The electoral college how it works in contemporary presidential elections congressional research service 1 introduction the president and vice president of the united states are chosen indirectly by a group of persons. Crs report for congress the electoral college how it works in contemporary presidential elections july 21 1999 thomas h neale analyst american national government government and finance division. The electoral college how it works in contemporary presidential elections congressional research service summary when americans vote for president and vice president they are actually choosing presidential electors known collectively as the electoral college it is these officials who choose the president and vice president of the united states. The united states electoral college is a body of electors established by the united states constitution constituted every four years for the sole purpose of electing the president and vice president of the united statesthe electoral college consists of 538 electors and an absolute majority of 270 electoral votes is required to win an election pursuant to article ii section 1 clause 2 . And what happens then if theres no majority in the electoral college or if there is a tie in the electoral college the election goes to the house of representatives where each state casts a single vote and the vice president is elected in the senate where each senator casts a single vote
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