Electoral College Legge Explained: How Biden U.S. Faces battle on election battle in US News

U.S. Who chooses the president?

When Americans vote for a U.S. president, they are actually voting for a representative of the candidate’s party who happens to be a voter. There are 8,538 voters who vote for the president on behalf of the people in their state.

Each state is assigned a certain number of these electoral votes, based on the number of votes they have in the Congressional Districts, and two additional votes representing the state’s Senate seats. Washington DC has also been given three electoral votes, even though it does not represent voting in Congress. A majority of these 270 votes is needed to win the presidency.

The process of nominating voters varies by state and party, but usually in two ways. Before elections, political parties either elect voters to their national convention, or they are voted on by the party’s central committee.

Voter College Ledge is almost always operated by a system in which the winner is taken, with the candidate with the most votes in the state claiming all the electoral votes in that state. In 2016, for example, Trump defeated Clinton by just 2.2% in Florida, but that meant he claimed all 29 of Florida’s crucial election votes.

Such a small margin in a handful of key swing states meant that, regardless of the comparison of Clinton’s national votes, Trump managed to win in many swing states and therefore win the votes of more electoral colleges.

Biden could face the same hurdle in November, meaning he would have to focus on some of the states at the center of the war in order to win the presidency.

Chart showing election college vote by state

Unequal distribution of election votes

While the number of electoral votes assigned to a state reflects its population to some extent, a minimum of three votes per state means that the relative value of electoral votes varies across the United States.

The least populous states, such as North and South Dakota, and the smaller states of New England, are represented by the requirement of at least three voter votes. Meanwhile, California, Texas and Florida – the states with the most populations – are represented in election colleges.

Wyoming has one college college vote per 193,000 people, compared to one voter vote per 718,000 people in California. This means that every voter vote in California represents more than three times as many people in Wyoming. These inequalities are repeated across the country.

Population view by state per voter

Who does he favor?

Experts warn that after returning two presidents who received fewer votes than their opponents since 2000, the election college is flawed.

In 2000, Al Gore won more than half a million votes over Bush, yet Bush became president of Florida after winning only 537 votes.

Chart showing recent election results by popular vote and voter margin margins

George Edwards III, a professor at the University of Texas A&M, said: “Electoral colleges violate the basic principle of democracy, that all votes are equal and the candidate comes second to win the election. Why hold an election if we don’t care who gets the most votes?

“At the moment, because of the way Republicans distribute their votes across the country, the election college favors Republicans. They occur in states that sing between the parties. Are divided. ”

Under all the winner-take-all systems, the margin of victory in the state becomes irrelevant. In 2016, Clinton’s significant margins in states such as California and New York failed to get her enough voter votes, while a close race in the war-torn states of Pennsylvania and Michigan gave Trump a 270 majority.

A scene showing margins and election votes by the state obtained by Trump and Clinton in 2016

As candidates easily win the voter votes of their solid states, a handful of key elections are played on the battlefield. In 2016, Trump won six such states – Florida, Iowa, Michigan, Ohio, Pennsylvania and Wisconsin – adding 99 electoral votes to his total.

The demographics of these states differ from the national average. They are older, have more white voters without a college degree, and are often less white-populated. These characteristics generally support Republicans and form the basis of Trump’s 2016 vote.

For example, 67% of non-college-educated white people voted for Trump in 2016. In all six swing states, this demographic has been represented by at least six percentage points higher than the national average.

The percentage of whites in the main battlefield where Trump was elected in 2016 is higher than the average U.S. state. Of those, white non-college-educated people represent more than college-educated voters.

Less Republicans prefer than the average non-white population. The majority of Florida’s Cuban-American community also voted for Trump in 2016.

The elderly population is higher in these states. Older voters have voted confidently for Republicans in recent elections.

Guardian graphic. Source: U.S. Census Bureau, 201-201-201 American Community Survey on Five Year Estimates


Some alternative systems for the election of the President have been proposed and grown in favor of it, as many people want to change or abolish the electoral college itself.

Maine and Nebraska – two states, already use a different method of assigning their college college votes. Two “Senate” votes go to the winner of the statewide popular vote, but the rest of the district’s vote goes to the winner of that district. However, the implementation of this congressional district system across the country could lead to more bias than the current system. The winner of the popular vote could still lose the election, and the distribution of voters will still support Republicans.

The National Popular Popular Vote Compact (NPVC) is another option, in which each state will award the national popular vote as well as all its elected electoral college votes. If enough states signed the agreement to reach a 270 majority, the candidate with the most votes across the country always wins the presidency.

However, NPVC has more practical issues. Norman Williams, a professor at Wilmette University, questioned how the nationwide census would be conducted under the NPVC, saying bias highlights its major flaws. Currently only Democratic states have signed up, but future support could easily change if the Republican candidate faces the popular vote, not the presidency.

The NPVC is a compromise that would elect the President by the highest number of votes without difficulty in abolishing the Electoral College contained in the Constitution.

In 1787, the founding fathers could not decide on the best system for the selection of the president. Some delegates opposed direct nominations by Congress, while others sought to limit the influence of potentially uninformed people and could be empowered by the direct popular vote of the Democrat candidate. The resulting election college is their compromise, with voters playing a mediating role for their states.

This system also introduced a clause called the three-fifty compromise between the North and South delegates, as they discussed how slavery would affect the representation of the state. His agreement was that three-thirds of the enslaved individuals (who could not vote) would be counted towards the state’s population, giving the southern states disproportionate power in the electoral college.

While Article 13 removed the effect that the 13th Amendment abolished slavery, the effects of unbalanced electoral college with unequal representation remain.

The existing system is still vulnerable to distorted results by actions such as gerimandering. The practice involves precisely redrawing the boundaries of districts in order to focus support in favor of the party. The result is unusually shaped districts that give certain groups of voters the right to vote.

Today, an amendment that will directly replace the college lead with a national popular vote is seen by many as the strictest electoral system.

According to Professor Edwards III, “there is only one right way to choose a president: add all the votes and declare the candidate who gets the most votes the winner.”