In 2008, it will make this selection on December 15.
Electors are technically free to vote for anyone eligible to be President, but in practice pledge to vote for specific candidates and voters cast ballots for favored presidential and vice presidential candidates by voting for correspondingly pledged electors. Most states allow voters to choose between statewide slates of electors pledged to vote for the presidential and vice presidential tickets of various parties; the ticket that receives the most votes statewide ‘wins’ all of the votes cast by electors from that state. U.S. presidential campaigns concentrate on winning the popular vote in a combination of states that choose a majority of the electors, rather than campaigning to win the most votes nationally.
Each state has a number of electors equal to the number of its Senators and Representatives in the United States Congress. Additionally, Washington, D.C. is given a number of electors equal to the number held by the “least populous” state. U.S. territories are not represented in the Electoral College.
Each elector casts one vote for President and one vote for Vice President. In order to be elected, a candidate must have a majority (at least 270) of the electoral votes cast for that office. Should no candidate for President win a majority of the electoral votes, the choice is referred to the House of Representatives. Should no candidate for Vice President possess a majority of the electoral votes, the choice is given to the Senate.
|State||Electoral Votes||State||Electoral Votes|
|Washington, D.C.*||3||North Dakota||3|
- * Washington, D.C., although not a state, is granted three electoral votes by the Twenty-third Amendment to the United States Constitution.
- ** Maine and Nebraska electors distributed by way of the Congressional District Method.