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Archive for Saturday, November 2, 1996

SOUND OFF

November 2, 1996

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How does the Electoral College work? Doesn't my vote count to elect the president?

Your vote does count, but you are indirectly voting for the president. Your vote will actually be tallied to see who wins all of Kansas' six votes in the Electoral College. The Electoral College consists of 538 members, one for each of 435 members of the House of Representatives and 100 senators, and three for the District of Columbia by virtue of the 23rd Amendment. Each state's allotment of electors is equal to the number of House members to which it is entitled plus two senators.

According to the Office of the Federal Register in the National Archives and Record Administration, the Electoral College was established by the founding fathers as a compromise between election of the president by Congress and election by popular vote.

The electors are generally chosen by the political parties. The electors will meet in each state Dec. 16.

A majority of 270 electoral votes is required to elect the president and vice president. No constitutional provision or federal law requires electors to vote in accordance with the popular vote in their state.

If no presidential candidate wins a majority of electoral votes, the 12th Amendment calls for the presidential election to be decided by the House of Representatives. The House would select the president by majority vote, choosing from the three candidates who received the greatest number of electoral votes. The vote would be taken by state, with each state delegation having one vote.

If no vice presidential candidate wins a majority of electoral votes, the Senate would select the vice president by majority vote, with each senator choosing from the two candidates who received the greatest number of electoral votes.

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