Today’s election isn’t the only presidential election that matters. After this election, the Electoral College will vote for President. A candidate must get a majority of the 538 electors — 270 electoral votes — in order to be President. The entire process won’t be finished until January. When is this next election?
Here’s what you need to know.
Each candidate running for President has his or her own group of electors per state. When you vote for President, you’re actually voting for the candidate’s electors. In most states, the electors are awarded on a winner-take-all basis, except for Maine and Nebraska who award them partially proportionally.
After the election, between mid-November and December 19, each state’s governor will prepare a certificate of ascertainment, where he lists the winning candidate and his or her electors. Any controversies in the state related to this process must be decided by the courts by December 13.
Each state’s winning candidate’s electors will then attend a meeting of electors on the first Monday after the second Wednesday of December. This year, that will be on December 19. The electors meet in their state and vote for President and Vice President on separate ballots. These are recorded as Certificates of Vote and are signed and sealed.
On December 28, the President of the Senate and the Archivist must receive the certificates.
On January 6, 2017, Congress will meet in a joint session and count the electoral votes. (They can, however, pass a law to change this date.) The results are then announced. If no candidate gets 270 or more electoral votes, then the House of Representatives will decide who will be President. The House decides by a majority vote among the three candidates who got the most electoral votes. Each state gets one vote.
If no Vice Presidential candidate gets 270 or more electoral votes, then the Senate elects the Vice President, choosing from the two candidates who got the most electoral votes.
Inauguration day is January 20, 2017.
Read more about the Electoral college in Spanish at AhoraMismo.com: