You must have heard the word ‘electoral votes’ used in the news, radio shows, newspapers and everywhere possible during the election season. Electoral votes, commonly known as the ‘Electoral College’, are one of the major political events of the nation. In this article, we shall be discussing the whole process of how electoral votes work in the USA. Let’s take a look:

Electoral votes or Electoral College determines who will be elected for the post of president and vice president of the United States of America. President and Vice President are not elected by the general citizens but by the electors. Now if you are wondering how many electoral votes are there?, each state has a group of electors, similar to the members of Congress, which are total 538 in total. These electors are chosen by each state’s political party, who later takes part in the electoral college.

To win the Presidential and Vice-Presidential office, a candidate requires a total of 270 electoral votes. However, in case of a tie between the total number of votes, that is 269-269. In such rare cases, where none of the candidates has been able to secure a majority, the presidential election is taken over by Congress. What follows is the election within the House of Representatives, where each member casts one vote for president, and the Senate decides the vice president. In case no candidate can secure enough votes to win the office, the votes are transferred to the House of Representatives, as discussed in the earlier scenario.

How are electors chosen?

As discussed above, electors play a major role in electing the nation’s president and vice president. But many would be thinking, how are these electors chosen? Well, we have the answer.

The political parties have control over the process of choosing the electors. Parties can either pick out the slate of potential electors at the State Part convention or choose them through a voting process. The party’s central committee generally casts the votes for selecting these electors. The results of the election reflect the Presidential candidate’s slate of their own electors. This slate of electors can often include State party leaders, State elected officials or people who have a close association with the Presidential candidate.

But there’s a catch; when these potential electors vote during the November elections, they aren’t the official electors. During the voting process, they are actually voting for themselves to be the electors. The votes for the Presidential office are cast at the meeting of the electors. Further, the winning Presidential candidate’s slate of potential electors are chosen as the State’s electors.


We hope that this article gave our readers an insight into how the electoral votes work in the USA, along with the election of the electors. Stay connected with us for more such content!