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One of the least understood parts of American Politics today…fun! The Electoral College.

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Presentation on theme: "One of the least understood parts of American Politics today…fun! The Electoral College."— Presentation transcript:

1 One of the least understood parts of American Politics today…fun! The Electoral College

2 While voters might think they're voting for Barack Obama or John McCain on Election Day, they're not. They're voting for a member of the Electoral College — a uniquely American institution responsible for George W. Bush's win in 2000 despite his losing the popular vote to Al Gore, and the reason the campaigns have spent over $25 million on ads in Ohio and nothing in Utah. The Electoral College

3 Who got the most votes and didn’t become president? 1824 - Andrew Jackson 1876- Samuel Tilden 1888 - Grover Cleveland 2000 - Al Gore

4 Why do we have an electoral college? Because the Constitution says so! The Constitution states that… The President will be elected by the electoral college Each state has the same number of electors as it does members of Congress (senators and representatives)

5 Choosing Electors When we vote for a President, we are really voting for presidential electors! Presidential Elections are held on the Tuesday after the first Monday in November every 4 years In almost every state the electors are chosen at large- winner take all Sometimes electors are listed on ballots below the candidates name, sometimes they are not

6 Electors are nominated by political parties and pledge their vote to a specific candidate! Electoral college

7 Counting Electoral Votes The electoral college meets at each State’s Capital on the Monday after the second Wednesday in December to cast their vote District of Columbia has 3 votes making the total number of electoral votes 538 Need to win presidency – 270 If no one gets 270, it is determined in the House of Representatives

8 The 2000 Election: An Example Totals Popular Electoral Votes College Bush 50,456,002 271 Gore 50,999,897 266

9 Flaws in the Electoral College Three major defects in the system The candidate with the most popular votes doesn’t always win as in the case of the 2000 election: Bush vs. Gore Electors are not required to vote for the candidate with the state’s popular vote electors don’t typically break their pledged votes but it has happened because there is nothing stopping them The vote could eventually be sent to the House of Representatives this has happened twice and not since 1824

10 Hmm interesting?! In 2000 on elector from D.C. refused to cast her vote for someone for President (she would have voted for Gore). She was using the election as a platform to protest the fact that D.C. is not represented in Congress

11 Inauguration The candidate with the majority of electoral votes is sworn in as President of the United States on January 20 th following the election

12 Presidential Elections from Start to Finish: A Review Presidential Elections: Ever 4 Years January-June Tuesday after first January 20th Primaries and Monday in November Inauguration Caucuses are held Election Day January February March April May June July August September October November December January July-August Monday after second National Conventions Wednesday in December are held by major parties Electoral College votes

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