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WASHINGTON DC 17 Dec 2012 Electoral College chooses US president

United States voters go to the polls on Nov 6 to vote for the president, as well as federal and state legislators, but they don’t make

December 17, 2012 - NULL

WASHINGTON DC 17 Dec 2012 Electoral College chooses US president

United States voters go to the polls on Nov 6 to vote for the president, as well as federal and state legislators, but they don't make the final choice of president. It is made by the country's College of Electors. The choice of the public and the electors' choice usually coincide, but differed with dramatic repercussions in 2000. Democrat Al Gore won the popular vote by a narrow margin, but the electors chose his Republican rival, George W. Bush, by a narrow -- and contested -- margin.

The 2000 election was plagued

WASHINGTON DC 17 Dec 2012 Electoral College chooses US president

United States voters go to the polls on Nov 6 to vote for the president, as well as federal and state legislators, but they don't make the final choice of president. It is made by the country's College of Electors. The choice of the public and the electors' choice usually coincide, but differed with dramatic repercussions in 2000. Democrat Al Gore won the popular vote by a narrow margin, but the electors chose his Republican rival, George W. Bush, by a narrow -- and contested -- margin.

The 2000 election was plagued with allegations of voter fraud and disenfranchisement. Rumors of illegal road blocks, unclear ballots, and uncounted votes, particularly in swing states like Missouri and Florida, were rampant. Numerous court battles ensued, and the winner was eventually decided after a recount in Florida and a Supreme Court ruling.

A significant factor in the messy election was the Green Party presidential candidacy of Ralph Nader, who drew many of the votes that probably would have gone to Gore rather than his Republican rival, according to the Democrats. The Green Party refutes the assertion that Nader was the spoiler.

The president is elected by absolute majority in the Electoral College to serve a 4-year term. A candidate must receive a majority of electoral votes, at least 270, to be elected president. Each state receives a number of Electoral College votes equal to its two senators plus the number of seats it has in the House of Representatives, which is based on its population. Washington DC receives three electoral votes.

Barack Obama, running for a second and final term, is the expected Democratic Party nominee. The Republican candidate won't be chosen until late in 2012. (WRITTEN Nov 2011)

RELATED READING:

SUPREME COURT OF THE UNITED STATES (Cornell Law)
http://www.law.cornell.edu/supct/html/00-949.ZPC.html

Date written/update: 2012-12-17