Posted by Melmac on November 09, 2000 at 00:39:13:
In Reply to: Why do they have electoral colleges ? posted by Mike on November 08, 2000 at 19:31:51:
You are right, Mike. The winner of the election isn't determined by the popular vote, it is determined by the vote of the Electors in the Electoral College. When we vote for a Presidential candidate, we are actually casting a vote for the electors from our state, that represent that candidates's party.
The candidate who receives the largest number of the votes, in any particular state, is then granted the electoral votes for that state, which are in turn, cast by the electors from that candidate's party.
The designated electors meet on December 18, and cast their votes for President and Vice President.
The results of the vote are turned over to Congress for counting.
The votes are then counted January 6th, in a joint session of Congress and announced. Then and only then are the results official.
Why is it done this way? Many different explanations. One is to ensure that the candidates campaign in large and small states and cities, rather than just hitting the largest population centers.
Another explanation is that it gives the opportuniity to negate the results of an election that is not popular, somehow, as the electors are NOT bound to vote for their own candidate, (although they almost always do).
And yes, the winner of the Presidency may have the smaller popular vote, it may happen this year.
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