Simplifying the Electoral College

The outcome of today's election will determine who will serve as president of the united states for the next four years. While your vote matters the winner is ultimately decided by the Electoral College.

Posted: Nov 3, 2020 6:12 PM

TERRE HAUTE, Ind.  (WTHI)-- The outcome of this Tuesday's election will determine who will serve as President of the United States for the next four years. While your vote matters the winner is ultimately decided by the Electoral College.

To get right to it, it's not the popular vote that determines who the next president is. It's all about the electoral college.

To make this simple, here's what you at home need to know.

Each state has a designated number of representatives that make up the Electoral College.

These electors are appointed by their state's political parties.

In Indiana, there are eleven. In Illinois, there are 20

The people in the Electoral College see who the voters in the state want, and ideally vote accordingly.

We spoke with an Indiana State University associate professor of political science. 

He said this is what you should know about the electoral college system.

"So if you're really passionate about the presidential race, then you're voting to hope that your state will commit all of its electoral college votes to that one candidate that you supported."

He also said that you shouldn't worry about the electoral college voting against the popular vote.

He said, "Some of them are bounded by law, so they couldn't be a dishonorable elector and go against the popular vote. Which there's a lot of them by law that have to go with what the state says."

Now, there are a total of 538 electoral votes up for grabs during the election. 

The presidential candidate only has to get at least 270 of these votes in order to win.

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