INCORPORATING ELECTION ISSUES INTO THE CLASSROOM
What is the Electoral College? Presidential elections in the U.S. are decided by Electoral College votes, not popular votes.
The Electoral College is an example of an indirect election, where 538 presidential electors from each state meet after the popular election to cast ballots for President and Vice President of the United States. The number of electors is equal to the to the total voting membership of the House of Representatives (435) and the Senate (100), plus three electors allocated to Washington, D.C., for a total of 538 electors. A majority of 270 electoral votes is required to elect the President. 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.
Below are some excellent resources you may want to use in your classroom to help explain the Electoral College process:
National Archives – Electoral College: http://www.archives.gov/federal-register/electoral-college/about.html
Video – Electing a U.S. President: http://dotsub.com/view/0c504c81-cebc-4370-bf94-b20fce57c38f (3:42)
Video – History Channel-Electoral College: http://www.history.com/videos/the-electoral-college#the-electoral-college (4:00)
Pre-registration for voting in Minnesota ends on October 16, 2012. If you did not pre-register to vote by that date, don’t worry! You can still register or update your registration on Election Day (Tue, Nov 6). Click HERE for more information. You can check your voting status online at: www.mnvotes.org.
Recently, PBS presented “The Choice 2012,” a two-hour long documentary about the two men who are competing for the presidency – Barack Obama and Mitt Romney. As described by PBS, “hundreds of hours of research and dozens of original interviews reveal new details and fresh insights about the two candidates – and about our choice this November.” The documentary is available for viewing online: The Choice 2012.
Debate Watch – MCTC will continue to host live screenings of the Presidential debates! These sessions have been well attended, and remaining debates are scheduled for Tue, Oct 16 (Townhall Meeting) and Mon, Oct 22 (Foreign Policy). The events are sponsored by the Communication Studies Department, Political Science Department, and Student Life. (Special thanks to Sandy Berkowitz for heading up this effort!)
Library Display – The MCTC Library has a month-long display in October focused on Elections and Voting. This display comes complete with voter registration forms, information, and a poster: October Library Display – Elections and Voting. (Thank you to Kathleen Daniels for her support and collaboration!)
Faculty, Political Science
Minneapolis Community & Technical College