The electoral college process influenced the 2020 presidential election

The electoral college process influenced the 2020 presidential election

Do you know exactly how the electoral college works? Did you know that over 55% of Americans dislike the electoral college according to pewresearch.org? 

It is important to know processes that occur in an election, especially the electoral college. 

In order to become President of the United States, candidates do not have to win the popular vote. The decision ultimately comes down to the electoral college. This process is forgotten by most Americans. 

Contrary to popular belief, the president and vice president are not directly elected by a popular vote of citizens of the United States. They are elected by representative electors from individual states, collectively known as the electoral college. 

The electoral college is composed of 538 electors, each with one vote. A candidate needs at least half of the 538 electoral votes (270)  in order to win. Each state has a certain number of electoral votes (see chart below). 

The number of electors in each state is equal to the sum of the state’s membership in the Senate and House of Representatives.

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Electoral votes almost always align with the popular vote. Some states require electors to follow their state’s popular vote by law but some do not. This can make for a confusing election. 

A candidate could win the country’s popular vote but still lose the election if they do not get half or more of the electoral votes — something that has only happened five times in the history of America, one being the last presidential election in 2016. 

A faithless elector is an elector who votes for the opposite candidate than the winner of the popular vote.

The electoral college exists because electors were seen as a compromise between the popular election and a more equitable vote. With the electoral college, less populated states still have fair influence in the election. 

Founders of the electoral college wanted to embrace democratic principles while still making sure the country is in good hands. 

The electoral college was a key factor in this year’s presidential election. 

Pennsylvania, Georgia, Nevada, Ohio, Michigan, were states that were important to deciding the president in the 2020 election, a decision that will last for at least four years. These states, along with others, are known as swing states because they tend to “swing” between democratic and republican candidates. 

Swing states are US states where the two major political parties have similar levels of support among voters. These states are viewed as important in determining the overall outcome of a presidential election because they sometimes elect one party and sometimes elect another.

Here is the breakdown of these states: 

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