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Electoral College (US)
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    (February 4, 1789- )
    Elected every four years on the Tuesday after the first Monday in November
    Cast ballots for US President on the first Monday after the second Wednesday in December
    Provided for by Article Two of the US Constitution
    Each state has a number of electors equal to the total of its Senators and Representatives
    23rd Amendment to the Constitution provided three electors for the District of Columbia (1961)
    As of 2016, there are 538 electors
    A presidential candidate needs to win 270 for a majority
    Thought you were voting for the President? Nope, you’re voting for a slate of people who will do the actual voting for the President.
    It is a 18th-century anachronism.
    In four elections, the candidate who got the most votes still lost in the Electoral College (1876,1888,2000,2016).
    In 1824, no candidate won a majority in the Electoral College, throwing the decision to the House of Representatives.
    It results in presidential candidates ignoring most of the country and focusing their efforts on a handful of swing states.
    Without it, no one would have cared much in 2000 if hanging chads and butterfly ballots were causing Florida’s vote totals to be off by a couple hundred in one direction or the other.
    In the Federalist Papers, Alexander Hamilton suggested it would prevent the election of an unqualified person with a talent for ‘low intrigue and the little arts of popularity’; when the time came to test that theory, all but a handful of electors stuck with Donald Trump or Hilary Clinton (depending on who they were originally pledged to).
    It was an improvement over the original plan of having Congress elect the president.
    To minimized government pressure on the Electoral College, federal office holders are barred from being electors.
    Without it, candidates would probably focus on major metropolitan areas and ignore rural states.
    Hilary Clinton’s popular vote margin in California was larger than her national margin, so the Electoral College gave the other 49 states a say in the election.
    If you don’t live in a swing state, you end up seeing far fewer obnoxious campaign ads than you would if the presidential candidates were trying to compete in every state.
    It can choose another candidate if the president-elect drops dead between November and December.
    It hasn’t happened yet with a winning candidate, but did twice for the losing ticket: presidential candidate Horace Greeley (1872) and vice-presidential candidate James Sherman (1912).

Credit: C. Fishel

    For 2019, as of last week, Out of 147 Votes: 48.98% Annoying
    In 2018, Out of 8 Votes: 50.0% Annoying
    In 2017, Out of 63 Votes: 50.79% Annoying
    In 2016, Out of 132 Votes: 56.06% Annoying
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