Electoral College Information

  • Article II, Section 1 of the US Constitution (signed in convention Sep. 17, 1787, ratified June 21, 1788) specifies that each state shall appoint electors to vote for the President of the United States.
  • The term “Electoral College” does not appear in the Constitution. It is believed to come from deliberations on methods of electing the president at the Constitutional Convention.
  • Each state gets a number of electoral votes based on its congressional representation. There have been 535 congressional seats (435 House and 100 Senate) since 1964; the three electoral votes given to DC by the 23rd amendment result in a total of 538 electoral votes.
  • Five candidates have won the presidency despite losing the popular vote (8.5% of US presidential elections): John Quincy Adams in 1824, Rutherford B. Hayes in 1876, Benjamin Harrison in 1888, George W. Bush in 2000, and Donald Trump in 2016.
  • In 2020, 48 states used the winner-take-all method of allocating electoral votes to the winner of the statewide popular vote, while Maine and Nebraska awarded two electoral votes to the statewide winner and the rest to the winner of each congressional district.

Welcome to ElectoralCollegeInfo.org.

The site resources below should be helpful in understanding an important piece of US democracy, the Electoral College, and its role in how the president of the United States is elected.

1. Overview: A look at how the 1787 Constitutional Convention chose the Electoral College over other voting options, the elector process set forth in the Constitution, and subsequent Constitutional amendments and Supreme Court rulings.

2. Electors: Answers to questions about who can be an elector, how they are chosen, and what rules govern their votes.

3. State Elector Power: A chart showing the population, allotted electoral votes, and relative elector power for all 50 states and DC.

4. All US Presidential Elections: A chart showing the candidates, popular votes, electoral votes, and five times a candidate won despite losing the popular vote in all 59 US presidential elections.

5. 10 Books on the Electoral College: A list of 10 books about the Electoral College, presented in alphabetical order and compiled using reading lists from libraries and universities, as well as search results on Amazon and Google Books.

6. Pro, Con, and Neutral Articles on the Electoral College: A collection of 15 articles that are pro, con, and neutral on the Electoral College to examine its history as well as arguments for and against its use.

7. People for and against the Electoral College: Quotes from 20 well-known people who support or oppose the EC, such as Donald Trump (for) and Hillary Clinton (against).

8. Five Presidential Voting Options: A look at the pros and cons of five alternative methods for choosing the president: Winner-Take-All, District Plan, Direct Popular Vote, National Popular Vote Interstate Compact (NPV), and Whole Number Proportional.

9. Faithless Electors: Details on laws and Supreme Court rulings on faithless electors, and a chart showing the 90 faithless electors in presidential votes over the history of the 59 US presidential elections.