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THE ELECTORAL COLLEGE AND THE 2000 ELECTION (B)

George W Bush (R) was elected President of the United States by receiving more electoral votes than his opponent,

Albert Gore (D).Gore won the popular vote, but did not win the electoral vote.The process to elect a president, as stated in the U.S.Constitution, is the basis for which the Electoral College elects a president.

The Electoral College was established by the founding fathers as a compromise between the election of the president by Congress and the election by popular vote.

Each state is allocated a number of Electors equal to the number of its U.S. Senators (always 2), plus the number of its U.S. Representatives (which may change each decade according to the size of each state’s population as determined in the Census).

Example:Following the 1990 census, California was allocated 54 electoral votes.The electoral votes were based on the 52 U.S. Representatives and 2 U.S. Senators from the state.The 2000 census revealed that California increased in population. California has been allocated 55 electoral votes.

Example:Following the 1990 census, Pennsylvania was allocated 23 electoral votes.The electoral votes were based on the 21 U.S. Representatives and 2 U.S. Senators from the state.The 2000 census revealed that Pennsylvania decreased in population.Pennsylvania has been allocated only 21 electoral votes.

The population of a state plays an important role with regards of electoral votes that are allocated after each census.Forty-eight out of fifty states award electoral votes on a “winner-take-all” basis.

The goal of each presidential candidate during an election is to win the most electoral votes.In order to win, a “ticket” (a party’s presidential and vice-presidential candidates) must receive 270 votes, are more than half of the total 538 electoral votes.If no ticket has 270 votes, then the House of Representatives decides the election.

The 2000 Election

After the number of electoral votes in 49 states were awarded to either George ‘Dubya’ Bush (R) or Al Gore(D), the presidential election in Florida (with 25 electoral votes at stake) was the only contest still undecided.Both men needed to win Florida.Gore had 266 electoral votes, while Bush had 246 electoral votes.In December, 2000, a majority ruling by the U.S. Supreme Court stated that Bush received the plurality of votes, therefore winning the 25

electoral votes in Florida.Bush attained a total of 271 electoral votes, electing him to the Presidency.