electoral college


noun (often initial capital letters)

  1. a body of electors chosen by the voters in each state to elect the president and vice president of the U.S.

noun

  1. (often capitals) US a body of electors chosen by the voters who formally elect the president and vice president
  2. any body of electors with similar functions

The presidential electors who meet after the citizens vote for president and cast ballots for the president and vice president. Each state is granted the same number of electors as it has senators (see United States Senate) and representatives combined. These electors, rather than the public, actually elect the president and the vice president. The Founding Fathers assumed that electors would exercise discretion and not necessarily be bound by the popular vote, but the rise of political parties undermined this assumption. Electors are now pledged in advance to vote for the candidate of their party, and nearly always do so. Thus, the vote of the Electoral College is largely a formality.

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