U.S. Electoral College

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Map of the Electoral College for the 2016 presidential election, showing the amount of votes from each state and federal district

The United States Electoral College is a name used to describe the official 535[1] 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, usually voting for the popular vote (most voted for person) during the election of the state (or federal district, if they are from Washington, D.C.) that they are from, but in some states, they vote depending on the popular vote in each congressional district. Faithless electors are electors that vote against the popular vote, although there is a fine for this in some states.

Originally, electors voted for two candidates and the people with the two highest vote totals would be elected President and Vice-President. That did not work very well, so today the President and Vice-President are elected on separate ballots.

The Electoral College plays a very important role in today's election.


  1. This number is reached by adding the 435 Representatives, 100 Senators, and 3 electoral votes for the District of Columbia

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