How does the Electoral College work?


This week's episode answers the question. How in the world does the electoral college pick our president. You're listening to the how in the world podcast we're we unravel some of the planet's most perplexing questions in just about ten minutes nope we're not scientists or scholars. We're just normal people who like to figure things out. Sometimes inspiring sometimes informative. Our topics are always fascinating hosted by me mark johnson and my lovely wife me holly johnson. We do the research so you don't have to well. Today is thursday november fifth twenty twenty. And it's been a quiet couple of days around here in the. Us assure was there was something on tv to incessantly. Watch and keep checking my phone about What could that possibly be wrong. Oh how about the twenty twenty elections. It's been a wild couple of days folks in it. Looks like it could be wild for a bit longer. So let's all practice are deep breathing and relaxation methods together. Bring your popcorn as the time that we're recording this. I believe the elections come down to maybe four states that haven't yet counted all of their votes but once they're done it's still not over no not even close because once all the votes are counted will know what the results of the popular vote are. But we won't officially know yet. Who won this election. And that's because not only will there be a ton of lawsuits than we unto way through but also because we don't elect our president based on the popular. Vote like you would in the classroom election elementary school. We use the electoral college. And i've always been a little foggy about the electoral college. So i'm glad recovering this today because it forced me to dig deeper really kind of learn about it or you could have just asked your wife who by the way is a political scientist by education. You know yeah. I've been told that. Before so i get a little invested in presidential elections and the preceding debates and political discussion. So what it's fascinating and also frustrating and maddening and kinda stupid also but so fascinating the strategy. He's not even close anyway. Let's talk about the electoral college. Yup that's why we're here. So let's do it and by the way we're going to refrain from any partisan right discussion. This is just about the electoral college. You won't know who we voted for. So for starters you know how annoying all of those census ads and like postcard mailers and mail and information and more ads and everything was reminding us. How important is that we fill out our census form so that everyone is counted yet. And i remember seeing a ton about the census recently. But i believe you filled out the form. Since you're our families designated form filler outer am. I joined it because again i am a political scientist so data and surveys and stuff like that matters anyway. The census is used to determine a lot of things most notably funding to your state for certain services. So if you have a disproportionate number of school aged kids for example it tells the. Us government that you'll need a disproportionate amount of funding for schools. I mean that's really dumbing. It down but funding is a biggie. And doesn't also tell you how many representatives you'll get in the. Us house it does so every state gets two senators so there are a total of one hundred senators in the us senate but representatives are totally different because their allocated based on the census count. Yes they are. There's always four hundred and thirty five of them. No more no less. But how they're allocated can change. So if everyone emptied out of california which currently has fifty three districts and therefore fifty-three representatives and moved to wyoming which currently has just one representative. Those numbers would turn on their head. And by the way. Alaska delaware montana and north and south dakota and also vermont have just one representative yes and there are also some non voting delegates in the hell. They can do everything. The voting members can do except vote. Hence the name right. They can introduce bills and participate in committees Currently there is a delegate representing washington. Dc as well as one each for puerto rico. American samoa guam the northern mariana islands. And the us virgin islands. They're also talking about adding a delegate from the cherokee nation and from the choctaw nation which is super cool. Yeah it really is. And the senate and house together are called congress and there are a total of five hundred thirty five members of congress. So that's that hundred senators and the four hundred and thirty five representatives. Each state has the same number of electoral college votes. That they have congressmen or women which means each state has a minimum of three electoral college members. Two senators one representative three so for the the smaller less populated states. They're still going to have three electoral college members.

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