HOW THE ELECTORAL COLLEGE WORKS AND WHY THE LATINO VOTE DOES MATTER
The 2016 presidential election has been uncommon in many aspects and has been closely watched throughout the world. In less than a week, either Hillary Clinton or Donald Trump will be chosen as the next president of the United States. But how does the U.S. electoral system work and why is it important for Latinos to understand it?
What Does “270-to-Win” Mean?
The Electoral College will dominate the airwaves and headlines on Election Day. In each U.S. presidential election, voters question the Electoral College process and ask themselves if their vote matters. It does. When voters go to the polls next week, they will be choosing which candidate receives their state’s electors. The candidate who receives a majority of electoral votes (270) wins the presidency.
538 electors make up the Electoral College, which is the sum of the nation’s 435 representatives, 100 senators, and three electors given to the District of Columbia. The electors, who are nominated at their state party conventions, have the biggest responsibility in American democracy: choosing the president of the United States.
In all but two states (Nebraska and Maine), the candidate who wins the majority of votes in a state collects that state’s electoral votes (as many votes as it has members of Congress). In Nebraska and Maine, two electoral votes are allocated to the popular vote winner, and then one each to the popular vote winner in each Congressional district (two in Maine, three in Nebraska) in their state.