, Brian D. Humes, Elaine K. Swift, Richard M. Valley, Kenneth Finegold, and Evelyn C. Fink, "Representation of the Antebellum South in the House of Representatives: Measuring the Impact of the Three-Fifths Clause", Chapter 15 in David W. Brady and Mathew D. McCubbins, eds., Party, Process and Political Change in Congress: New Perspectives on the History of Congress (2002), Stanford University Press, The selected papers of Thaddeus Stevens, v. 2, Stevens, Thaddeus, 1792–1868, Palmer, Beverly Wilson, 1936, Ochoa, Holly Byers, 1951, Pittsburgh: University of Pittsburgh, Digital Research Library, 2011, pp. A candidate needs 270 of them for a clear win. Additionally, delegations from at least two thirds of all the states must be present for voting to take place. [73] Historian Eric Foner agrees the Constitution's Three-Fifths Compromise gave protection to slavery.[74]. The differences in turnout between swing states and non-swing states under the current electoral college system suggest that replacing the Electoral College with direct election by popular vote would likely increase turnout and participation significantly.[180]. [120] The session is ordinarily required to take place on January 6 in the calendar year immediately following the meetings of the presidential electors. How many Electoral Votes are needed to be elected president? [116] However, the United States Supreme Court has consistently ruled that state restrictions are allowed under the Constitution. [69], Besides the Constitution prohibiting Congress from regulating foreign or domestic slave trade before 1808 and a duty on states to return escaped "persons held to service",[70] legal scholar Akhil Reed Amar argues that the College was originally advocated by slaveholders as a bulwark to prop up slavery. As of 2020, eight states[d] name the electors on the ballot. Fox projected that Biden would win Arizona's 11 electoral votes at 11:20 p.m. EST Tuesday, with only 73% of votes counted. ability to split electoral votes", "Fail: Sen. McCoy's Partisan Electoral College Bill", "Pennsylvania Republicans Weigh Electoral Vote Changes", "Pennsylvania Ponders Bold Democrat-Screwing Electoral Plan", GOP Pennsylvania electoral vote plan might be out of steam – The York Daily Record, "Bill to change Michigan's electoral vote gets hearing", "The Ramifications of Changing the Electoral College", "Representation in Congressional Efforts to Amend the Presidential Election System", "Op-Chart: How Much Is Your Vote Worth? Article II, Section 1, Clause 2 of the Constitution requires each state legislature to determine how electors for the state are to be chosen, but it disqualifies any person holding a federal office, either elected or appointed, from being an elector. There are 538 total electoral votes. In 1824, when there were six states in which electors were legislatively appointed, rather than popularly elected, the true national popular vote is uncertain. [218] On September 17, 1970, a motion for cloture, which would have ended the filibuster, received 54 votes to 36 for cloture,[218] failing to receive the then-required two-thirds majority of senators voting. "[49] Though this was indisputably in violation of the concepts Hamilton articulated in the Federalist #68, once one state took that strategy, the others felt compelled to follow suit in order to compete for the strongest influence on the election.[48]. Senate pages bring in two mahogany boxes containing each state's certified vote and place them on tables in front of the senators and representatives. [34], Although the United States Constitution refers to "Electors" and "electors", neither the phrase "Electoral College" nor any other name is used to describe the electors collectively. In a direct national election system, any state that gave women the vote would automatically have doubled its national clout. Across all 50 states and DC, there's a total of 538 electoral votes in action. I prefer to allow the Congress to proceed with its work without the interruption of a new proposal. [192] It was found that based on 1990 census and districting, individual voters in California, the largest state, had 3.3 times more individual power to choose a president than voters of Montana, the largest of the states allocating the minimum of three electors. [151][152] Michigan used the system for the 1892 presidential election,[142][153][154] and several other states used various forms of the district plan before 1840: Virginia, Delaware, Maryland, Kentucky, North Carolina, Massachusetts, Illinois, Maine, Missouri, and New York. [75] This, however, was a clear plurality of a popular vote divided among four main candidates. [76] He also notes that some of the most vociferous critics of a national popular vote at the constitutional convention were delegates from free states, including Gouverneur Morris of Pennsylvania, who declared that such a system would lead to a "great evil of cabal and corruption," and Elbridge Gerry of Massachusetts, who called a national popular vote "radically vicious". Irrelevant", "Why the popular vote is a meaningless statistic", "It's Time to End the Electoral College: Here's how", "Every Vote Equal: A State-Based Plan for Electing the President by National Popular Vote", "The Electoral College Votes Against Equality", "The electoral college badly distorts the vote. [196], In his book A More Perfect Constitution, Professor Larry Sabato elaborated on this advantage of the Electoral College, arguing to "mend it, don't end it," in part because of its usefulness in forcing candidates to pay attention to lightly populated states and reinforcing the role of states in federalism. He also used the term "deliberate." There are many who say we should get rid of the Electoral College. 68 laid out what he believed were the key advantages to the Electoral College. [56], By 1832, only South Carolina legislatively chose its electors, and it abandoned the method after 1860. Skip Navigation A related argument is the Electoral College may have a dampening effect on voter turnout: there is no incentive for states to reach out to more of its citizens to include them in elections because the state's electoral count remains fixed in any event. [2], Critics argue that the Electoral College system is less democratic than a direct popular vote and that the College violates the democratic principle of "one person, one vote. They argue that the two party system has provided stability because it encourages a delayed adjustment during times of rapid political and cultural change. There are 538 total electors, including one for each U.S. senator and representative and three electors representing the District of Columbia, and presidential candidates need a … The House deadlocked for 35 ballots as neither candidate received the necessary majority vote of the state delegations in the House (The votes of nine states were needed for a conclusive election.). State legislation is sufficient to use this method. Populous states in which pre-election poll results show no clear favorite are inundated with campaign visits, saturation television advertising, get-out-the-vote efforts by party organizers, and debates, while four out of five voters in the national election are "absolutely ignored", according to one assessment. [211] Debate on the proposal before the full House of Representatives ended on September 11, 1969[212] and was eventually passed with bipartisan support on September 18, 1969, by a vote of 339 to 70. The original idea was for the most knowledgeable and informed individuals from each State to select the president based solely on merit and without regard to State of origin or political party."[42]. § 7 : US Code – Section 7: Meeting and vote of electors", "U.S. New York's initial electoral vote certificate indicated that all of its 31 electoral votes for president were cast for "John L. Kerry of Massachusetts" instead of John F. Kerry, who won the popular vote … However, once the Electoral College had been decided on, several delegates (Mason, Butler, Morris, Wilson, and Madison) openly recognized its ability to protect the election process from cabal, corruption, intrigue, and faction. This document sets forth who was chosen to cast the electoral votes. Each state delegation votes en bloc—each delegation having a single vote; the District of Columbia does not get to vote. How many total electoral votes are there? More empirically based models of voting yield results that seem to favor larger states less. If any person receives an absolute majority of electoral votes, that person is declared the winner. When citizens cast their votes for president and vice president, they are, in actuality, voting for electors, who, in turn, make the final selection as part of a body called the Electoral … The system also allows each state the freedom, within constitutional bounds, to design its own laws on voting and enfranchisement without an undue incentive to maximize the number of votes cast. Even if D.C. were a state, its population would entitle it to only three electors. [60], At the Constitutional Convention, the College composition in theory amounted to 49 votes for northern states (in the process of abolishing slavery) and 42 for slave-holding states (including Delaware). 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