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Peter Robinson Examine the operation of the Electoral College in Presidential elections and consider the view that a candidate who cannot win California cannot win the Presidency In what ways has the balance of power in the Electoral College shifted in recent years In the USA they have a separately elected leader that does not sit in either the Senate or in the House of Representatives Presidential elections occur rigidly every four years and use the Electoral College system which is a variation of the first-past-the-post system In each of the fifty states a direct vote is held there would normally be 2 or 3 candidates that would campaign in every state and some that would only campaign in certain areas eg George Wallace in 1968 The votes in each state are then counted and a winner for that state is declared That candidate will then receive all the Electoral College votes allocated to that particular state Electoral College votes are determined by the number of representatives that state has in the House of Representatives which are allocated depending on the size of the state population For example a large state like California has 52 representatives which means that it has 52 EC votes plus 1 for each of its 2 senators making a total of 54 EC votes Even the states with a relatively minute population such as Alaska receive 3 EC votes one for its representative and 2 for its senators When all the states have counted their votes and announced the state winner then the EC votes for each winner are added up The candidate that achieves more than 270 EC votes will become the next President This electoral system has many critics among the criticisms are that it is unrepresentative and gives smaller states too much influence However there are also criticisms that the larger states have too much influence and that the smaller states become less important
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