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Does your vote count? The Electoral College explained - Christina Greer

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Translator: tom carter Reviewer: Bedirhan Cinar

Most people have heard of the Electoral College during presidential election years.

But what exactly is the Electoral College?

Simply said, it is a group of people appointed by each state

who formally elect the President and Vice President of the United States.

To understand how this process began and how it continues today,

we can look at the Constitution of the United States: article two, section one, clause two of the constitution.

It specifies how many electors each state is entitled to have.

Since 1964, there have been 538 electors in each presidential election.

How do they decide on the number 538?

Well, the number of electors is equal to the total voting membership of the United States Congress.

435 representatives, plus 100 senators, and 3 electors from the District of Columbia.

Essentially, the Democratic candidate and Republican candidate

are each trying to add up the electors in every state so that they surpass 270 electoral votes,

or just over half the 538 votes, and win the presidency.

So how do states even get electoral votes?

Each state receives a particular number of electors based on population size.

The census is conducted every 10 years, so every time the census happens,

states might gain or lose a few electoral votes.

Let's say you're a voter in California, a state with 55 electoral votes.

If your candidate wins in California, they get all 55 of the state's electoral votes.