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How the Electoral College Works

Posted Eureka Lessons American Government, Lessons

As a huge fan of Stuff You Should Know podcasts, I highly recommend playing "How the Electoral College Works" episode when explaining the electoral college.  Chuck and Josh explain the history, pros and cons of the electoral college in a language we can all understand.

Guiding Questions:

  1. When exactly is election day?
  2. Let's say you are voting for Barack Obama.  When you cast your vote are you directly voting for him?  Explain.
  3. When exactly do electors certify their votes?
  4. What is a "faithless elector"?
  5. What are the requirements to be an elector?

Stuff You Should Know Podcast: "How the Electoral College Works"

I also recommend watching this TED-ed episode "Does your vote count?  The electoral college explained".  Here are some guiding questions to go with this video:

  1. How many electors are there?
  2. How many electoral votes does a presidential candidate need to win?
  3. What determines how many electors each state gets?
  4. Does the candidate who wins the popular vote always win the election?  Explain.
  5. What are "safe states"?
  6. What are "swing states"?