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Electoral College Map

US Electoral Vote Map

Electoral College Map
Description : This map shows the number of votes each state has in the Electoral College. Disclaimer

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A group of 538 electors will meet in state capitols across the country, chosen by their parties to cast votes for president and vice president. The United States Presidential Election process uses a form of indirect election. That is, the president is not elected by popular vote,
and voters do not cast their votes directly for the President. When Americans cast their ballots, they are able to vote for any of the presidential candidates listed on the ticket, or even write in a different name, if they so choose. However, American voters are really choosing between what are called electors – not directly for any of the presidential candidates.

Electoral College in the Constitution

Designated by the U.S. Constitution, the Electoral College is a compromise between Congress electing the president and a popular vote, as it falls somewhere in between the two. The reason for the somewhat complicated system we use dates back to the creation of the Constitution. Article II, Section I of the Constitution creates the basis for the electoral system, and designates the number of electoral votes awarded as “equal to the whole number of Senators and Representatives” of each state. It also prohibits Senators, Representatives, and anyone holding an “Office of Trust or Profit” from becoming an elector.

United States Electoral College - Statewise Votes

State NameNumber of VotesState NameNumber of Votes
Arkansas6New Hampshire4
California55New Jersey14
Colorado9New Mexico5
Connecticut7New York29
Delaware3North Carolina15
Florida29North Dakota3
Indiana11Rhode Island4
Iowa6South Carolina9
Kansas6South Dakota3
Minnesota10West Virginia5

Electoral votes won by Presidential Candidates in 2012

Presidential CandidatePartyHome StateCount PercentageElectoral Vote
Barack Obama (Incumbent)DemocraticIllinois6591579651.06%332
Mitt RomneyRepublicanMassachusetts6093350047.20%206
Gary JohnsonLibertarianNew Mexico12759710.99%0
Jill SteinGreenMassachusetts4696270.36%0
Virgil GoodeConstitutionVirginia1223880.09%0
Roseanne BarrPeace and FreedomHawaii673260.05%0
Rocky AndersonJusticeUtah430180.03%0
Tom HoeflingAmerica'sIowa406280.03%0
Other  2171480.17%
Total  1290854031538
The Twelfth Amendment, ratified in 1804, revised Article II, Section I of the Constitution. Electors originally cast two votes for president, and the candidate who received the second highest number of electoral votes would become Vice President. Under the Twelfth Amendment, Electors cast one vote for the presidential candidate, and one vote for the vice presidential candidate.


Electors are delegates from each state who pledge their vote in the Electoral College based on the popular votes in each district. The number of electoral votes each state has depends on its number of representatives in the House and Senate. Since each state has two Senators and at least one Representative, this means each state (and Washington DC) has a minimum of 3 electoral votes. There are currently a total of 538 electors divided among the states. The winning candidate must receive a majority of the electoral votes (270) in order to win.

Selecting Electors

Electors are chosen by their political parties to represent districts in each state. Political parties normally choose loyal members of their party to act as electors. The electoral votes are administered by the National Archives and Records Administration (NARA), an independent nonpartisan group.

Though electors are pledged to vote for a particular candidate, it is possible for an elector to vote for someone else, or refuse to vote entirely. They are called “Faithless Electors,” and many states have passed laws prohibiting this practice. There have been Faithless Electors in history, though it has never made any real effect on the outcome of the election. Electors have also historically refused to cast their votes as a form of political protest.

Winner-Take-All vs. Proportional Representation

Most states follow a winner-take-all model of distributing electoral votes, meaning the majority winner receives all of the state's electoral votes. Only two states, Maine and Nebraska, split some of their electoral votes according to the votes of each district. In each of these states, two of their electoral votes go to the overall winner, while the remaining votes go to the winner in each district. This system is called proportional representation, or the district-by-district model. Many argue that this system is more accurate and fair than the winner-take-all system.

State-wise Electoral Votes for Presidential Nominees in 2012

USA StatesWTA/CDBarack Obama DemocraticMitt Romney RepublicanMarginTotal
State or districtmethodVotes Voting %VotesVotes Voting %votesVotes Voting %Votes
AlabamaWTA79569638.36% 125592560.55%9-460,229−22.19%2074338
Maine (at-large)WTA40130656.27%229227640.98%-10903015.29%713180
Maine, 1stCD22303559.57%114293738.18%-8009821.39%374419
Maine, 2ndCD17799852.94%114921544.38%-287838.56%336226
Nebraska (at-large)WTA30208138.03%-47506459.80%2-172,983−21.78%794379
Nebraska, 1stCD10808240.95%-15202157.59%1-43,939−16.65%263950
Nebraska, 2ndCD12188945.78%-14097652.95%1-19,087−7.17%266258
Nebraska, 3rdCD7211027.94%-18206770.56%1-109,957−42.61%258046
New HampshireWTA36956151.98%432991846.40%-396435.58%710972
New JerseyWTA212510158.38%14147756840.59%-64753317.81%3640292
New MexicoWTA41533552.99%533578842.84%-7954710.15%783758
New YorkWTA448574163.35%29249043135.17%-199531028.18%7081159
North CarolinaWTA217839148.35%-227039550.39%15-92,004−2.04%4505372
North DakotaWTA12482738.69%-18816358.32%3-63,336−19.63%322627
Rhode IslandWTA27967762.70%415720435.24%-12247327.46%446049
South CarolinaWTA86594144.09%-107164554.56%9-205,704−10.47%1964118
South DakotaWTA14503939.87%-21061057.89%3-65,571−18.02%363815
West VirginiaWTA23826935.54%-41765562.30%5-179,386−26.76%670438

WTA – Winner-takes-all
CD – Congressional district

Declaring a Winner

After the electoral votes are decided, the Electoral College cast their votes for president, based on the votes of the public. On the designated date, usually in December following the election, the Electors from each state meet in the state capital to officially declare their votes. Usually, by this time, the public is already aware of the winner of the election.

The Presidential candidate that receives more than 270 electoral votes, or just over half of the total 538, is the winner.

If the candidate does not receive a majority, then as per the Twelfth Amendment, the House of Representatives will decide the winner, with each state receiving one vote. This has happened twice in history – in the 1801 election of Thomas Jefferson, and in 1825 for John Quincy Adams's election. In the first, Thomas Jefferson and Aaron Burr tied in terms of electoral votes. Both were Republicans, and Aaron Burr was running for Vice President. The second race was between John Quincy Adams, Andrew Jackson, and William H. Crawford.

2016 US Presidential Elections

While three candidates are at present in the race to White House, the contest is really between Democrat Hillary Clinton and Republican Donald Trump. Hillary’s rival and fellow Democrat is way behind her and is virtually out of the contests as it is an impossible task for him to muster the delegates required to win the Democratic nomination for the 2016 presidential elections.

On November 8, people in the United States will vote for the next president of the country, though they would be really voting for the Electoral College.

The electors meet in their respective states to cast votes for both the President and Vice President of the country on the first Monday after the second Wednesday in December. This year, the electors will be meeting on December 19, 2016.

Last Updated December 19, 2016