# FAQ: When are the electoral votes counted?

## How do electoral votes get calculated?

Electoral votes are allocated among the States based on the Census. Every State is allocated a number of votes equal to the number of senators and representatives in its U.S. Congressional delegation—two votes for its senators in the U.S. Senate plus a number of votes equal to the number of its Congressional districts.

## How many electoral votes does it take to count?

Of the current 538 electors, an absolute majority of 270 or more electoral votes is required to elect the president and vice president.

## Who counts the electoral college votes and declares the president?

§15. After all the votes are recorded and counted, the President of the Senate declares which persons, if any, have been elected President and Vice President of the United States.

## What happens if 270 electoral votes are not met?

A candidate must receive an absolute majority of electoral votes (currently 270) to win the presidency or the vice presidency. If no candidate receives a majority in the election for president or vice president, that election is determined via a contingency procedure established by the 12th Amendment.

## How does a state get more electoral votes?

Under the “Electoral College” system, each state is assigned a certain number of “votes”. There are a total of 538 electoral votes, and the number of votes each state receives is proportional to its size — the bigger the state’s population the more “votes” it gets.

## Who decides the electoral college?

Who selects the electors? Choosing each State’s electors is a two-part process. First, the political parties in each State choose slates of potential electors sometime before the general election. Second, during the general election, the voters in each State select their State’s electors by casting their ballots.

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## How does the popular vote affect the electoral college?

That’s partially correct. When citizens cast their ballots for president in the popular vote, they elect a slate of electors. Electors then cast the votes that decide who becomes president of the United States. Usually, electoral votes align with the popular vote in an election.

## Why is the electoral college a thing?

The Electoral College is a process, not a place. The Founding Fathers established it in the Constitution, in part, as a compromise between the election of the President by a vote in Congress and election of the President by a popular vote of qualified citizens.

## Why did they create the Electoral College?

The Electoral College was created by the framers of the U.S. Constitution as an alternative to electing the president by popular vote or by Congress. There are currently 538 electors in the Electoral College; 270 votes are needed to win the presidential election.

## What date does the Electoral College vote in 2020?

December 14, 2020—electors vote in their States

The electors meet in their respective States and vote for President and Vice President on separate ballots. The electors record their votes on six Certificates of Vote, which are paired with the six remaining Certificates of Ascertainment.

## Which president won the most electoral votes in a single election?

By winning 523 electoral votes, Roosevelt received 98.49% of the electoral vote total, which remains the highest percentage of the electoral vote won by any candidate since 1820.

## What is the Electoral College in layman’s terms?

The United States Electoral College is a name used to describe the official 538 Presidential electors who come together every four years during the presidential election to give their official votes for President and Vice President of the United States. No state can have fewer than three electors.

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## What happens if not enough electoral votes?

If no candidate receives a majority of electoral votes, the Presidential election leaves the Electoral College process and moves to Congress. The House of Representatives elects the President from the 3 Presidential candidates who received the most electoral votes. Each Senator casts one vote for Vice President.

## What happens if President elect dies?

The rules of both major parties stipulate that if the apparent winner dies under such circumstances and his or her running mate is still able to assume the presidency, then the running mate is to become the President-elect with the electors being directed to vote for the former Vice Presidential nominee for President.