United States Electoral College

Electoral Collegepresidential electorelectoral voteselectorelectoral votepresidential electorselectorsU.S. Electoral Collegethe Electoral Collegeelectoral
The Electoral College is a body of electors established by the United States Constitution, constituted every four years for the sole purpose of electing the president and vice president of the United States.wikipedia
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President of the United States

PresidentU.S. PresidentUnited States President
The Electoral College is a body of electors established by the United States Constitution, constituted every four years for the sole purpose of electing the president and vice president of the United States.
Through the Electoral College, registered voters indirectly elect the president and vice president to a four-year term.

Faithless elector

faithless electorsvote of conscienceabstained
Electors are typically required to pledge to vote for the winning candidate, but there is an ongoing legal dispute about whether electors are actually required to vote as they pledged.
In United States presidential elections, a faithless elector is a member of the United States Electoral College who does not vote for the presidential or vice presidential candidate for whom they had pledged to vote.

Article Two of the United States Constitution

Article IIArticle TwoArticle II, Section 1, Clause 6
According to [[Article Two of the United States Constitution#Clause 2: Method of choosing electors|Article II, Section 1, Clause 2]] of the Constitution, each state legislature determines the manner by which its state's electors are chosen.
Section 1 also establishes the Electoral College, the body charged with electing the president and the vice president.

2016 United States presidential election

20162016 presidential election2016 U.S. presidential election
While the electoral vote has given the same result as the popular vote in most elections, this has not been the case in several elections, most recently in the 2016 election. Since the mid-19th century when all electors have been popularly chosen, the Electoral College has elected the candidate who received the most popular votes nationwide, except in four elections: 1876, 1888, 2000, and 2016.
While Clinton received 2.87 million more votes than Trump did (the largest margin ever for a losing presidential candidate), Trump received the majority in the Electoral College and won upset victories in the pivotal Rust Belt region.

U.S. state

StatestatesU. S. state
According to [[Article Two of the United States Constitution#Clause 2: Method of choosing electors|Article II, Section 1, Clause 2]] of the Constitution, each state legislature determines the manner by which its state's electors are chosen.
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.

United States House of Representatives

U.S. RepresentativeU.S. House of RepresentativesUnited States Representative
Each state's number of electors is equal to the combined total of the state's membership in the Senate and House of Representatives; currently there are 100 senators and 435 representatives.
In addition to this basic power, the House has certain exclusive powers, among them the power to initiate all bills related to revenue; the impeachment of federal officers, who are sent to trial before the Senate; and, in cases wherein no candidate receives a majority of electors for president, the duty falls upon the House to elect one of the top three recipients of electors for that office, with one vote given to each state for that purpose.

Twenty-third Amendment to the United States Constitution

Twenty-third Amendment23rd Amendment23rd Amendment to the United States Constitution
Additionally, the Twenty-third Amendment, ratified in 1961, provides that the District of Columbia (D.C.) is entitled to the number of electors it would have if it were a state, but no more than the least populated state (presently 3).
The amendment grants the district electors in the Electoral College as though it were a state, though the district can never have more electors than the least-populous state.

United States Senate

U.S. SenatorUnited States SenatorU.S. Senate
Each state's number of electors is equal to the combined total of the state's membership in the Senate and House of Representatives; currently there are 100 senators and 435 representatives.
In addition to these, in cases wherein 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

18241824 presidential election1824 election
In 1824, there were six states in which electors were legislatively appointed, rather than popularly elected, so the true national popular vote is uncertain; the electors failed to select a winning candidate, so the matter was decided by the House of Representatives. In 1824, Andrew Jackson, a slaveowner from Tennessee, was similarly defeated by John Quincy Adams, an outspoken critic of slavery.
No candidate won a majority of the electoral vote, becoming the only election to require a contingent election in the House of Representatives under the provisions of the 12th Amendment.

1876 United States presidential election

18761876 presidential electionpresidential election of 1876
Since the mid-19th century when all electors have been popularly chosen, the Electoral College has elected the candidate who received the most popular votes nationwide, except in four elections: 1876, 1888, 2000, and 2016.
After a first count of votes, Tilden won 184 electoral votes to Hayes' 165, with 20 votes from four states unresolved.

2000 United States presidential election

20002000 presidential electionPresident
Since the mid-19th century when all electors have been popularly chosen, the Electoral College has elected the candidate who received the most popular votes nationwide, except in four elections: 1876, 1888, 2000, and 2016.
On election night, it was unclear who had won, with the electoral votes of the state of Florida still undecided.

