Asked in History of the United StatesUS PresidentsUS Constitution
Who elects the US president?
January 27, 2018 1:43AM
The Electoral College elects the president. The members, called electors, are elected by the popular vote of the citizens of each state in the general election, which is held on the first Tuesday after the first Monday in November. The candidates for elector have the same party affiliations as the candidates for president and VP and citizens select the electors accordingly. Often the names of the electors do not appear on the ballot, just the candidates they represent. However electors are not legally bound to cast their votes according to the wishes of the citizens who selected them, which means the Electoral College officially and truly elects the president and VP.
Each state gets a number of votes in the electoral college equal to the total number of Representatives in the House of Representatives plus two for its two senators. Each state is thus guaranteed at least 3 electoral votes. Washington D.C. also 3 electoral votes due to the 23rd amendment. The electors then officially elect the president and vice-president on the first Monday after the second Wednesday in December following the general election. The electors meet in their respective state capitals and vote. Their votes are signed , certified and sealed and sent to the president of the US Senate who in the presence of both houses of Congress opens and counts them .
The president and vice president candidates run as a team, even though voters and electors are not required to vote for both the presidential and VP candidates from a party, and both are elected in the same way by the same electoral college. If no candidate for President receives the required majority of the electoral vote, the House of Representatives chooses the president from among the top three candidates via a special election in which each state gets one vote. The same procedure takes place in the Senate if no VP candidate gets the required majority of electoral votes.
Article II and the 12th Amendment to the US Constitution specify
the election process.
Electoral votes determine the President of the United States. To win the U.S. Presidency a candidate must win a majority of the electoral votes.