The Electoral College


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As the Presidential election approaches, lets learn a bit more about the process. To better understand this process one must first know about the US Electoral College and what their vital role is.

The United States Electoral College process consists of Congress electing the president and a popular vote, as it falls somewhere between the two. Our founding fathers established the Electoral College in the Constitution as a compromise between electing a President by a vote in Congress and the election of the President by a popular vote by citizens.

See the following video for a visual of how the Electoral College works:

Electoral College and the National Archives (2016)

Fact: “The term “electoral college” does not appear in the Constitution. Article II of the Constitution and the 12th Amendment refer to “electors,” but not to the “electoral college.” Since the Electoral College process is part of the original design of the U.S. Constitution it would be necessary to pass a Constitutional amendment to change this system” (NARA, 2016).

Any candidate who wins a majority or plurality of the popular vote nationwide has a good chance of winning in the Electoral College, but there are no guarantees. For more information about the US Constitution and our Electoral College check out the Library Guide about Elections and Voter Information

To read more about the US Electoral College and the Constitution go to the sites below:

US Electoral College Website

DOCSTeach—US Constitution  

Got Any Questions about the upcoming US Presidential Election?

Visit the webpages pages below:

U.S. Voting & Election Resources

Living Room Candidate

American History, 1493-1945

CSpan–Presidential Acceptance Speeches

CSpan–Presidential Debates

History of Presidents:

American Experience—The Presidents

American Presidency Project

References Cited

National Archives and Records Administration (NARA). (2016). US Electoral College: What is the Electoral College. Retrieved from


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