United States Electoral College

Electoral votes, out of 538, allocated to each state and the District of Columbia for presidential elections to be held in 2024 and 2028, based on representation, which depends on population data from the 2020 census. Every jurisdiction is entitled to at least 3.
In the 2020 presidential election (held using 2010 census data) Joe Biden received 306 and Donald Trump 232 of the total 538 electoral votes.
In Maine (upper-right) and Nebraska (center), the small circled numbers indicate congressional districts. These are the only two states to use a district method for some of their allocated electors, instead of a complete winner-takes-all.
Cases of certificates of the electoral college votes confirming the results of the 2020 US election, after they had been removed from the House Chambers by congressional staff during the 2021 U.S. Capitol attack.
After the popular election in November, a state's Certificate of Ascertainment officially announces the state's electors for the Electoral College. The appointed Electoral College members later meet in the state capital in December to cast their votes.
Population per electoral vote for each state and Washington, D.C. (2010 census). By 2020 estimates, a single elector could represent more than 700,000 people or under 200,000.
When the state's electors meet in December, they cast their ballots and record their vote on a Certificate of Vote, which is then sent to the U.S. Congress. (From the election of 1876)
This cartogram shows the number of electors from each state for the 2012, 2016 and 2020 presidential elections. Following the 2010 Census, New York and Ohio lost two electoral votes, 8 states lost one, 6 states gained one, Florida gained two, and Texas gained four.
This graphic demonstrates how the winner of the popular vote can still lose in an electoral college system similar to the U.S. Electoral College.
Bar graph of popular votes in presidential elections (through 2020). Black stars mark the five cases where the winner did not have the plurality of the popular vote. Black squares mark the two cases where the electoral vote resulted in a tie, or the winner did not have the majority of electoral votes. An H marks each of two cases where the election was decided by the House; an S marks the one case where the election was finalized by the Supreme Court.
These maps show the amount of attention given to each state by the Bush and Kerry campaigns (combined) during the final five weeks of the 2004 election: each waving hand (purple map) represents a visit from a presidential or vice presidential candidate; each dollar sign (green map) represents one million dollars spent on TV advertising.
Half the U.S. population lives in 143 urban / suburban counties out of 3,143 counties or county equivalents (2019 American Community Survey)

Group of presidential electors required by the Constitution to form every four years for the sole purpose of appointing the president and vice president.

- United States Electoral College
Electoral votes, out of 538, allocated to each state and the District of Columbia for presidential elections to be held in 2024 and 2028, based on representation, which depends on population data from the 2020 census. Every jurisdiction is entitled to at least 3.

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President of the United States

Head of state and head of government of the United States of America.

Head of state and head of government of the United States of America.

George Washington, the first president of the United States
President Franklin D. Roosevelt delivers a radio address, 1933
President Lyndon B. Johnson signs the 1964 Civil Rights Act as Martin Luther King Jr. and others look on
President Donald Trump delivers his 2018 State of the Union Address, with Vice President Mike Pence and Speaker of the House Paul Ryan
President George H. W. Bush and Russian President Gorbachev sign the 1990 Chemical Weapons Accord in the White House.
Abraham Lincoln, the 16th president of the United States, successfully preserved the Union during the American Civil War.
President Barack Obama with his Supreme Court appointee Justice Sotomayor, 2009
President Ronald Reagan reviews honor guards during a state visit to China, 1984
President Woodrow Wilson throws out the ceremonial first ball on Opening Day, 1916
President Jimmy Carter (left) debates Republican nominee Ronald Reagan on October 28, 1980.
Map of the United States showing the number of electoral votes allocated following the 2010 census to each state and the District of Columbia for the 2012, 2016 and 2020 presidential elections; it also notes that Maine and Nebraska distribute electors by way of the congressional district method. 270 electoral votes are required for a majority out of 538 votes possible.
Franklin D. Roosevelt won a record four presidential elections (1932, 1936, 1940 and 1944), leading to the adoption of a two-term limit.
President William McKinley and his successor, Theodore Roosevelt
President Reagan surrounded by Secret Service
From left: George H. W. Bush, Barack Obama, George W. Bush, Bill Clinton, and Jimmy Carter. Photo taken in the Oval Office on January 7, 2009; Obama formally took office thirteen days later.
Presidents Barack Obama, George W. Bush, Bill Clinton, George H.W. Bush, and Jimmy Carter at the dedication of the George W. Bush Presidential Library and Museum in Dallas, 2013
White House, the official residence
Camp David, the official retreat
Blair House, the official guest house
The presidential limousine, dubbed "The Beast"
The presidential plane, called Air Force One when the president is on board
Marine One helicopter, when the president is aboard

The president is elected indirectly through the Electoral College to a four-year term, along with the vice president.

San Francisco City Hall illuminated in special red, white, and blue LED lighting at night on November 6, 2018 to commemorate Election Day all around the United States

Election Day (United States)

Annual day set by law for the general elections of federal public officials.

Annual day set by law for the general elections of federal public officials.

San Francisco City Hall illuminated in special red, white, and blue LED lighting at night on November 6, 2018 to commemorate Election Day all around the United States
U.S. states and territories that have declared Election Day a holiday

Presidential elections are held every four years, in years divisible by four, in which electors for president and vice president are chosen according to the method determined by each state.

