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The Electoral College, Explained

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The United States chooses its president and vice president through indirect elections. Think of other countries that you have visited or heard of in the news or countries where you may have friends and relatives. How do those countries choose their presidents? Do those countries elect a president or a prime minister?

Do those countries have vice presidents? America is commonly defined as a democracy.

Why the Electoral College is Essential

What are the various definitions of a democracy? After examining the definition s , do you still think America is a democracy?

The American election explained

Can you think of other countries that are democracies? How do they elect their leaders? Is the system similar to the US? What about countries that are not democracies? The United States Electoral College is an example of a system in which an executive president is indirectly elected , [1] with electors representing the 50 states and the federal district.


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Each state has a number of electors equal to its Congressional representation in both houses , with the non-state District of Columbia receiving the number it would have if it were a state, but in no case more than that of the least populous state. In the United States, electoral votes of the electors are currently required to win the presidential election.

State laws requiring electors to vote as directed have been the subject of ongoing legal controversy. Lower courts have reached opposite conclusions on the issue.

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As of , the United States Supreme Court has yet to decide the matter. In Germany, the members of the federal parliament together with an equal number of people elected from the state parliaments constitute the Federal Convention , that exists for the only purpose of electing the non-executive head of state. Within China, both Macau [11] and Hong Kong each have an Election Committee which functions as an electoral college for selecting the Chief Executive and formerly in the case of Hong Kong for selecting some of the seats of the Legislative Council.

Video: How to Become President of the USA

In Guernsey , an electoral college called the States of Election chooses the island's jurats. Ecclesiastical electoral colleges abound in modern times, especially among Protestant and Eastern Rite Catholic Churches. In the Eastern rite churches, all the bishops of an autocephalous church elect successor bishops, thus serving as an electoral college for all the episcopal sees.

Historical examples of electoral colleges include Finland 's, which elected the country's president between and The electoral college was replaced by direct elections consisting of two-round voting since and by a simultaneous reduction of presidential power. During Brazil 's military rule period, the president was elected by an electoral college comprising senators, deputies, state deputies, and lawmakers in the cities.

The electoral college was replaced with a two-round system direct election in , after the restoration of democracy.

"Picking the President: Understanding the Electoral College" by Eric Burin

Argentina had an electoral college established by its original Constitution , which was used to elect its president. The elections of March and September used direct elections by popular vote and a not used two-round system according to the Temporary Fundamental Statute enacted by the military junta in The elections of and used again the electoral college.

The constitution was amended in and the electoral college was replaced with direct elections by popular vote, using a two-round system since Paraguay had an electoral college that was established by the Constitution , which was used to elect its president. The constitution was replaced in and the electoral college was replaced with direct elections by popular vote since Chile had an electoral college established by the Constitution , which was used to elect its president in the elections from to The constitution was amended in and the electoral college was replaced with direct elections by popular vote since In France , the president was elected by the legislature from to The first presidential election of the Fifth Republic which elected Charles de Gaulle was the only presidential election where the winner was determined via an electoral college.

The electoral college was replaced after the referendum , with direct elections by popular vote, using a Two-round system since Another type of Electoral College was used by the British Labour Party to choose its leader between and The college consisted of three sections: the votes of Labour MPs and MEPs ; the votes of affiliated trade unions and socialist societies ; and the votes of individual members of Constituency Labour Parties. Early in United States history, state legislatures were essentially electoral colleges for both the U. Senate and even the federal Electoral College itself.

Prior to , U. Because state legislatures had so much influence over federal elections, state legislative elections were frequently proxy votes for either the Senate or the presidency. The famed Lincoln—Douglas debates , reputedly held during a U. Senate campaign in Illinois, actually occurred during an election for the Illinois state legislature; neither Lincoln's nor Douglas' names appeared on any ballot. During the American Civil War , the Confederacy used an Electoral College that was functionally identical to that of the United States; it convened just once, in , to elect Jefferson Davis as president.

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia. This article is about electoral colleges in general.