The Presidential Election of 2000 made many United States citizens question how the voting system in America works. How is it possible that more United States citizens voted for Democrat Al Gore, yet George W. Bush won the election? 50,996,582 registered voters elected Al Gore and only 50,456,062 people voted in favor of Bush (2000 Election Popular Results). So why did Bush win the Presidency? .
In the United States, the people do not elect the President or Vice President directly. The framers of the Constitution felt this was too great a responsibility for ordinary U.S. citizens. They believed that a group of select citizens, called electors, should pick the President. These electors make up what is known as the Electoral College. The candidate who received the most votes from the electors will become President. The candidate with the second highest votes will become the Vice President. This method of choosing the President and Vice President worked until 1800. That year, Aaron Burr and Thomas Jefferson received the exact same number of electoral votes. Jefferson ended up winning but the system had to change. Now, each elector votes for one person for President and one person for Vice President (Burdette, 2000). .
The Constitution leaves the selection of electors to the state legislatures, stipulating only that their number equal that of the Congressional delegation and that officers of the federal government are not eligible. Candidates for elector usually are nominated by party conventions, in primary elections, or by party organizations. The electors meet in their respective state capitals on the first Monday after the second Wednesday in December in presidential election years (Burdette, 2000). To determine how many electors a state has, just add the number of senators to the number of representatives. Larger states like California (54) and Florida (25) have more electoral votes and thus receive extra attention from candidates.