Allocation of congressional districts in the House of Representatives after the 2020 U.S. Census

United States congressional apportionment

[[File:USCongressionalRedistrictingPartisanControl2020.svg|350px|thumb|Partisan control of congressional redistricting after the 2020 elections, with the number of U.S. House seats each state will receive.

[[File:USCongressionalRedistrictingPartisanControl2020.svg|350px|thumb|Partisan control of congressional redistricting after the 2020 elections, with the number of U.S. House seats each state will receive.

Allocation of congressional districts in the House of Representatives after the 2020 U.S. Census
Allocation of congressional districts after the 2010 U.S. Census
Allocation of congressional districts after the 2000 U.S. Census
The 435 seats of the House grouped by state (post-2010 Census reapportionment)
Allocation of seats by state, as percentage of overall number of representatives in the House, 1789-2020 Census
The U.S. population has increased more rapidly than the membership of the House of Representatives.

The size of a state's total congressional delegation (which in addition to representative(s) includes 2 senators for each state) also determines the size of its representation in the U.S. Electoral College, which elects the U.S. president.

A 2016 general election ballot, listing the presidential and vice presidential candidates

United States presidential election

A 2016 general election ballot, listing the presidential and vice presidential candidates
Comparison of the popular vote totals since 1900.
The hand-written copy of the natural-born-citizen clause as it appeared in 1787
A 2008 Democratic caucus meeting in Iowa City, Iowa. The Iowa caucuses are traditionally the first major electoral event of presidential primaries and caucuses.
Madison Square Garden in New York City, the site of the 1976, 1980, and 1992 Democratic National Conventions; and the 2004 Republican National Convention.
The floor of the 2008 Republican National Convention at the Xcel Energy Center in Saint Paul, Minnesota.
A Texas voter about to mark a selection for president on a ballot, 2008 Election Day
2020 Election
John Adams was the first of 26 presidents who have been lawyers.
Popular vote percentage
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The election of the president and the vice president of the United States is an indirect election in which citizens of the United States who are registered to vote in one of the fifty U.S. states or in Washington, D.C., cast ballots not directly for those offices, but instead for members of the Electoral College.

A 2016 general election ballot, listing the presidential and vice presidential candidates

Contingent election

A 2016 general election ballot, listing the presidential and vice presidential candidates

In the United States, a contingent election is used to elect the president or vice president if no candidate receives a majority of the whole number of Electors appointed.

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U.S. state

Constituent political entity, of which there are currently 50.

Constituent political entity, of which there are currently 50.

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Ownership of federal lands in the 50 states
U.S. states by date of statehood:
The order in which the original 13 states ratified the Constitution, then the order in which the others were admitted to the Union
A map showing the source languages of state names

Each state is also entitled to select a number of electors (equal to the total number of representatives and senators from that state) to vote in the Electoral College, the body that directly elects the president of the United States.

Graph showing historical party control of the U.S. Senate, House and Presidency since 1855

United States Senate

Upper chamber of the United States Congress, with the House of Representatives being the lower chamber.

Upper chamber of the United States Congress, with the House of Representatives being the lower chamber.

Graph showing historical party control of the U.S. Senate, House and Presidency since 1855
Members of the United States Senate for the 117th Congress
A typical Senate desk
The Senate side of the United States Capitol in Washington, D.C.
Committee Room 226 in the Dirksen Senate Office Building is used for hearings by the Senate Judiciary Committee.
The Senate has the power to try impeachments; shown above is Theodore R. Davis's drawing of the impeachment trial of President Andrew Johnson, 1868
U.S. Senate chamber c. 1873: two or three spittoons are visible by desks

If no candidate receives a majority of electors for vice president, the duty falls to the Senate to elect one of the top two recipients of electors for that office.

1824 United States presidential election

The tenth quadrennial presidential election.

The tenth quadrennial presidential election.

Results by county explicitly indicating the percentage of the winning candidate in each county. Shades of blue are for Jackson (Democratic-Republican), shades of red are for Adams (Democratic-Republican), shades of yellow are for Clay (Democratic-Republican), and shades of green are for Crawford (Democratic-Republican).
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Map of House of Representatives delegation votes
Caucus curs in full yell, by James Akin, 1824 (critique of "the press's treatment of Andrew Jackson, and on the practice of nominating candidates by caucus")
Secretary of War John C. Calhoun
Secretary of the Navy Smith Thompson
Secretary of State John Quincy Adams
House Speaker Henry Clay from Kentucky
Secretary of the Treasury William H. Crawford

The result of the election was inconclusive, as no candidate won a majority of the electoral vote.

The Iowa State Capitol building, where the Iowa General Assembly convenes

State legislature (United States)

Legislative body of any of the 50 U.S. states.

Legislative body of any of the 50 U.S. states.

The Iowa State Capitol building, where the Iowa General Assembly convenes

Under Article II, state legislatures choose the manner of appointing the state's presidential electors.

Euler diagram showing A is a subset of B, A⊆B, and conversely B is a superset of A.

Supermajority

Requirement for a proposal to gain a specified level of support which is greater than the threshold of more than one-half used for a simple majority.

Requirement for a proposal to gain a specified level of support which is greater than the threshold of more than one-half used for a simple majority.

Euler diagram showing A is a subset of B, A⊆B, and conversely B is a superset of A.

In the United States Electoral College, an absolute majority of electoral votes are required for it to elect the US president and vice-president.