But faithless electors have never affected the final result of any presidential election. And there havenБt been many in modern times; the last time was, when an anonymous elector in Minnesota cast his vote for John Edwards instead of the Democratic candidate, John Kerry. (Other electors thought that this might have been an honest mistake. )
More than a dozen states do not have laws on the books to punish faithless electors, meaning that an elector could legally change his or her mind and defy the popular vote. But : БElectors generally hold a leadership position in their party or were chosen to recognize years of loyal service to the party.
Throughout our history as a nation, more than 99 percent of electors have voted as pledged. Б Do electoral votes have a direct impact on Senate or congressional elections? They do not. How many electoral votes does each state have? Every state gets at least three electoral votes, because a stateБs number of electors is identical to the total number of its senators and representatives in Congress. Seven states have the minimum three electors. Washington, D. C. , also has three electoral votes, thanks to the 23rd Amendment, which gave the nationБs capital as many electors as the state with the fewest electoral votes.
California has the most electoral votes, with 55. Texas is next, with 38. New York and Florida have 29 apiece. HereБs with the numbers. Technically, yes, the members of the electoral college could vote against the way the citizens they represent vote, but this has, to my knowledge, never actually happened. So really, it s better to ask, why do we lump voters together into the electoral votes we do? The answer is, essentially, that a popular vote would have some unwanted consequences.
It would, for one, incentivize candidates to spend a disproportionate amount of their time on issues important to city dwellers, since the majority of Americans live in cities. Through the electoral college, a candidate has to visit a wide variety of the population and win their vote to get elected. Also, it would conceivably encourage various methods of denying the vote to large segments of the population (or at least discouraging them form voting at all). After all, if you could get 50 million people to vote for you in ten big cities, and keep the total turnout in all other areas below 50 million, you d win.
In the electoral college, whether five people vote in Wyoming, or 50,000 people do, the citizens of Wyoming are represented with equal strength in the election. Of course, there are downsides. Everyone gets upset about the times when the popular vote and electoral college contradict – that s actually pretty minor. It typically only happens in very close races anyway, and it s quite rare. The bigger issue is that it puts such an emphasis on a few swing states, which is legitimately problematic.