Electors are allocated for each congressional district and for each senator in a state.
The Electoral College is the formal process in which the president of the United States is elected.
There are 538 electors in total, with each state getting a certain amount of electors as it has representatives in Congress. Every state has two votes per senator and one vote for each of the state’s congressional districts.
A candidate must win at least 270 electoral votes — a majority — in order to be elected president.
Here are a list of states with the most electoral votes:
1. California has the most electoral votes with 55.
2. Texas has 38 electoral votes.
3. New York and Florida each have 29 electoral votes.
4. Illinois and Pennsylvania each have 20 electoral votes.
5. Ohio has 18 electoral votes.
Meanwhile, these states have the least electoral votes in the country:
1. Alaska, Delaware, the District of Columbia, Montana, North Dakota, South Dakota, Vermont and Wyoming each have three electoral votes.
2. Hawaii, Idaho, Maine, New Hampshire and Rhode Island each have four votes.
3. Nebraska, New Mexico, and West Virginia each have five votes.
4. Arkansas, Iowa, Kansas, Mississippi, Nevada and Utah each have six votes.
5. Connecticut, Oklahoma and Oregon each have seven votes.
Not all votes are necessarily created equal under the electoral college and partisan makeup of American states.
The relative clout of voters in swinging the presidency and U.S. Senate and calculated a voter power ranking of the 50 states. Those rated highest were states with closely divided electorates.
Georgia, which is now rated a tossup in the presidential election and has both of its U.S. Senate seats up for election, ranked among the top states for “powerful voters.”
Tennessee ranked No. 25 and Alabama ranked No. 31 in the presidential election. But in a similar survey of voting power in Congress, Alabama ranked No. 6.
To be elected president, the winner must get at least half plus one — or 270 electoral votes.
This hybrid system means that more weight is given to a single vote in a small state than the vote of someone in a large state, leading to outcomes at times that have been at odds with the popular vote.
In fact, part of a presidential candidate’s campaign strategy is drawing a map of states the candidate can and must win to gather 270 electoral votes.
In 2016, for instance, Democrat Hillary Clinton received nearly 2.9 million more votes than Trump in the presidential election, after racking up more lopsided wins in big states like New York and California. But she lost the presidency due to Trump’s winning margin in the Electoral College, which came after he pulled out narrow victories in less populated Midwestern states like Michigan and Wisconsin.
It would take a constitutional amendment to abolish the Electoral College — an unlikely move because of how difficult it is to pass and ratify constitutional changes. But there’s a separate movement that calls for a compact of states to allocate all their electoral votes to the national popular vote winner, regardless of how those individual states opted in an election. That still faces an uphill climb, though.