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Who decides how many members of the US House of Representatives each state receives?. Read on to find out!. 1 &2. The US Census & Reapportionment.

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Who decides how many members of the US House of Representatives each state receives?

Read on to find out!


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1 &2. The US Census & Reapportionment Representatives each state receives?

  • Every ten years the US Census Bureau records the population of the United States. In addition to recording the population they record lots of demographic information.

  • “Reapportionment” is the process of dividing the 435 memberships, or seats, in the House of Representatives among the 50 states--Census Bureau conducts the census at 10-year intervals. At the conclusion of each census, it uses the results for calculating the number of House memberships each state is entitled to have. The latter process is the initial use of the basic results of each census.


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3. What happens after Reapportionment? Representatives each state receives?

  • Title 13, U.S. Code requires that the apportionment population counts be delivered to the President within 9 months of the census date. In Census 2000 and most 20th century censuses, the census date has been April 1, meaning that the Office of the President received the counts by December 31 of each census year.

  • According to Title 2, U.S. Code, within one week of the opening of the next session of the Congress, the President must report to the Clerk of the House of Representatives the apportionment population counts for each state and the number of Representatives to which each state is entitled.

  • Also according to Title 2, U.S. Code, within 15 days, the Clerk of the House must inform each state governor of the number of representatives to which each state is entitled.

  • The legislatures in each state are responsible for geographically defining the boundaries of their congressional and other election districts--a process known as REDISTRICTING--and more detailed census results are used for these purposes.



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6 & 7. Redistricting- After the 435 House of Representative seats are divided among all 50 states the state legislatures are responsible for drawing the new House of Representative district boundaries.

The state legislature, in Maryland the General Assembly, must draw the boundaries for each district of the US House of Representatives and the Governor must approve of the new boundaries. Checks and balances are used to make sure that no one party has total control over drawing legislative districts unless the people of that state only vote for one party.


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8. Redistricting in Maryland seats are divided among all 50 states the state legislatures are responsible for drawing the new House of Representative district boundaries.

Maryland currently is appropriated 8 members of the House of Representatives and two US Senators like every other state. In 2000 the General Assembly was given the opportunity to redistrict the boundaries of the House of Representative districts. At that time the Governor was a Democrat and the General Assembly was dominated by Democrats. As a result the district boundaries were drawn in a way that favored Democrats.



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The legislative map below is the current map of district boundaries for members of the US House of Representatives in Maryland.


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Redistricting in Maryland resulted in 2 Republicans being voted out of office and replaced by Democrats in the 2002 election.

To learn more about how redistricting affected Maryland click belowRedistricting in Maryland

Or

More on Redistricting


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If you look closely you will notice that district 8’s boundaries were changed to include Leisure World, downtown Silver Spring and Takoma Park, all areas where over 75% of the residents vote for Democrats.


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9. boundaries were changed to include Leisure World, downtown Silver Spring and Takoma Park, all areas where over 75% of the residents vote for Democrats. At the same time, much of northern Montgomery county, an area where much more evenly divided between Democrats and Republicans was added to district 4. As a result, the Republican incumbent, Connie Morella of district 8 lost her seat to the Democrat Chris Van Hollen in 2002.


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As you might imagine Connie, the Republican, was sad and Chris, the Democrat, was happy! That’s the nature of politics, but Connie’s loss and Chris’ win had less to do with their ideas than the Congressional districts they ran in. Chris can tribute his victory to the fact that Democrats controlled both the Governor’s office and the General Assembly during the redistricting process that takes place every 10 years. Connie claimed that the district boundaries had been gerrymandered!


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10. What is gerrymandering? Chris, the Democrat, was happy! That’s the nature of politics, but Connie’s loss and Chris’ win had less to do with their ideas than the Congressional districts they ran in. Chris can tribute his victory to the fact that Democrats controlled both the Governor’s office and the General Assembly during the redistricting process that takes place every 10 years. Connie claimed that the district boundaries had been Gerrymandering is a verb that describes how Congressional districts are drawn to favor one party over another. Gerrymandering a district based on race is illegal, but all other forms of gerrymandering done during the redistricting process are legal.


