Electoral College Quiz

jwblackwell avatar
By jwblackwell

Quiz

Flashcards

9 Questions

How many electoral votes are needed to elect the President and Vice President of the United States?

What is the purpose of the Electoral College?

When do the electors of each state meet to cast their votes?

What is the current number of electors in the Electoral College?

What is the contingency procedure established by the Twelfth Amendment if no candidate receives an absolute majority of electoral votes?

What is the correlation between popular vote and electoral college votes since 1836?

What is the role of the Fourteenth Amendment in relation to the Electoral College?

What is the purpose of the Electoral Count Act of 1887?

What is the argument of proponents of a national popular vote for presidential elections?

Summary

Electors of the U.S. President and Vice President:

  • The Electoral College is a group of presidential electors required by the Constitution to form every four years for the sole purpose of appointing the president and vice president.

  • Each state and the District of Columbia appoints electors equal in number to its congressional delegation.

  • An absolute majority of 270 or more electoral votes is required to elect the president and vice president.

  • States and the District of Columbia hold a statewide or districtwide popular vote on Election Day in November to choose electors based upon how they have pledged to vote for president and vice president.

  • Almost 10% of presidential elections under the system have not elected the winners of the nationwide popular vote.

  • Critics argue that the Electoral College system is less democratic than a direct popular vote and violates the democratic principle of "one person, one vote."

  • The electors of each state meet in their respective state capital on the first Monday after the second Wednesday of December to cast their votes.

  • The elected president and vice president are inaugurated on January 20.

  • The original plan of the Electoral College was based upon several assumptions and anticipations of the Framers of the Constitution.

  • In 1824, there were six states in which electors were still legislatively appointed.

  • The emergence of political parties and nationally coordinated election campaigns soon complicated matters in the elections of 1796 and 1800.

  • The election of 1800 had to be decided by the House of Representatives pursuant to the Constitution's contingency election provision.Evolution of the Electoral College system in the US is traced from the Founding Fathers' view to the present day. The Twelfth Amendment was proposed and ratified in response to problems from the 1800 election, which changed the voting system. Electors were intended to be elected by the citizens of a district, and be free to deliberate and select the best-suited candidate. However, the system evolved to pledged electors who were no longer free agents. The district plan was last carried out in Michigan in 1892, and the general ticket of electors pledged to a party candidate became the norm. The correlation between popular vote and electoral college votes has been almost universal since 1836. The three-fifths clause and the role of slavery in the electoral college are discussed, with scholars concluding that the clause had low impact on sectional proportions and factional strength until denying the North a pronounced supermajority, as to the Northern, federal initiative to abolish slavery. The Fourteenth Amendment requires a state's representation in the House of Representatives to be reduced if the state denies the right to vote to any male citizen aged 21 or older. The Electoral Count Act was passed in 1887, establishing specific procedures for the counting of the electoral votes. The date fixed by Congress for the meeting of the Electoral College is "on the first Monday after the second Wednesday in December next following their appointment." The aggregate national popular vote is calculated by state officials, media organizations, and the Federal Election Commission, but the people only indirectly elect the president and vice president.Overview of the Electoral College in the United States

  • The Electoral College is a body of 538 electors who are selected state-by-state to vote for the President and Vice President of the United States.

  • Electors are nominated by the party and usually vote for their ticket, with most states using a winner-takes-all system based on the statewide popular vote.

  • A candidate must receive an absolute majority of electoral votes (currently 270) to win the presidency or the vice presidency.

  • If no candidate receives a majority, the election is determined via a contingency procedure established by the Twelfth Amendment, where the House chooses one of the top three presidential electoral vote winners as the president and the Senate chooses one of the top two vice presidential electoral vote winners as vice president.

  • A state's number of electors equals the number of representatives plus two electors for the senators the state has in the United States Congress.

  • Currently, there are 538 electors, with the six states with the most electors being California, Texas, Florida, New York, Illinois, and Pennsylvania.

  • Candidates for elector are nominated by state chapters of nationally oriented political parties in the months prior to Election Day.

  • All states currently choose presidential electors by popular vote, with eight states naming the electors on the ballot.

  • The Electoral College never meets as one body, with electors meeting in their respective state capitals on the same day to cast their electoral votes on separate ballots for president and vice president.

  • The Twelfth Amendment mandates Congress assemble in joint session to count the electoral votes and declare the winners of the election, with the sitting vice president expected to preside.

  • If no candidate for president receives an absolute majority of the electoral votes, then the House of Representatives is required to choose a president, with each state delegation voting en bloc and a candidate needing to receive an absolute majority of state delegation votes.Overview of the Twelfth Amendment and Alternative Methods of Electing Presidential Electors

  • The Twelfth Amendment outlines the process for electing the President and Vice President of the United States.

  • If no candidate for vice president receives a majority of electoral votes, the Senate must choose a vice president from the two candidates with the most electoral votes.

  • Two-thirds of the senators must be present for voting to take place, and a "majority of the whole number" of senators is necessary for election.

  • The House of Representatives may also fail to choose a president-elect in time for the inauguration, at which point the vice president-elect becomes acting president until the House selects a president.

  • Before the "short ballot," the most common means of electing the presidential electors was through the general ticket, where voters cast ballots for individuals running for presidential elector.

  • The state legislature could also choose presidential electors, which was the most common method in the earliest presidential elections.

  • Other methods used early in U.S. history included dividing the state into electoral districts and having voters in each district cast their ballots for the electors they supported.

  • The congressional district method, which is used in Maine and Nebraska, distributes electoral votes based on the popular vote winner within each congressional district.

  • Proponents of a national popular vote argue that the Electoral College violates the principle of political equality and that candidates in popular vote elections for governor and U.S. Senate do not ignore voters in less populated areas.

  • Polling data shows that a majority of Americans consistently favor having a direct popular vote for presidential elections, while the popularity of the Electoral College has hovered between 35% and 44%.

Description

Test your knowledge of the Electoral College in the United States with this informative quiz! From the history and evolution of the system to the current methods of selecting electors and determining the winners, this quiz covers it all. Brush up on your understanding of the Twelfth Amendment, alternative methods of electing presidential electors, and the correlation between the popular vote and electoral college votes. Whether you're a political science student or just curious about the U.S. election process, this quiz is a great way to

Make Your Own Quiz

Transform your notes into a shareable quiz, with AI.

Get started for free

More Quizzes Like This

Test Your Knowledge
9 questions
The Electoral College
10 questions
The Electoral College
ImpartialChaparral avatar
ImpartialChaparral
The Elector Quiz
5 questions
The Elector Quiz
FlexibleDiscernment avatar
FlexibleDiscernment