2DEFINITIONA group of people named by each state legislature to select the President and Vice President
3What do the following four men all have in common? A. Andrew JacksonB. Samuel TildenC. Grover ClevelandD. Al Gore
4The AnswerThey all won the popular vote in a Presidential election but did not become President.
51824 Popular Vote Andrew Jackson 43% John Q. Adams 30.5% Electoral VoteJackson 99 votesAdams* Adams elected by House of Representatives when Jackson did not receive a majority of the Electoral votes
61876 Popular Vote Samuel Tilden 51% R. B. Hayes 48% Electoral College Winner: Hayes
71888 Popular Vote Grover Cleveland 48.5 % Benjamin Harrison 47.8 % Electoral CollegeClevelandHarrisonWinner: Harrison
82000 Popular Vote Albert Gore 48.7% George W. Bush 48.5% Electoral CollegeGoreBushWinner: Bush
9Why?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.
10During 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
11Why 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 PresidentTo maintain regional balance
12The 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
13The Electoral College was devised for 3 reasons 2. The founding fathers wanted to protect the interests of smaller states and rural areas
14The 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
15Other states nominate Electors in party conventions Presidential Electors are nominated by their state political parties in the summer before the Popular Vote on Election DayIn some states, the Electors are nominated in primaries the same way that other candidates are nominatedOther states nominate Electors in party conventions
16ELECTORS The number of electors for each state is based on # of senators # of representativesGeorgia has 16 Electoral votesAll states have a minimum of 3 electoral votes
17The 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)
18The 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.
19Candidates must receive a majority of the electoral vote to be declared the President-elect or Vice-President-elect
20ELECTORAL VOTES 435 U.S. Representatives + 100 U.S. Senators + 3 electoral votes (Washington D.C.)= 538 total electoral votes
21If 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)
22The 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.
23This 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.
24As of 2006, the House of Representatives has elected the President on two occasions, in 1801 (Thomas Jefferson) and in 1825 ( John Quincy Adams).
25A 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.
26Of 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.
27Since 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
28Take 3 minutes…With the people in your row, discuss drawbacks to the electoral college system.
29What are the drawbacks to the Electoral College? Encourages low voter turnoutDiminishes third party influencePerson with most popular votes may not winLeads to tactical, insincere votingIf 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
30Why 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.
31Third PartiesThe 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.
32Tactical VotingVoters 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.
35In-Class ActivityGiven 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.)