How Votes are Counted in the US – The Popular Vote and the Electoral College | by Sarah Horton | Voter
Over and over we are told, “Your vote matters” and “Every vote counts!” but it does Really?
America’s vote counting process is difficult to understand, so we’re here to break it down and help you decide whether or not your vote really matters (hint: DOES IT!).
Elections are held in the United States for government officials at the federal, state, and local levels. To understand how votes are counted, we must first differentiate between direct Y indirect elections. Most of the choices are direct, which means that you vote for a candidate of your choice and the candidate with the most votes (“popular vote”) wins. The midterm, state and local elections are all direct.
Presidential elections, however, are unique because they are indirect. The general public cast their votes on Election Day (November), then the Electoral College cast their votes in January. These Electoral College votes are the ones counted by Congress and actually decide who wins the presidency.
So why do we vote on Election Day if Electoral College votes are the only ones that count?
Answer: The party that wins the popular vote of the state generally wins all of the electoral votes of the state.
Here is a more detailed explanation:
Each state gets a certain number of “electors” based on its population and the number of districts, in the same way that we calculate the number of members of Congress for each state. Before each presidential election, party leaders from each state elect a group of electors, typically prominent party figures: governors, leaders of the state legislature, and any loyal party members who can be counted on to vote along with the vote. popular state. The party that wins the popular vote statewide can send its constituency to vote in January, when Congress meets and the state electoral votes are counted.
There are some exceptions:
Maine Y Nebraska they employ a “district system” to distribute their votes in the electoral college: they have four and five, respectively. Both states assign two electors to vote for the state’s popular candidate and one elector to vote for the popular candidate from each congressional district.
Things are changing:
In recent years, a trend It has emerged where Americans have shown the greatest support for a more democratic presidential election process. Up to this point, sixteen states they have promulgated the Interstate pact of the national popular vote, agreeing to grant all of their electoral votes to any presidential candidate who wins the general popular vote in all fifty states and DC. The pact will enter into force only when enacted by states that hold a majority of electoral votes, which means enough to elect a president (270 out of 538).
As of October 2019, sixteen states that possessed 196 electoral votes had enacted the National Interstate Popular Voting Pact: DC, Delaware, HELLO, Rhode Island, Vermont, CO, Connecticut, Maryland, MOMMY, New Jersey, New Mexico, OR, Washington, California, ILLINOIS, Y New York.