Every state has the same number of Electors as the sum of
its senators and representatives in Congress. Each state has two senators. The total
number of representatives for all the states is 435. The number of representatives for each
state varies from state to state and is proportional to its population. Each state has at least
one representative. The 23rd Amendment of the Constitution gave the District of Columbia (Washington
D.C.) three electoral voters since they currently have no senators or representatives.
Because of this structure, presidential elections in the United States are indirect elections; the general
public elects people to vote for them. Winning a majority of the popular vote does not
guarantee a candidate is elected President. The candidate must win a simple majority (more than 50%)
of the Electoral College vote to become President of the United States. In all but two of the
states, the Electoral vote is based on a “winner takes all” principle—whichever
candidate wins a plurality (more votes than anyone else) in the state gets all of that state’s
electoral votes. Maine and Nebraska use the Congressional District System where the winner of a
state receives the two additional electoral votes corresponding to the two senators.
following diagram shows the number of Electoral College voters for each state and how that state
voted in the 2008 presidential election.