The process used to vote for the U.S. President and Vice President is the Electoral College. This process balances the vote for President coming from the Congress and from the votes of qualified citizens. The candidate who will win the Presidential Election must have at least 270 electoral votes.

The Electoral College begins with the selection of the electors, followed by the meeting of electors to cast their votes for President and Vice President and the final step is the counting by the Congress of the electoral votes.

Number of Electors

The state’s number of electors should b equal to the number of U.S. Senators and the U.S. Representatives. In the 48 states excluding Maine and Nebraska, a candidate with the most number of votes receives all of the state’s electoral votes. However at the two states; the electoral votes can be divided among the candidates. A candidate may receive the majority of popular vote but not the electoral votes and lose the presidential election.

In Behalf of the Archivist of the United States, the States, the Congress, and the American People; the Office of the Federal Register coordinates the function of the Electoral College. For more information, you can contact them online via mail at electoral.college@nara.gov or call 1-202-741-6030.

How to Change Electoral College

The Electoral College is part of the U.S. Constitution, a Constitutional amendment should be passed to change the system. For more information, you can contact your U.S. Senator, or U.S. Representative.


The presidential election process starts with the primary elections, wherein political parties choose a nominee to support; the nominee will select a Vice President running mate. These candidates face off during the general elections participating in debates to show their platforms to the voters.

Elections happen every four years and the Electoral College is used for Presidential elections. For a presidential and vice presidential candidate to win, they must get a majority of electoral votes. However, for cases that no candidate receives the majority, the House of Representatives and the Senate will choose the President and the Vice President.


Presidential candidates must go through a series of state primaries and caucuses.

  • State Primaries – occurs through a secret ballot. Closed primary, you can only vote a candidate who belongs in the same political party while an open primary is when you can vote for a candidate from a different political party.
  • Caucuses – members of political parties are divided into small groups depending on the candidate they support, undecided members will form another group. at the end of a caucus, organizers will count the voters in each group and calculate the winners.

A national convention is held to nominate a winning candidate at the end of primaries and caucuses.

For more information about primaries and caucuses in your state, Contact your state election office.