How does the electoral college vote work – and can it stop Trump? | US news | The Guardian
The electoral vote results are counted and certified by a joint session of . In fact, in most states, the names of individual electors do not appear anywhere Congress sets the date on which the electors meet, currently the first. WASHINGTON — On Monday, people will meet to determine Do electors have to vote according to popular vote results in their states?. Each state has as many "electors" in the Electoral College as it has officials certify the popular vote of each state, the winning slate of electors meet in the state in which electors would vote proportionally based on the state's popular vote.
Then, in front of a joint session of Congress, the President of the Senate opened the vote counts from each state. These were totaled, and the President was the person with the most votes, if the count is a majority. If there was a tie, then the members of the House of Representatives immediately took a vote and that winner was the President. If there was no tie, and no majority, then the top five vote-getters were voted on by the House as above.
When the vote devolved to the House, two-thirds of all states must have had at least one Representative present for the vote to proceed. The Representatives present from each state voted as a single state. The winner had to win by a majority of the states. The Vice-President was a bit easier. In any case, that person who had the second highest number of Electoral votes was Vice-President if there was a tie, the winner of the House vote was President; the loser was Vice-President.
If the second-highest vote count was shared by two or more people, the Senate chose between those people. The Framers thought for sure that they had covered all their bases. But they did not foresee certain things, the most important of which is the formation of political parties. When the votes are counted, Bush and Cheney will have equal votes, throwing the election into the House, regardless of the fact that the will of the Electors is, or should be, clear.
How does the electoral college vote work – and can it stop Trump?
Once in the House, anything can happen. The ticket had the highest number of Electoral votes, and because their electors wrote both Jefferson and Burr on their ballots, there was a tie. The House was thrown into a fit, and it took 36 votes to finally elect Jefferson as President.
The 12th Amendment was ratified four years later to avert any recurrence of these events. The 12th changes the Electoral process in a few small, but important ways. First, instead of voting for two people, Electors vote for a President and a Vice-President.
From there, the names are totaled at the state level, in two columns this time one for the President and one for the Vice Presidentand sent along to the President of the Senate. Then, in joint session, all votes are opened and counted, again in two columns.
The electors sometimes choose a secretary, often not himself an elector, to take the minutes of the meeting. In many states, political officials give short speeches at this point in the proceedings. When the time for balloting arrives, the electors choose one or two people to act as tellers.
Some states provide for the placing in nomination of a candidate to receive the electoral votes the candidate for president of the political party of the electors.
Each elector submits a written ballot with the name of a candidate for president. In New Jerseythe electors cast ballots by checking the name of the candidate on a pre-printed card; in North Carolinathe electors write the name of the candidate on a blank card.
The tellers count the ballots and announce the result. The next step is the casting of the vote for vice president, which follows a similar pattern. Each state's electors must complete six Certificates of Vote.
Each Certificate of Vote must be signed by all of the electors and a Certificate of Ascertainment must be attached to each of the Certificates of Vote. Each Certificate of Vote must include the names of those who received an electoral vote for either the office of president or of vice president. The electors certify the Certificates of Vote and copies of the Certificates are then sent in the following fashion: A staff member of the President of the Senate collects the Certificates of Vote as they arrive and prepares them for the joint session of the Congress.
The Certificates are arranged — unopened — in alphabetical order and placed in two special mahogany boxes. Alabama through Missouri including the District of Columbia are placed in one box and Montana through Wyoming are placed in the other box.
United States Electoral College - Wikipedia
Faithless elector An elector may vote for whomever he or she wishes for each office provided that at least one of their votes president or vice president is for a person who is not a resident of the same state as themselves. Twenty-nine states plus the District of Columbia have passed laws to punish faithless electors, although none have ever been enforced. Many constitutional scholars claim that state restrictions would be struck down if challenged based on Article II and the Twelfth Amendment.
Some states, however, do have laws requiring that state's electors to vote for the candidate to whom they are pledged. Electors who break their pledge are called " faithless electors. Over the course of 58 presidential elections sinceonly 0. As stated in the ruling, electors are acting as a functionary of the state, not the federal government. Therefore, states have the right to govern the process of choosing electors. The constitutionality of state laws punishing electors for actually casting a faithless vote, rather than refusing to pledge, has never been decided by the Supreme Court.
However, in his dissent in Ray v. Blair, Justice Robert Jackson wrote: Faithless electors have never changed the outcome of any presidential election. Contingent election The Twelfth Amendment mandates Congress assemble in joint session to count the electoral votes and declare the winners of the election. 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.
Senate pages bring in the two mahogany boxes containing each state's certified vote and place them on tables in front of the senators and representatives.
Each house appoints two tellers to count the vote normally one member of each political party. Relevant portions of the Certificate of Vote are read for each state, in alphabetical order. All the foregoing structural elements of the electoral college system remain in effect currently. The original method of electing the President and Vice President, however, proved unworkable, and was replaced by the 12th Amendment, ratified in Under the original system, each elector cast two votes for President for different candidatesand no vote for Vice President.
The votes were counted; the candidate receiving the most, provided it was a majority of the number of electors, was elected President, and the runner-up became Vice President. The 12th Amendment replaced this system with separate ballots for President and Vice President, with electors casting a single vote for each office.
As the republic evolved, so did the electoral college system, and, by the late 19 century, the th following range of constitutional, federal and state legal, and political elements of the contemporary system were in place. Allocation of Electors and Electoral Votes The Constitution gives each state a number of electors equal to the combined total of its Senate membership two for each state and House of Representatives delegation currently ranging from one to 52, depending on population.
The 23rd Amendment provides an additional three electors to the District of Columbia. The number of electoral votes per state thus currently ranges from three for seven states and D.
The total number of electors each state gets are adjusted following each decennial census in a process called reapportionment, which reallocates the number of Members of the House of Representatives to reflect changing rates of population growth or decline among the states. Popular Election of Electors Today, all presidential electors are chosen by the voters, but, in the early republic, more than half the states chose electors in their legislatures, thus eliminating any direct involvement by the voting public in the election.
This practice changed rapidly after the turn of the nineteenth century, however, as the right to vote was extended to an ever-wider segment of the population. As the electorate continued to expand, so did the number of persons able to vote for presidential electors, to its present limit of all eligible citizens age 18 or older. The tradition that the voters choose the presidential electors thus became an early and permanent feature of the electoral college system, and, while it should be noted that states still theoretically retain the constitutional right to choose some other method, this is extremely unlikely.
The existence of the presidential electors and the duties of the electoral college are so little noted in contemporary society that most American voters believe that they are voting directly for a President and Vice President on election day.