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Presentation on theme: "THE ELECTORAL COLLEGE."— Presentation transcript:


2 DEFINITION A group of people named by each state legislature to select the President and Vice President

3 What do the following four men all have in common?
A. Andrew Jackson B. Samuel Tilden C. Grover Cleveland D. Al Gore

4 The Answer They all won the popular vote in a Presidential election but did not become President.

5 1824 Popular Vote Andrew Jackson 43% John Q. Adams 30.5%
Electoral Vote Jackson 99 votes Adams * Adams elected by House of Representatives when Jackson did not receive a majority of the Electoral votes

6 1876 Popular Vote Samuel Tilden 51% R. B. Hayes 48% Electoral College
Winner: Hayes

7 1888 Popular Vote Grover Cleveland 48.5 % Benjamin Harrison 47.8 %
Electoral College Cleveland Harrison Winner: Harrison

8 2000 Popular Vote Albert Gore 48.7% George W. Bush 48.5%
Electoral College Gore Bush Winner: Bush

9 Why? We do not pick our President by direct ballot. We only select electors. These electors form what is called the Electoral College and are the people who officially elect the President.

10 During the General Election when casting a ballot for a particular candidate, voters are actually voting for a slate of electors. These electors in turn will vote for that candidate in the Electoral College

11 Why was it Created? People (then) were not knowledgeable enough to select a President. (poor communications) This was a check that gave the states a voice in choosing the President To maintain regional balance

12 The Electoral College was devised for 3 reasons
1. The framers of the Constitution feared direct democracy. Hamilton and the other founders did not trust the population to make the right choice. “election should be made by men most capable of analyzing the qualities adapted to the station” – James Madison

13 The Electoral College was devised for 3 reasons
2. The founding fathers wanted to protect the interests of smaller states and rural areas

14 The Electoral College was devised for 3 reasons
3. The Electoral College helps dilute the effect of votes from densely populated centers which may steer away from the concerns of the rest of the country

15 Other states nominate Electors in party conventions
Presidential Electors are nominated by their state political parties in the summer before the Popular Vote on Election Day In some states, the Electors are nominated in primaries the same way that other candidates are nominated Other states nominate Electors in party conventions

16 ELECTORS The number of electors for each state is based on
# of senators # of representatives Georgia has 16 Electoral votes All states have a minimum of 3 electoral votes

17 The party that wins a state elects its entire slate of Electors
The party that wins a state elects its entire slate of Electors. This is known as a Winner Take-all System (2 exceptions: Maine & Nebraska)

18 The Presidential Electors meet in their respective state capitols in December, 41 days following the election, at which time they cast their electoral votes. Thus the "electoral college" never meets as one national body.

19 Candidates must receive a majority of the electoral vote to be declared the President-elect or Vice-President-elect

20 ELECTORAL VOTES 435 U.S. Representatives + 100 U.S. Senators
+ 3 electoral votes (Washington D.C.) = 538 total electoral votes

21 If no candidate for President receives an absolute electoral majority 270 votes out of the 538 possible, then the House of Representatives is required to go into session immediately to vote for President. (an even split would be 269 votes)

22 The House votes en-bloc by state for this purpose that is, one vote per state, which is determined by the majority decision of the delegation from that state. if a state delegation is evenly split that state is considered as abstaining.

23 This vote would be repeated if necessary until one candidate receives the votes of more than half the state delegations—at least 26 state votes, given the current number, 50, of states in the union.

24 As of 2006, the House of Representatives has elected the President on two occasions, in 1801 (Thomas Jefferson) and in 1825 ( John Quincy Adams).

25 A faithless elector is one who casts an electoral vote for someone other than whom they have pledged to elect. On 158 occasions, electors have cast their votes for president in a different manner than that prescribed by the legislature of the state they represent.

26 Of those, 71 votes were changed because the original candidate died before the elector was able to cast a vote. Two votes were not cast at all when electors chose to abstain from casting their electoral vote for any candidate. The remaining 85 were changed by the elector's personal interest or perhaps by accident.

27 Since a state's electoral slate is chosen by the political party, and electors are usually those with high loyalty to the party and its candidate, a faithless elector runs a greater risk of party censure than governmental action

28 Take 3 minutes… With the people in your row, discuss drawbacks to the electoral college system.

29 What are the drawbacks to the Electoral College?
Encourages low voter turnout Diminishes third party influence Person with most popular votes may not win Leads to tactical, insincere voting If there is no majority winner in the Electoral College, the election goes to the H.o. R and there is a loss of separation of powers

30 Why low voter turnout? The Electoral College is a winner take all system of deciding who receives a states electoral votes. Consequently, if a person gets 50.1% of the popular vote (in a two man race), he get 100% of the electoral votes. Therefore, many people feel that their vote does not matter and choose to not vote.

31 Third Parties The Electoral College discourages 3rd parties because a candidate must have a broad based, national platform to have a chance to gain the highest office. Rarely are 3rd parties financially and politically able to do this.

32 Tactical Voting Voters often resort to tactical voting in Presidential elections because the person they truly support cannot win the all of the electoral votes. For instance, many people would have preferred Ralph Nader in the 2000 Presidential election but knew that he was not going to win. Instead, they often voted for Al Gore because he was the major candidate with the platform closest to Nader.

33 Electoral Map after the 2004 Election

34 The 2008 Presidential Election

35 In-Class Activity Given the electoral map on the previous slide, students will be asked the following hypothetical question; If you were running for President with limited money and could only focus on a few states, where would you focus your campaign? (Only 11 states are needed to become President.)



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