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Video:What Is the Electoral College?

with Kawnza Hall

The Electoral College is a huge part of a Presidential election that acts as a compromise between the popular vote and the Congressional vote. Learn all about the Electoral College in this how-to video from About.com.See Transcript

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Transcript:What Is the Electoral College?

Hi I'm Kwanza Hall, Atlanta City Councilman for District 2. I'm with About.com and we're going to discuss what is the Electoral College.

What is the Electoral College?

The Electoral College is a process the founding fathers established in the Constitution as a compromise between election of the President by a vote in Congress and election of the President by a popular vote of qualified citizens. The Electoral College consists of 538 electors. A majority of the 270 electoral votes is required to elect the president. Your state's allotment of electors equals the number of members in its congressional delegation. One for each member of the house of representatives plus two for your senators.

In previous elections citizens have often times wondered why candidates have won the popular vote but have not won the Electoral College and that is because there are only 538 people who actually can make the decision about the president. These individuals are chosen as representatives of the popular vote of the various states that they reside in. And typically they are expected to vote in the direction of the popular vote. But it doesn't always occur. The majority of the times the votes do go in the direction of the popular vote.

Who Makes Up the Electoral College

Members of the Electoral College are sometimes former elected officials, high ranking individuals in the respective parties. They are typically former elected or high ranking business and influential political figures in their respective states.

The vice president presides over the count of the vote and announces who's been elected president and vice president of the united states based on the majority of the electoral vote.

The process for selecting members of the Electoral College throughout the United States varies by state to state. Typically, various state parties whether it be democratic, republican, independent, green party or what have you, nominate their members to the Electoral College. These nominations occur at state party conventions.

Thanks for watching this is Kwanza Hall Atlanta City Councilman for District 2 for About.com. 

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