The Presidential Election Process. Remember – 270. Logistics of the Electoral College. Total available votes = 538 435 + 100 + 3 = 538 Electors are determined by the number of Representatives, plus the number of Senators Minimum number a state can have is 3
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Remember – 270 Logistics of the Electoral College • Total available votes = 538 • 435 + 100 + 3 = 538 • Electors are determined by the number of Representatives, plus the number of Senators • Minimum number a state can have is3 • Representation is based on population, therefore, electors are based on population. Where are these 3 electoral votes from?
More on the Electoral College • It’s a WINNER-TAKE-ALL • If you get the majority of the popular vote then you get all of the ELECTORAL VOTES for that state. • Remember it takes 270 electoral votes to win
Choosing Electors • Electors are chosen on the same day in every state: the Tuesday after the first Monday in November…what’s significant about this date? • When voters go to the poles in November, they are voting for an elector NOT the President. (November 4, 2008) • Ideally, this elector will vote for their choice in January…NOT a requirement
Electoral College Breakdown If you were running which states would you focus on? Why?
Counting the Electoral Votes • These electors are chosen by voters • These electors then report to the state capital to cast their 2 votes • When? – Monday after the second Wednesday in December Who are the 2 ballots for? > This is basically a formality – we actually know the night of the election who won the election
Counting the Electoral Votes • The electoral ballots are sent to the President of the Senate • On January 6th they are tallied with a Joint Session of Congress • And the winner is “formally” announced
CHECKPOINT • How many electoral college votes does Georgia have? • How do they determine the number of electoral votes that a state has? • How many electoral votes do you need to win the Presidential Election?
The “What Ifs” of the Electoral College What if no one get 270? • Election goes to the House of Representatives (1800 & 1824) • Each State gets one vote – 26 to win it What if the House vote has not been decided by Jan 20th? • Vice President will preside until the President is determined What if the no one received 270 for Vice Presidency? • Senate will determine the VP and then they will preside until the President is determined
Popular-Vote vs. Electoral College Vote Red or Blue… Who should be elected? This happened in 2000
Flaws in the Electoral College System 1) Winner of the popular vote may not win the electoral college vote > This has happened 4 times 2) Electors are not required to vote for “their” candidate > “Faithless electors” on 9 occasions 3) Election might be decided by the House > This has happened twice > Look out for a 3rd party candidate to take a chunk
Proposed Changes District Plan – > Each district within a state would cast their “own” electoral vote Proportional Plan – > Percentage of electoral votes for the state based on percentage of popular vote from that state Direct Plan – > Popular vote winner, wins the office National Bonus Plan – > 102 electoral votes would be awarded automatically to the winner of the popular vote. These votes would be combined with the other electoral votes that the candidate won.
Strengths of the Electoral College • It’s a “known” system • In most cases it identifies a winner quickly and certainly • Most of the reforms would have “loop-holes” too
http://www-personal.umich.edu/~mejn/election/ 2004 Presidential Election by State Republican Democrat
One last thing…A timeline to sum it up Decision to run – meets 3 qualifications Electors cast votes, mail to D.C. Inauguration National Conventions Primaries, Caucus, State Conventions Electoral votes are counted Election Debate & Campaign
The Executive Branch II Presidential Succession & The Vice President
Presidential Succession • Original Wording • “power and duties” of the office (not the actual office were to go to the Vice Pres.) • 25th Amendment • In case of removal of the President from office or of his death or resignation, the Vice President shall become president.
25th Presidential Succession • Before the 25th Amendment (in 1967) the Vice President took over anyway. • John Tyler set this precedent when W.H. Harrison died after being in office only one month. • So what if something happens to the Vice President too????
Presidential Succession Act of 1947 We’ve got it covered… • 18 positions are outlined • Vice President • Speaker of the House • Pro Tempore of the Senate • Sec. of State • Sec. of Treasury • Sec. of Defense • Attorney General • Sec. of Interior • Sec. of Agriculture • Sec. of Commerce • Sec. of Labor • Sec. of Health and Human Services • Sec. of HUD • Sec. of Transportation • Sec. of Energy • Sec. of Education • Sec. of Veterans Affairs • Sec. of Homeland Security
(Know these for the Quiz) • The Vice President Dick Cheney • Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi • President pro tempore of the Senate Robert Byrd • Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice
The Nation “played with fate” Used twice – Reagan & Bush Presidential Disability • What if the President is only disabled – like if he has a heart attack or something… • 25th Amendment also details this predicament • The VP is to become President if… • The President informs Congress in writing that he is unable to serve • The VP and the Cabinet inform congress that the President is unable to serve • The President can resume duties when / if able
Checkpoint List the next 4 persons to assume the Presidency, if the President is unable to serve…
The Vice President • John Adams: I am the Vice President. In this I am nothing, but I may be everything.” • 9 VPs have taken over in the middle of a Term • 8 for deaths • 1 for resignation Did you know… The President can’t remove the VP from office.
Introduction: The Electoral College • One of the least understood parts of our government, yet it is one of the most important…
2004 Election (Wave = visit) ($ = money) • Focus on Swing States – by-products of the winner-take-all format
Exceptions to the winner-take-all… • Maine and Nebraska • 2 electors (at-large) go with the popular vote winner • All of the other votes are divided among the Congressional Districts • That is…If Cherokee’s 6th District (Tom Price, Roswell) voted for Candidate A, Candidate A would get “our” electoral vote, regardless of what the rest of the state voted.