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Electoral College

In light of the 2000 presidential election, much debate has recently risen about the method we use to elect our president. Al Gore, the candidate who had the most indivdual votes from the people across the country, ended up losing the election to George W. Bush. How did this happen? It occurred because he had fewer electoral votes, and because the president of the United States is not elected based on popular vote, but rather elected by the electoral college. This system of elected our president was created by our nations' founding fathers when they wrote up the Constitution. Every state gets to choose electors equal to the number of its senators and representatives, with Washington DC getting three votes. The legislature in each state can decide how it's electors are chosen. The electoral college is not a standing body or organization, but rather only operates during the time of the election for the president and vice president. In most of the states (48 of them and DC) the candidate with the most popular votes wins the states' electors. In Maine and Nebraska, they use a slightly different system called the "district system", where the candidate who wins the most votes in a particular district gets one elector, while the one who gets the most votes across the whole state gets two electors. After the electors cast their votes, the president of the Senate takes it from there. In the presence of Congress, he/she tallies the electoral votes and declares the winner. If one candidate fails to get more than half of the electoral votes, then a new vote is taken in the House of Representatives to determine the president. The Senate, on the other hand, votes on the vice president. This is a very complex way of electing our president and vice president, and is fully understood by few. It does not, however, exist without a lot of critisism by many who are in favor of using popular vote as the method for electing our presi…

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