U.S. Electoral College facts for kids

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Electoral map 2012-2020
Electoral votes by state/federal district, for the elections in 2012, 2016 and 2020

The United States Electoral College is a name used to describe the 538 Presidential electors who come together every four years during the presidential election to give their official votes for President and Vice President of the United States. The Electoral College was established by the Founding Fathers of the United States as a compromise between election of the president by Congress and election by popular vote.

Originally, electors voted for two candidates and the people with the two highest vote totals would be elected President and Vice-President. That did not work very well, so today the President and Vice-President are elected on separate ballots.

In order to win in the Electoral College, a candidate needs 270 votes. If there is no winner in the Electoral College, the House of Representatives elects the President and the Senate elects the Vice-President.

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U.S. Electoral College Facts for Kids. Kiddle Encyclopedia.