WASHINGTON, Wash. — The electoral college is a uniquely American institution convened by state legislatures every four years in accordance with the U.S. constitution to formally choose the president and vice-president.
It comprises 538 electors, one for every seat in Congress plus three for the unrepresented District of Columbia. Electors are "pledged" to a presidential ticket based on the results of the popular vote in each state or district. Maine and Nebraska allocate their electors based on both the statewide vote and results in congressional districts.
Since states are represented by varying numbers of lawmakers in Congress, based on census results, they allocate different numbers of electors. Here, in descending order, is the number of electors pledged by each state:
29: Florida, New York
20: Illinois, Pennsylvania
16: Georgia, Michigan
15: North Carolina
14: New Jersey
11: Arizona, Indiana, Massachusetts, Tennessee
10: Maryland, Minnesota, Missouri, Wisconsin
9: Alabama, Colorado, South Carolina
8: Kentucky, Louisiana
7: Connecticut, Oklahoma, Oregon
6: Arkansas, Iowa, Kansas, Mississippi, Nevada, Utah
5: Nebraska, New Mexico, West Virginia
4: Hawaii, Idaho, Maine, New Hampshire, Rhode Island
3: Alaska, Delaware, D.C., Montana, North Dakota, South Dakota, Vermont, Wyoming
This report by The Canadian Press was first published Oct. 18, 2020.