The Math of the Electoral College

The Math of the Electoral College

October 23, 2012

As the election is nearing there is so much math that it gets rather exciting. Why are the presidential candidates spending so much time and money in certain states and not in others? It comes down to numbers.

Our forefathers placed it in the constitution as a compromise between the election of the President by vote of Congress and election of President by popular vote of qualified citizens. The Electoral College consists of 538 electors. A majority of 270 electoral votes is required to elect the President.

Your state’s entitled allotment of electors equals the number of member in its Congressional delegation; one for each member in the House of Representatives plus two for your Senators. District of Columbia is allocated 3 electors and treated like a state.

Most states have a “winner take all” system but Maine (4 votes) and Nebraska (5 votes) have a proportional representation.

To get a PDF version of a math lesson we created involving the Electoral College, click on the image below!