When, Where, How does the Electoral College Vote?

It just occurred to me that I’ve never seen the Electoral College do its thing. Do they actually all collect somewhere and vote? Do they just phone it in? Is this just not worth showing on TV?

Maybe I’ve been living under a rock for a long time or perhaps I have seen it and decided In the Heat of the Night was more interesting and tuned out.

Just wanna know…

I believe they meet in the house chamber sometime in December to cast their votes. And the Vice President presides over the vote so if Gore loses the election he get to declare himself the loser in front of the college.

Who are these Electors anyway? How do you become one? Why would you want to become one? Do they get paid? Is it fun or is this something young law students do to dip their first toe into political waters?

That Gore thing is wrong. The votes are collected somewhere, put in a box and sent to Congress, where Gore will read and count them. Gore doesn’t preside over the EC.

From the XII Amendment (which supersedes the information in Article I, Section I, though it’s not much different as far as the beginning is concerned):

“The Electors shall meet in their respective states and vote by ballot for a President and Vice-President,…”

Usually, it’s done in the state capitals in early December.

You become an elector by being named one by the party. It’s pretty much an honorary position – you go to the state capital for one day, make your vote, and go home. Anyone can be named, but the job always goes to loyal party members.

Electors can vote for any candidate they want. This has happened as recently as 1988 (Lloyd Benson got one vote). The party apparatus makes sure that this isn’t likely to happen, and if you do break away, you can kiss your political career goodbye.

You can read the always exciting procedural details of the Electoral College here:

Do you think Gore will use fuzzy math when counting the electoral votes? “one for you, two for me…”

Gore doesn’t do the physical counting. Each party sends tellers to Congress on the day of the counting and they each keep their own tally.

I don’t think we’ll see a scenario like Matthew Broderick encountered in “Election.”

I’m pretty sure that the only qualifications are that you may not hold a federal office and must be a citizen. Generally speaking, the electors are people who work for the party at a state and local level, the position is often given to someone as a honor for years of service to the party.

How can it be that we are voting for electors, not for the candidates, when the electors’ names don’t even appear on the ballot?

Sxyzzx, in many states, its the actual elector’s name that is on the ballot, not the candidate.