The election in 2020 was described as one of the most important in history, and it became heated more than once. From debates to excavations in the social media, both Donald Trump and Joe Biden have fought a hard battle to try to prove their superiority over the other. Few elections in recent history have come close to what American voters have experienced in recent months, with the possible exception of the lead up to the 2016 election between Trump and Hillary Clinton.
Since Donald Trump had no experience in politics, he quickly rose through the ranks of the Republican Party and eventually became their candidate. Hillary Clinton, on the other hand, was a career politician who many thought would win the election and who was actually at the top of many polls. But on election night, November 8, 2016, Trump moved up, in part due to the way the United States tabulated votes in the presidential election.
Although Clinton won the plebiscite with over 65 million votes – almost 2.9 million more than Trump – because of the electoral college, Trump won the presidency with 304 votes, compared to 227 votes for Clinton. So how did this happen?
Unlike other elections for lower offices in the United States, each person’s vote does not count directly against their elected candidate. Instead, voters actually vote for the voters who will vote for the president and vice president on behalf of the entire state. In most cases, states grant all their votes to the candidates who won the popular vote in their state. Each state has a different number of voters depending on the size of its population. The number of votes in each state is equal to the number of senators and representatives in the U.S. Congress delegation in each state – which can vary depending on population size.
California and Texas have the largest number of votes, 55 and 38 respectively; less populous states like Alaska have only three. Washington, D.C., also has three electoral votes.
In Maine and Nebraska, things are somewhat different, and instead of giving all their votes to the candidates who won the popular vote, they are allowed to split their votes. The group of voters in each state meets a few weeks after election day to make their final decision.
Many people have criticized the electoral college and demanded its abolition. In 2017 Clinton herself told Anderson Cooper of CNN that she hoped it would be abolished. This year she will be one of the 29 voters of New York….