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THE ELECTORAL COLLEGE - HOW WE ELECT THE PRESIDENT

Members of the Constitutional Convention explored many possible methods of choosing a President: 1) have the Congress choose the President; 2) have the State Legislatures select the President; 3) elect the President by a direct popular vote. The prevailing suggestion was to have a College of Electors select a President through an indirect election.

The Electoral College Today

The Candidate With the Most Votes Does Not Always Win: In the past 125 years, there have been three occasions when a presidential candidate won the popular vote, but lost the election: in 1876, Samuel J. Tilden won the popular vote, but Rutherford B. Hayes won the electoral vote, and, therefore, the election; and in 1888, Grover Cleveland won the popular vote, but Benjamin Harrison won the election. Most recently, in 2000, Al Gore won the popular vote, but George Bush was elected President.

How many electoral votes does each state have? AL: 9, AK: 3, AZ: 11, AR: 6, CA: 55, CO: 9, CT: 7, DE: 3, DC: 3, FL: 29, GA: 16, HI: 4, ID: 4, IL: 20, IN: 11, IA: 6, KS: 6, KY: 8, LA: 8, ME: 4, MD: 10, MA: 11, MI: 16, MN: 10, MS: 6, MO: 10, MT: 3, NE: 5, NV: 5, NH: 4, NJ: 14, NM: 5, NY: 29, NC: 15, ND: 3, OH: 18, OK: 7, OR: 7, PA: 20, RI: 4, SC: 9, SD: 3, TN: 11, TX: 38, UT: 6, VT: 3, VA: 13, WA: 12, WV: 5, WI: 10, WY: 3 TOTAL: 538

For more information on the Electoral College, visit the National Archives and Record Administration website at www.archives.gov/federal-register