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The Electoral College

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The Electoral College Answer Key

How many electors are in the Electoral College?
  1. 105
  2. 270
  3. 538
  4. 621
What determines the number of electors for each state?
  • Each state gets the number that is the sum of its Senators and Representatives.
According to Article II of the Constitution, each state's legislature is responsible for deciding how electors are chosen.
  1. True
  2. False
Though not a state, which of the following does have electors?
  1. Guam
  2. Puerto Rico
  3. American Samoa
  4. District of Columbia
The Electoral College casts its votes in December following a presidential election.
  1. True
  2. False
Electors face penalties if they don't vote for the presidential candidate who received the most votes in that state.
  1. True
  2. False
To win the presidency, a candidate must win 270 votes in the Electoral College.
Because of the Electoral College, it is possible to win the presidency while losing the popular vote.
  1. True
  2. False
In how many elections has the president-elect lost the popular vote but won the majority of the Electoral College votes?
  1. 2
  2. 4
  3. 5
  4. 8
What are two arguments in favor of abolishing the Electoral College?
  • Answers will vary, but should include at least two of these three:
    1) it's a relic of the 18th century when the elite dominated politics
    2) no other office is elected this way
    3) it's “undemocratic” because the most popular candidate may not be the winner
What are two arguments in favor of keeping the Electoral College?
  • Answers will vary, but should include at least two of these three:

    1) it's fundamental to American federalism
    2) it requires candidates to appeal to voters outside large cities
    3) it increases the political influence of small states
What do you think about the Electoral College? Should it be abolished or kept? Explain why you hold this opinion.
  • Answers will vary, but students should give reasons for their opinions.

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