US Constitution
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U.S. Electoral College

How are members of the Electoral College determined?



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Each state is entitled to a number of Electors equal to the number of the Repesentatives and Senators it is entitled to. Washington DC is given 3 electoral votes even though it has no Representatives or Senators. The total number of electors is 538, which is why 270 electoral votes are needed to win. The Electoral College is made up of men and women who are chosen by each state's political parties to be the electors for that party's candidate. Shortly after the national Republican and Democratic Conventions, when the actual candidate for each party is determined, the State Republican and Democratic Committees meet separately to choose their respective electors. New Jersey has 15 electoral votes. The State Republican Party has chosen 15 persons to be its electors and the State Democratic Committee has chosen its own 15 persons to be the Democratic electors. If the Republican candidate wins the popular vote in NJ, all 15 Republican electors get to cast their votes for their candidate. If the Democratic candidate wins, then all 15 of the Democratic electors get to cast their votes. The Electoral College does not meet in a single place at the same time the way Congress meets. Each state's electors meet within their own states to cast their votes. The electoral votes are then transmitted to Congress to be counted.