EXPLAINING ELECTION 2020-ELECTION 2020 FACTS -- The 2020 presidential election will surely be a vote unlike the U.S. has ever seen before because of the coronavirus pandemic, a reckoning over racial injustice and massive unemployment. Amid this historic vote, the legitimacy of the election is being called into question. In the five-part video series "Election 2020 Facts," AP explains key topics that will be on the minds of many, from mail-in voting to voter suppression.
In 2016, Donald Trump won the presidency because he won the Electoral College, even though Hillary Clinton won the popular vote.
So what is the Electoral College?
When voters cast ballots for president in this November election, they will actually be voting on a set of electors from their state, who will in turn cast votes for the candidate who wins the most votes in that state.
This is the Electoral College, though it doesn't have anything to do with higher education.
If President Trump wins the state, his set of electors gets to vote in the Electoral College. If Joe Biden wins the state, his set of electors gets to vote.
These electors are typically party insiders who can be trusted to vote for their candidate.
Throughout U.S. history, more than 99 percent of electors have voted for the candidate who won their state. That's according to the National Archives.
Each state has the same number of electoral votes as it has members of Congress.
The District of Columbia gets three electors, the same amount that the smallest states get. So states with a larger population have more electors.
And as a result, they receive more electoral votes.
There's a total of 538 electors in the Electoral College.
The overall winner must win half plus one -- or 270 electoral votes.
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