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U.S. Electoral college votes process - How it works

The president of the United States is not elected by popular vote but rather by electors in the Electoral College. When registered voters cast their votes for President and Vice President, they are in fact voting to choose the electors who will represent their state in the Electoral College.

Electors are selected by members of Democratic and Republican state parties or nominated in some other fashion. There are currently 538 electors – corresponding to the 435 Representatives in the US House and 100 US Senators – The additional three electors are from DC since The 23rd amendment grants DC the same number of electors as the least populous state (Alaska, Delaware, Montana, ND, SD, Wyoming)

The process consists of the election of the electors , meeting of electors where they cast their vote for president and VP , and the counting of the electoral vote by congress.

The U.S. Constitution does not dictate how presidential electors are to cast their votes, but, in general, electors are expected to vote for the winner of the popular vote in their state or the candidates of the party that nominated them to serve as electors. Electors who choose not to vote for the winner of the popular vote or the candidates of the party that nominated them are known as "faithless electors." Faithless electors are rare. Between 1900 and 2012, there were only eight known instances of faithless electors.

Key Dates for 2016 Electoral College votes

Mid-November through December 19, 2016 - Certificates of Ascertainment Process

After the presidential election, the governor of your state prepares seven Certificates of Ascertainment. “As soon as practicable,” after the election results in your state are certified, the governor sends one of the Certificates of Ascertainment to the Archivist.

Certificates of Ascertainment should be sent to the Archivist no later than the meeting of the electors in December. However, federal law sets no penalty for missing the deadline.

The remaining six Certificates of Ascertainment are held for use at the meeting of the Electors in December.

December 13, 2016 - Deadline for state to resolve opposition to electoral process

States must make final decisions in any controversies over the appointment of their electors at least six days before the meeting of the Electors. This is so their electoral votes will be presumed valid when presented to Congress.

Decisions by states’ courts are conclusive, if decided under laws enacted before Election Day.

December 19, 2016 - Electoral College Voting Day

The Electors meet in their state capitals and vote for President and Vice President on separate ballots. The electors record their votes on six “Certificates of Vote,” which are paired with the six remaining Certificates of Ascertainment.

December 28, 2016 - Deadline for Congress to receive electoral votes

Electoral votes (the Certificates of Vote) must be received by the President of the Senate and the Archivist no later than nine days after the meeting of the electors. States face no legal penalty for failure to comply.

If votes are lost or delayed, the Archivist may take extraordinary measures to retrieve duplicate originals.

January 6, 2017 - Electoral Votes Count By Congress

The Congress meets in joint session to count the electoral votes. Congress may pass a law to change this date.
The Vice President, as President of the Senate, presides over the count and announces the results of the Electoral College vote. The President of the Senate then declares which persons, if any, have been elected President and Vice President of the United States.

If any objections to the Electoral College vote are made, they must be submitted in writing and be signed by at least one member of the House and one Senator. If objections are presented, the House and Senate withdraw to their respective chambers to consider their merits under procedures set out in federal law.

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When Is The Next Election?

February 20,2018 - Primary Election Day
February 27,2018 - Congressional District 8 Special Primary
March 6,2018 - Primary Election
March 13,2018 - Municipal Elections
March 13,2018 - Consolidated Election
March 20,2018 - PRIMARY ELECTION Polls open 6:00 a.m. - 7:00 p.m.