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11. The Congressional district below was drawn to make sure that a Democrat won it. If you look closely it contains many different cities that have little in common like Annapolis, Baltimore and Columbia, MD.


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The Electoral College that a Democrat won it. If you look closely it contains many different cities that have little in common like Annapolis, Baltimore and Columbia, MD.

How is the President elected?


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13. Before Presidents were directly voted for by the citizens of the US they were chosen by members of the House of Representatives. The Electoral College is relic (historical artifact) of that time in the United States.

Specified in Article II, Section 1 of the Constitution, the Electoral College elects the nation's president. The Electoral College was a compromise worked out during the Constitutional Convention of 1787 that allowed small and large states, and Federalists and Antifederalists, to feel that their interests were being met. The Electoral College placed power in the hands of the states by allowing state delegates to choose the president. The Electoral College is an important invention of the early republic and signifies the Founding Fathers' distrust of popular sovereignty. The electoral college system came about after great debate regarding the division of powers within the new nation. Delegates to the convention voted down four proposals to allow Congress to elect the president. Twice they voted that the citizenry should not choose the president. Believing that the average citizen was not sufficiently educated enough to vote, delegates feared such popular democracy. Slave states like Virginia and North Carolina also feared that since they had fewer white inhabitants than northern states, their attachments to slavery might be compromised.


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14. Electoral College Continued citizens of the US they were chosen by members of the House of Representatives. The Electoral College is relic (historical artifact) of that time in the United States.

Within the convention, a group known as the Committee of Eleven began studying various means of electing the president and recommended on September 4 that a college of electors would elect the president. The plan held that each state would have electors, chosen by the state legislature, and equal in number to the sum of the state's representatives and senators. The only task of the electors would be to decide who would be president and vice president. If no candidate gained a majority, as happened in 1800 and 1824, then the House of Representatives would choose the president. With little debate, the Constitutional Convention adopted the electoral college plan on September 8, 1787. Alexander Hamilton wrote of the Electoral College in the Federalist Papers in 1788, "If the manner of it be not perfect, it is at least excellent." The Electoral College kept the presidency out of the reach of direct democracy.

One reason there was so little debate on the Electoral College was that everyone assumed that George Washington would be chosen president, regardless of the system of election. With so many pressing issues to solve, they agreed quickly on the electoral college system. Convention delegates also assumed that once Washington's tenure as president was over, there would be no possibility of gaining an absolute majority for any one candidate, which meant that the president would then be determined by the House of Representatives. They could not have known how entrenched the political party system in the United States would become, or that the system would be amended in 1828 to make the Electoral College more responsive to the popular vote.


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Why does the United States use the Electoral College to elect Presidents?

The Electoral College system had its roots in the historical tradition of some medieval countries that used a group of nobles to select their ruler rather than a direct voting system or a hereditary monarchy. The Catholic Church used a similar concept for the process of papal selection, which was left in the hands of Church cardinals. The United States' Founding Fathers adopted the same type of system as a safeguard for their great experiment in democracy and outlined it in Article II, Section 1 of the Constitution (1787). Although some of the founders supported the notion of direct presidential election, others feared that giving a population, which was not only largely uneducated but also new to the concept of choosing its own leaders, the power to select a chief executive would be a recipe for disaster. To temper the effect of those voters, the United States' founders devised the idea of representatives from each state choosing the president, proportionally to their population, with the method each state used to select those representatives up to the states.


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15. Why the Electoral College Continued? elect Presidents?

