This fall, when voters in each state cast their ballot for president, they determine whether their state electoral votes will go to each candidate. Each state has as many electoral votes as the number of U.S. Representatives and Senators combined. (For example, California has 52 Representatives and 2 Senators, giving it 54 electoral votes.) In the “winner takes all” system of American politics, a majority or plurality vote in each state gives all of the electoral votes to the winning candidate, with a majority of 270 needed to win the election.

These 538 electors meet following election day as “the electoral college” and formally cast their votes for president. If no candidate receives 270 electoral votes, the U.S. House of Representatives chooses the next executive.

Click on the button below to activate the Electoral College Computer (215K) and see for yourself how the voting works. In order to use the “computer” you will need to install the current version of Shockwave.

Electoral College Computer


Paid for by Clinton/Gore ’96 General Committee, Inc.