How The American Elections Are Run To Decide A Winner
5 November 2020
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Here is how the US Electoral College works. Imagine Zimbabwe had 5 provinces, but change their name and call them states. Let’s name these five states S1, S2, S3, S4 and S5. Each of these states has 100 people voting, to make 500 voters across the country. Presidential votes in the US are not awarded per individual voter, but per state or province. Imagine these states are awarded 10 votes each, which we call electoral college votes. The results is a total of 50 electoral college votes from the five states. Anyone who gets at least twenty six or more of these electoral votes becomes president, because it means the opponent is left with 24 electoral college votes or less. When we vote, whoever wins each state takes all the 10 electoral college votes from that state, even though the other person lost by a narrow margin, i.e., they don’t get to share those votes proportionately. Below I will demonstrate for you an extreme case of the electoral college with Cuthbert running against Owen. So this is the key:
S = State
C = Cuthbert
O = Owen

The numbers stand votes cast by individuals in each state, totaling 100 individual votes per each state.

                   C.                 O.

S1. 48 52
S2. 47 53
S3. 49 51
S4. 97 3
S5. 90 10
Total votes 331 169

As you can see from the above example, Owen wins three states, S1, S2, and S3, which gives him 30 electoral college votes, 10 from each state. Cuthbert wins two states, S4 and S5 and gets him 20 electoral college votes. In this case Owen is the winner of the electoral college votes and is the one who becomes president because he has 30 electoral college votes gathered from three states. However, Cuthbert won big in two states, but his huge margin does not benefit him. He still gets only 20 electoral votes from those two states. When you look at the bottom of the column, your see that Cuthbert has 331 individual votes compared to Owen’s 169. These individual votes are what we call the popular vote, because they represent the whole population of 500. As you can see in this example, Owen won the electoral college votes, 30 against 20, while Cuthbert won the popular vote 331 against 169. So having huge win in states that are already under your column does not advantage you. What benefits you is to win the most number of states even by very narrow margins because that makes you take all the electoral college votes of that state. This is how the electoral college works. The only difference is that states do not all have the same number of electoral college votes. Some have more than others depending on the size of their population, but still what matters is to win as many states as possible even with the slightest margins. It also matters to win states that have a higher number of electoral votes than those which have fewer.

That’s how the US Electoral College system works. It’s basically a system designed to make winners lose and make losers win.