ROCHESTER, Minn. (KTTC) — The United States is less than six days away from the presidential election and more than one million votes in Minnesota are already in. American voters make up the popular vote, and then the electoral college finalizes the pick for president.
But what is the Electoral college process?
“The electoral college is the is the actual process that we use to elect the president,” said KTTC political analysts Chad Israelson. “Each state has a given number of electors, and that number is based on the number of Senators. Which every state has two, and then the number of Representatives. And that is based on the state’s population.”
The electoral college is a part of the constitution.
“We’ve had a few cases in American history where it’s been one person who decided who the president is gonna be, that would be in 1876,” Israelson said.
Nationwide there are 538 electors, that make up the electoral college.
In Minnesota, the GOP and DFL parties vote on the electors. Those electors are bonded to vote for the candidate that wins the popular vote in the state. The political party that wins the popular vote will then have their electors submit votes on the state’s behalf.
For Example, if President Trump wins Minnesota’s popular vote then the GOP electors will cast the state’s 10 electoral votes for him.
“The winner of the popular vote in the election gets that state’s electoral votes. And in most states its winner takes all,” Israelson said.
“If President Trump wins the popular vote in Minnesota. I will then become an elector,” said Rep. Eric Lucero, (R) Dayton.
Lucero is one of two announced electors, if his party wins the popular vote the GOP will assign 8 other people, because Minnesota designates 10 electoral votes.
[It’s] a huge honor. I mean think of all the limited amount of people,” Lucero said.
Nausheena Hussain is an elector for the DFL. Hussain, who is an Indian Muslim woman, said it is important for someone like her to represent BIPOCs through this title.
“The system is made for a certain demographic by a demographic, to serve a certain demographic. So for us to be able to break through those barriers to really understand that process is a huge win,” she said.
A presidential candidate needs at least 270 votes to win. Although Minnesota is a state where electors are bonded to the popular vote result, electors in a few of the other states can vote for a differently than who their state as a whole prefers. A person who does this is often considered a ‘faithless elector.’ There were several votes for people other than Donald Trump or Hillary Clinton in 2016.
Electors vote nationwide Dec. 14.
In Minnesota, the vote usually takes place at the State Capitol but the electors say they will also be prepared to vote virtually due to the pandemic.