The Electoral College had the added advantage of appealing to two groups that the nation's founders needed to appease in order to be successful in establishing their government: small states and slave states. Voters in both of those types of states would see their vote counted disproportionately more than in large or free states. Small states' voters had a larger say because each state, no matter its size, was granted two senators and a representative; therefore, even a tiny state was guaranteed three electoral votes. Because the number of senators does not change with the size of a state, smaller states have always made up a proportionately larger slice of the electoral pie than their size would warrant in a direct election. Similarly, because of the three-fifths compromise of the Constitutional Convention, slave states counted the enslaved population when representation was determined in Congress; but because slaves could not vote, the importance of a freedman's vote in a slave state was proportionally enlarged. The Founding Fathers left the method by which the Electoral College was chosen up to the individual states, but by 1836, most states had settled on the system of using the results from the popular election to award all their electors to the victorious candidate. That system continued in all states for over a century, but in 1969, legislators in the state of Maine chose instead to apportion their electoral votes in a modified-proportional system. Under that method, Maine's two electoral votes representing its two senators would always be awarded to the winner of the popular vote, but the remaining electoral votes would be doled out by congressional district, with the winner in each district the recipient of one elector. Nebraska followed suit in 1991, and the two remain the only states to use a proportional form of voting. Thus far, neither state has actually split its vote in any presidential election.


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16. How many electoral college votes are there today? elect Presidents?

Today there are 538 electoral votes:

(House of Representatives= 435) +(US Senate= 100) + (District of Columbia= 3)= 538


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17. How many electoral college votes does a candidate need to become President?

A candidate must win 270 or more electoral votes out of 538 in a presidential election in order to win

Click on the following website and answer the following questions about the electoral college: http://www.270towin.com/

  • Click on the following website to learn about which party different states tend to vote for based on past elections.

    http://www.nytimes.com/packages/html/politics/2004_ELECTIONGUIDE_GRAPHIC/


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How are electoral votes distributed to each state? to become President?

If you add together the number of US Senators and the number of members of the House of Representatives of a particular state you get the number of electoral votes that state is apportioned (given).

For instance:

(# of Maryland Senators=2) + (# of US House of Representatives in Maryland=9)= Maryland is allocated 11 total electoral votes


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Electoral Votes of other states to become President?

State #of US Senators + # of US Representatives = Total Electoral Votes

Maryland 2 9 11

Ohio 2 18 20

Wyoming 2 1 3

California 2 53 55


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18. Based on the number of House of Representative members that states are each allocated find out the # of electoral votes that Texas and Florida receive.


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What happens if no candidate receives 270 or more electoral votes?

If there are more than two candidates there is a possibility that no one will receive 270 or more electoral votes. If no candidate receives 270 or more votes then the House of Representatives decides who will be the next President. In that scenario each state receives 1 vote decided upon by the state’s US House Representatives. The candidate who gets the most votes is then elected President and the candidate who gets the second most votes is elected Vice-President.


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Answer the following questions or else! votes?

The Electoral College


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Based on the following information who was elected President of the United States?

19. In 2000 George W. Bush and Richard Cheney received  271  Electoral Votes and 50,456,062 popular votes

Albert Gore, Jr. and Joseph Lieberman received  266  Electoral Votes and 50,996,582 popular votes

Who won the election? Why?

20. 1824 Election Results (271 Electoral College Votes Available)

John Quincy Adams- 30.9% of the vote and 99 electoral votes

Andrew Jackson-41% and 84

William Crawford- 15% and 41

Henry Clay-12.9% and 37

Who decided who won? Who won?


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More Electoral College Questions of the United States?

21. In 1876 Rutherford B. Hayes received 4,036,572 and won 185 votes

Samuel Tilden received 4,284,020 votes and won 184 votes

Who won? Why?

22. In 2008 if Hillary Clinton receives 200 electoral votes and Rudy Guiliani receives 220 and the third candidate receives 18 electoral votes? Who will decide who is the next president?


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23. For more information about the Electoral College Check out the following sites

  • Arguments For and Against the Electoral College

  • Past Electoral College Results


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