Twelfth Amendment to the United States Constitution

Twelfth Amendment12th Amendment12th Amendment to the US Constitution
Responding to the problems from those elections, the Congress proposed on December 9, 1803, and three-fourths of the states ratified by June 15, 1804, the Twelfth Amendment.
It replaced the procedure provided in Article II, Section 1, Clause 3, by which the Electoral College originally functioned.

Election Day (United States)

Election DayTuesdaythe same day as federal elections
Since 1880, the electors in every state have been chosen based on a popular election held on Election Day.
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.

1832 United States presidential election

18321832 presidential election1832 election
By 1832, only South Carolina had not transitioned to popular election.
Jackson won a majority of the popular vote and 219 of the 286 electoral votes cast, carrying most states outside of New England.

1888 United States presidential election

18881888 presidential election1888 election
Since the mid-19th century when all electors have been popularly chosen, the Electoral College has elected the candidate who received the most popular votes nationwide, except in four elections: 1876, 1888, 2000, and 2016.
Cleveland won a plurality of the popular vote, but Harrison won the election with a majority in the Electoral College.

1796 United States presidential election

17961796 presidential election1796 election
The emergence of political parties and nationally coordinated election campaigns soon complicated matters in the elections of 1796 and 1800.
Under the electoral rules in place prior to the 1804 ratification of the Twelfth Amendment, the members of the Electoral College each cast two votes, with no distinction made between electoral votes for president and electoral votes for vice president.

James Wilson

Fort Wilson RiotWilson
James Wilson then made motion for electors for the purpose of choosing the president.
He also proposed the Electoral College.

1800 United States presidential election

18001800 presidential electionelection of 1800
The emergence of political parties and nationally coordinated election campaigns soon complicated matters in the elections of 1796 and 1800.
Under the rules of the electoral system that were in place prior to the 1804 ratification of the 12th Amendment, each member of the Electoral College cast two votes, with no distinction made between electoral votes for president and electoral votes for vice president.

Oliver Ellsworth

EllsworthEllsworth, OliverJemima (Leavitt) Ellsworth
Delegates Oliver Ellsworth and Roger Sherman of Connecticut, a state which had adopted a gradual emancipation law three years earlier, also criticized the use of a national popular vote system.
Additionally, Ellsworth received 11 electoral votes in the 1796 presidential election.

Indirect election

indirectly electedindirectindirect suffrage
The popular election for electors means the president and vice president are in effect chosen through indirect election by the citizens.

John Quincy Adams

AdamsJohn QuincyJohn Q. Adams
In 1824, Andrew Jackson, a slaveowner from Tennessee, was similarly defeated by John Quincy Adams, an outspoken critic of slavery.
As no candidate won a majority of the electoral vote, the House of Representatives held a contingent election to determine the president, and Adams won that contingent election with the support of Clay.

Democratic-Republican Party

Democratic-RepublicanDemocratic-RepublicansRepublican
Finishing in second place was Democratic-Republican Party candidate Thomas Jefferson, the Federalists' opponent, who became the vice president.
In the 1788–89 presidential election, the first such election following the ratification of the United States Constitution in 1788, George Washington won the votes of every member of the Electoral College.

Burr–Hamilton duel

duelBurr-Hamilton duela duel
However, Hamilton's untimely death in 1804 prevented him from advancing his proposed reforms any further.
(Hamilton was the Secretary of the Treasury at the time.) The Electoral College then deadlocked in the election of 1800, during which Hamilton's maneuvering in the House of Representatives caused Thomas Jefferson to be named president and Burr vice-president.

Contingent election

electno candidate receives the minimum 270 electoral votes needed to win the electiontie-breaker by the United States House of Representatives
If there is a tie, or if no candidate for either or both offices receives a majority, then choice falls to Congress in a procedure known as contingent election.
In the United States, a contingent election is the procedure used in presidential elections in the case where no candidate wins an absolute majority of votes in the Electoral College, the constitutional mechanism for electing the president and the vice president of the United States.

Joint session of the United States Congress

joint session of Congressjoint sessionAddressed U.S. Congress
The results are counted by Congress, where they are tabulated nationally in the first week of January before a joint meeting of the Senate and House of Representatives, presided over by the vice president as president of the Senate.
Joint sessions can be held on any special occasion, but are required to be held when the president delivers a State of the Union address, when they gather to count and certify the votes of the Electoral College following a presidential election, or when they convene on the occasion of a presidential inauguration.