Did you do your civic duty? Did you VOTE? Did you get a sticker? I’m all about the sticker. Give me a sticker and I’ll follow you anywhere. I’m certain this obsession goes back to the gold and red reward stars.

 Still confused about where to go and what to do? Have no fear; the U.S. Election Assistance Commission will help you out. They’ve broken down all state voter information so everyone can find their voter guides and polling places and times.




It’s time to grab your crayons and color in the 2008 Electoral College map. Give your mind and hands something to do as you watch the election results. If you enjoy a little more action, try the 2008 Presidential Election Interactive Map. You can view how the battle between George Washington and John Adams went down in 1789, how poor Mr. LaFollette captured the sole state of Wisconsin in 1924, and check out which states are considered the swing states for 2008. Maps never looked this good in civics class. Sorry, Mr. Foley.

How does the Electoral College work? There is a short and a long answer to that question. You’ll need some reading material to get you through the night.

How are Electors selected?

“The process for selecting electors varies throughout the United States. Generally, the political parties nominate electors at their State party conventions or by a vote of the party’s central committee in each State. Electors are often selected to recognize their service and dedication to their political party. They may be State elected officials, party leaders, or persons who have a personal or political affiliation with the Presidential candidate. Then the voters in each State choose the electors on the day of the general election. The electors’ names may or may not appear on the ballot below the name of the candidates running for President, depending on the procedure in each State.” – U.S. Electoral College

Just who are these Electoral voters?

I’ve never known anyone who was (or ever claimed to be) an Elector. Wouldn’t it be nice to know just these influential people are? After the 2008 election you’ll be able to view the 2008 Certificates of Ascertainment online, following their receipt by the Office of the Federal Register. Until then, check out the 2004 Certificates of Ascertainment list (the approved electors for the 2004 Presidential election).

Just what is up for grabs:

The Electoral College by State, 2008

State Votes State Votes
Alabama 9 Montana 3
Alaska 3 Nebraska 5
Arizona 10 Nevada 5
Arkansas 6 New Hampshire 4
California 55 New Jersey 15
Colorado 9 New Mexico 5
Connecticut 7 New York 31
Delaware 3 North Carolina 15
District of Columbia 3 North Dakota 3
Florida 27 Ohio 20
Georgia 15 Oklahoma 7
Hawaii 4 Oregon 7
Idaho 4 Pennsylvania 21
Illinois 21 Rhode Island 4
Indiana 11 South Carolina 8
Iowa 7 South Dakota 3
Kansas 6 Tennessee 11
Kentucky 8 Texas 34
Louisiana 9 Utah 5
Maine 4 Vermont 3
Maryland 10 Virginia 13
Massachusetts 12 Washington 11
Michigan 17 West Virginia 5
Minnesota 10 Wisconsin 10
Mississippi 6 Wyoming 3
Missouri 11    

Okay, so it takes 270 Electoral votes to win, but why does it take 270?

Think of it like shares in a company. The share holder with the majority ownership has control. 270 is 50.2% of the total 538 Electoral College votes.

“In the Electoral College, each State gets one electoral vote for each of its Representatives in the House, and one electoral vote for each of its two Senators. Thus, every state has at least 3 electoral votes, because the Constitution grants each State two Senators and at least one Representative. In addition to the 535 electoral votes divided among the States, the District of Columbia has three electoral votes because the 23rd Amendment granted it the same number of votes as the least populated State.”

“The number of electoral votes is set at 538, based on 435 members of the House of Representatives and 100 members of the Senate, plus 3 electoral votes for the District of Columbia under the 23rd Amendment. The Electoral College could become larger if a new State were admitted into the union (adding two new Senators and one or more Representatives until the next redistricting), or if the House of Representatives expanded. If a State gains or loses a Congressional district, it will also gain or lose an electoral vote.” – U.S. Electoral College

What happens if no one claims the 270 prize?

“If no candidate receives a majority of electoral votes, the House of Representatives elects the President from the 3 Presidential candidates who received the most electoral votes. Each State delegation has one vote. The Senate would elect the Vice President from the 2 Vice Presidential candidates with the most electoral votes. Each Senator would cast one vote for Vice President. If the House of Representatives fails to elect a President by Inauguration Day, the Vice-President Elect serves as acting President until the deadlock is resolved in the House.” – U.S. Electoral College

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