The Electoral university was established in post II, ar I, of the United states Constitution, and also was later modified by the Twelfth and Twenty-third amendments, which clarified the process.

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When U.S. Citizens vote for president and vice chairman every election cycle, ballots show the surname of the presidential and also vice presidential candidates, although they are actually electing a slate of "electors" that stand for them in every state. The electors from every state integrate to kind the Electoral College.

Each state is allocated a variety of electors same to the variety of its U.S. Senators (always two) add to the variety of its U.S. House representatives (which may readjust each decade according come the size of every state"s population as identified in the census).

Each political party with a candidate top top the ballot designates that is own set of electors for each state, equivalent the number of electors lock appoint with the variety of electoral votes allotted to the state. This usually occurs at state party conventions. Electors are typically strong and loyal supporters of their political party, yet can never be a U.S. Councilor or Representative.

Electors are also generally totally free agents, as only 29 states call for electors come vote as they have actually pledged, and also many constitutional scholars think those demands would no stand in a court challenge.

After the election, by statutes in 48 states and the ar of Columbia, the party that wins the many votes in the state appoints all of the electors for the state. This is known as a "winner-take-all" or "unit rule" allocation the electors, which came to be the norm across the nation by the 1830"s. Currently, the only exceptions to the unit rule are in Maine and also Nebraska the allocate their electors by congressional district, plus 2 at-large electors awarded come the candidate who wins the state"s" well-known votes.

By federal statute the electors for each state are required to cast their votes in mid-December, after which the votes are sealed and sent to the president of the U.S. Senate. Though the general public votes for the party together a whole, the electors actors individual votes on separate ballots for president and vice president. This has become important in number of elections in i beg your pardon electors voted because that candidates various other than those to whom they to be pledged.

On January 6th, complying with the presidential election year, the president of the U.S. Senate opens all of the sealed envelopes comprise the electoral votes and also reads them aloud. To be elected as president or angry president, a candidate must have actually an absolute bulk (50%, add to one vote) that the electoral votes for the position.

A majority is never guaranteed within the Electoral College. One election v no Electoral College majority could happen in 2 ways; if two candidates break-up the total of electoral votes evenly (with 538 electoral votes as of 2009, a tie would average a split of 269-269) or if 3 or more candidates receive enough electoral votes to deny one candidate a majority.

If no presidential candidate obtains a majority of the electoral votes, the decision is deferred to the U.S. Congress. The house of to represent selects the president, choosing amongst the height three candidates, and the Senate selects the angry president, choosing between the optimal two candidates. In the residence selection, every state delegation receives just one vote and also an absolute bulk of the claims (26) is forced to elect the president. (In this situation, Washington, D.C. Would lose the vote power given to it by the 23rd Amendment due to the fact that it walk not have actually the very same congressional representation given to the states).

However, a majority winner is no guaranteed in the congress either. The states might feasibly separation their votes equally in between 2 candidates (25 state votes each) or the votes could be split between three candidates in together a way that no candidate receives a majority.

Also, due to the fact that every state just gets one vote, the to represent from every state must come to a decision on which candidate to assistance in the House. A state with an equal number of representatives sustaining the completing parties would not be able to cast its vote unless one representative agreed to vote for the the opposite side.

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If a majority is not got to (for president) within the residence by January 20 (the day the president and also vice president space sworn in), the chosen vice president serves as acting president till the residence is may be to do a decision. If the vice president has not been chosen either, the sitting Speaker that the residence serves as acting president until the conference is may be to make a decision. If a president has actually been selected but no vice president has actually been selected through January 20, the president climate appoints the vice president, pending approval through Congress.