Who are Electors? How are they Chosen?

1,007 Views Updated: 05 Apr 2018
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Who are Electors? How are they Chosen?

The election result of the past year is one that most of America or for that matter the entire world is recovering from. While most of us were hoping that Hillary Clinton is our next President, the results proved favorable to the least popular candidate Donald Trump. 

So, did you find yourself wondering as to how the election process really works and if you did you must have across the term electors? These electors play a major part in the outcome of the elections but do you know how are electors chosen.

Who Are Electors? 

All you knew of elections was that two candidates are chosen and the public cast their vote but what many don’t know is that every four years, around 538 people meet in 51 different locations pan America to pick the winner of the Presidential Elections. Under the rules that are approved by the state legislatures, different political parties within each state handpick people to serve as electors. These are generally party leaders or members.

(Image Courtesy: NPR)

Who Is Qualified To Be An Elector 

Surprisingly the Constitution of the US has very few provisions as far as the qualification of electors is concerned. Though it clearly states in Article II, section 1, clause 2 that no Senator or Representative, or Person holding an Office of Trust or Profit under the United States is qualified to be an elector. Also, if you have been unpatriotic and have rebelled against the state authority, then you are obviously not fit to participate in such major decisions where the state is concerned. The 14th Amendment provides that any state official who has been a part of a rebellion against the United States of America or has provided aid and comfort to the enemies of the nation are not qualified to take on the role of an elector.

(Image Courtesy: CNS News)

How Are Electors Chosen?

Voters every four years cast their polls to select a candidate for President and Vice-President. This system is prevalent in every state except two; those two states are Nebraska and Maine. Proportional representation allocates the electoral votes. Simply put, the top vote getter in those states wins for themselves two electoral votes. Though in the case of the other remaining electoral votes, they are allocated by the congressional district for each congressional district. So unlike the case with the other 48 states where the winner takes all, the states of Nebraska and Maine function differently, where the rules make it possible that both candidates receive electoral votes.  There the rules make it possible that both candidates receive electoral votes.  

(Image Courtesy: Nebraska TV)

On the day of the election when people vote for their preferred choice for the Presidential candidate, they are also voting for their state's Electors. Not always will the name of the elector would appear on the ballot and if it does it would be below the name of the Presidential candidates. This completely depends on the election procedures and ballot formats in each state.

Who Are Faithless Electors?

Electors who completely refuse to support their party’s presidential candidate are termed as ‘faithless.' It is though very rare that something like this happens and there have only been 157 faithless electors in history. A majority of them were those who cast ballots in the 19th century.

Are you in favor of this process of electing Presidents or is it about time the US amends it.  Leave your feedback in the comment box below. 

(Featured Image Courtesy; People)

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