Recorder's Notes by Pamela Bacon, Logan County Clerk and Recorder
ELECTION HISTORY INFORMATION:
How is the President really elected and what is the Electoral College?
When our founding fathers were writing the Constitution, they decided they wanted every state to have a role in national elections and did not want to leave it up to Congress or just part of the population consisting of the more populous states.
So the Founding Fathers came up with a system of “electors” or pre-selected people from each state that ultimately elects the President and Vice President.
They are 538 “electors”, chosen by the states based on the state’s representation in Congress; two Senators per state plus the number of Representatives in each state and the District of Columbia, which are responsible for electing the President and Vice President of the United States. For example, Florida has 29 electors, while North Carolina has 15, and Colorado has 9. When you cast your vote for a presidential/vice-presidential ticket, you are actually casting a vote for the state of electors in your state that were chosen to represent that ticket in the Electoral College.
How are electors chosen?
Each state determines how electors are chosen. In most states, political parties determine their electors.
States are allocated electors based on their number of Congressional legislators. For example, Colorado is entitled to nine electors because it has two members of the U.S. Senate and seven members of the U.S. House of Representatives. The District of Columbia is entitled to 3 electors by virtue of the 23rd Amendment to the U.S. Constitution.
How does Colorado nominate its members of the Electoral College?
- Each Colorado political party nominates delegates to its national convention during the state party conventions. During these assemblies, the parties also nominate their Electoral College Electors.
- Unaffiliated presidential candidates may access the ballot in Colorado either by petition or by submitting a statement of intent and a $1,000 filing fee. In either case unaffiliated candidate must also submit a list of presidential elector nominees when the candidate files with the Secretary of State.
- Write-in presidential candidates may also access the ballot in Colorado. Each write-in candidate must submit a list of presidential nominees when the candidate files with the Secretary of State.
When do Colorado’s presidential electors meet?
- Following the presidential election, Colorado’s nine designated electors meet in the Governor’s office to cast their votes for president and vice president. The electors meet usually the first Monday after the second Wednesday in December.
- Under Colorado law, each presidential elector must vote for the presidential and vice-presidential candidates who received the highest number of votes in Colorado’s General Election. This is the case in 48 states – Winner Takes All System- no matter if the candidates win by 5 votes, five thousand or even five million.
- 2 states (Nebraska and Maine) do Congressional District Method which is the winner of the popular vote in each district is awarded an elector vote. Potentially this would result in a divided electoral vote.
The Election and Recording Department can be reached at 522-1544 for voter and election questions or recording information. The Motor Vehicle Department can be reached at 522-1158 for license plates/renewals or titling a vehicle. You can also reach our office by email at email@example.com . Like us on Facebook at Logan County Elections/MotorVehicle/Recording!