***image1***Q: How does my vote choose the president?
A: The United States uses a process called the Electoral College. Under this system, each state appoints electors to choose the president. States get as many electors as they have U.S. Senators and U.S. Representatives combined. Since each state has two senators and at least one representative, even the smallest state gets three electors. All states’ electors are chosen on a “winner-take-all” basis, except Maine and Nebraska, which award two electors based on “winner-take-all” and the remainder according to the winner in each congressional district.
This is where your vote comes into play. Your state’s popular votes decide who gets its electoral votes. It’s possible (for example in the 2000 election) for a presidential candidate to receive more popular votes than the other and still lose under the Electoral College system. Obviously, the process has its pros and cons, but it’s the product of much deliberation and negotiation between large and small states during the drafting of the original Constitution, and it’s worked ever since.