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How Are Electoral College Chosen?

Presidential electors get together in each state every four years to cast their votes for President and Vice President. Electors are chosen in processes defined by state law, creating a patchwork of selection processes. In some cases, state laws defer to political party bylaws to define how electors are chosen.

Donald Trump: 232 Joe Biden: 306 Toss Up: 0
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How are Electors Chosen?

The following list categorizes how each state selects its electors as of the 2016 Presidential election. There are 33 states that choose electors by party convention, while seven states and the District of Columbia select electors by state party committees. The remaining 10 states use gubernatorial appointments, appointment by party nominees, state chair appointments, presidential nominee appointments, and hybrid methods for elector selection.

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The typical qualifications for a presidential elector include current membership in the party, current voter registration, and a pledge to vote for the party’s presidential ticket. No matter the selection method, a slate of alternates is usually selected in case electors are unable to fulfil their duties. Another common feature of state elector laws is the allowance for electors to select replacements by majority vote in case of unexpected absences.

By State Party Convention

This method is the most commonly used for selection of presidential electors. Each party’s state convention nominates electors from each congressional district to vote for the national party’s presidential and vice-presidential candidates. Vacancies following the convention are filled by the central committee of the state party.

Alabama, Alaska, Arkansas, Colorado, Connecticut, Delaware, Hawaii, Idaho, Indiana, Iowa, Kentucky, Maine, Michigan, Minnesota, Mississippi, Montana, Nebraska, Nevada, New Hampshire, New Jersey, New Mexico, North Dakota, Ohio, Oklahoma, South Dakota, Tennessee, Texas, Utah, Vermont, Virginia, Washington, West Virginia, Wyoming

 By State Party Committee

The central committee for each state or district party with a presidential ticket selects electors prior to the general election. This committee also appoints replacements for elector vacancies prior to the presidential election.

District of Columbia, Georgia, Kansas, Louisiana, Massachusetts, Missouri, New York, South Carolina

Additional Methods for How Electors Are Chosen

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The following states use other methods for selecting their presidential electors:

Arizona: By state party chair

The state chair for each party with a presidential ticket selects electors prior to the general election. The chair also appoints replacements for elector vacancies prior to the presidential election.

California: By state officeholders and candidates

Democratic nominees for the U.S. House and U.S. Senate each nominate an elector in presidential years. The California Republican Party selects nominees for state and federal offices along with legislative leaders and committee members as electors.

Florida: By governor

Florida’s governor selects each party’s presidential electors from nominations made by state party committees. The governor can only choose electors based on party nominations.

Illinois: By state party committee and state party convention

The central committee for the Democratic Party of Illinois selects presidential electors. The Illinois Republican Party nominates its presidential electors during a state convention.

Maryland: By state party chair and state party committee

The state chair of the Maryland Democratic Party appoints electors based on nominations from local party committees. The Maryland Republican Party’s central committee appoints electors prior to the presidential election.

About Whispers from the North

Whispers from the North is an online platform that appreciates the ecological, cultural and socio-economic diversities of Northern Kenya. We also acknowledge that the lives of the communities of northern Kenya has been shaped by a number of intrinsic and extrinsic factors which have led to complex challenge that calls for a multifaceted approach.

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