[Last update 2002jul13]
|District of Columbia||3||0.56%||574,096||0.20%|
The number of electors for each state is equal to the number of Representatives (1 to 53) plus the number of Senators (2). The 23rd Amendment grants the District of Columbia the number of electors it would be entitled to if it were at state, but not more than that of the least populous state. In 2000, the District received 3 electors. Wyoming, the least populous state, has 3 electors.
The candidate with the highest popular vote tally receives all of the state's electoral votes, with the exception of electoral votes from Maine and Nebraska.
In Maine and Nebraska the 2 at-large electoral votes go to the winner of the statewide popular vote. In addition, the presidential candidate with the highest popular vote in each of the state's Congressional Districts wins 1 electoral vote from that particular district. Maine has been doing this since the 1972 presidential election. Nebraska is a newcomer to this "districting" system of allocating electoral votes to the presidential candidates in the November General Election- having had this in place only beginning with the 1996 election.
The relevant statutes governing this procedure in each state are:
Maine Revised Statutes Title 21-A, section 802. Presidential Electors; Representation:
Nebraska Revised Statutes 32-710. State postprimary conventions; selection of presidential electors [excerpt]:
The U.S. Constitution- in Article II, Section 1, clause 2 (which was not altered by the later 12th Amendment)- reads, in part, as follows: "Each State shall appoint, in such manner as the Legislature thereof may direct, a Number of Electors... etc." [italics ours]; it is this constitutional provision which permits the several States to do what Maine and Nebraska have already done in switching over to the "districting" system from the more usual so-called "general ticket" system for allocating electors.
There are a total of 538 electors and 270 votes are needed to elect.
Should no candidate receive the necessary 270 votes then the election is decided by the Congress. The House, voting by states and not as individuals (a majority of the total number of states being necessary to a choice), chooses the President and the Senate, voting by individuals and not as states (a majority of the total number of senators being necessary to a choice), chooses the Vice President.
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