State conventions of each political party choose their elected delegates who will go to the national convention in support of their presidential candidate.
At these National Conventions of each political party, delegates cast votes to nominate their presidential candidate. The nominated presidential candidate then selects a vice-presidential candidate who is called his running mate.
Candidates for President and Vice-President Run Together.
In the general election, each candidate for President runs together with a candidate for Vice-President on a “ticket”. Voters select one ticket to vote for; they can’t choose a presidential candidate from one ticket and a vice-presidential candidate from another ticket.
During the national presidential election, voters from each of the 50 states and the District of Columbia, do not vote directly for the president; they are really voting for “electors” pledged to one of the tickets.
Political parties choose electors at their State party conventions or by a vote of the party’s central committee in each State.
Electors are selected according to their service and dedication to their political party. They may be State-elected officials, party leaders, or persons who have a personal or political affiliation with the Presidential candidate.
These electors need to pledge their vote beforehand to the party ticket. Each political party will have their list of electors in each state and the District of Columbia.
Number of Electors in each state is a total of its senators and its members in the House of representatives. Every state has two senators each but the members in the House of Representatives depend on the state population. The larger is the population, the larger is the number of electors in the state. The District of Columbia, although it isn’t a state, also participates in presidential elections -- it currently has three electors.
You are eligible to vote if you are above 18 years of age and a citizen of the United States, irrespective of race, color, or prior
condition of servitude, sex or failure to pay any tax.
In most of the states, and also in the District of Columbia, the election is winner-take-all; whichever ticket receives the most votes in that state (or in D.C.) gets all the electors. For example, if there are 200,000 voters in a state and 15 electors. If Republican ticket wins 105,000 votes, and Democratic ticket wins 95,000 votes, then all 15 electors from that state will be republican electors. So, even though republicans only won 52.5 % of the ‘popular vote’, they get 100% of electors. (The only exceptions are Maine and Nebraska. In these states, just two of the electors are chosen in a winner-take-all fashion from the entire state. The remaining electors are determined by the winner in each congressional district, with each district voting for one elector.) These electors make up the “Electoral College.”
In each state on the same day across the country in November, the Electoral College votes for a President and Vice-President ticket, with each elector casting one vote; these votes are called electoral votes. Each elector is already pledged to vote for a particular ticket. In most elections, all the electors vote in accordance with the pledge they have made.
Normally, one of the candidates for President receives a majority (more than half) of the electoral votes; that person is elected President. That candidate’s vice-presidential running mate is elected Vice-President.
There is a total of 538 electoral votes spread over 50 states and the District of Columbia. In case of a two-way election there is a possibility of a tie (each ticket wins 269 votes). When there are three or more presidential candidates, there is a possibility that none receive a majority.
In the rare event that no presidential candidate receives a majority of the electoral votes or there is a tie, then: