Electoral Votes

How many electoral votes per person does your state have?

  1. How accurate was your prediction?

  2. What most surprised you about this information?

  3. What questions do you have about this map?

  4. What is the big take home message of this map?

  5. Describe the mechanism by which the electoral vote power of some states is greater than others:

  6. Describe the history by which the electoral vote power of some states is greater than others:

  7. What is a consequence of the inequality in electoral college voting power?

  8. Central to the concept of democracy is the idea that all people are politically equal. Some would claim that in a truly democratic country, every person in every state would have the same electoral votes per person (in other words, the color of each state on the map would be the same). Respond to this claim.

  9. Were it the case that every state in the map above was the same color (equal electoral votes per person) who would have won the 2016 Presidential election?

  10. Describe one way our country would be different today had Trump not become president.

  11. The average electoral vote represents 436,000 people, but that number rises and falls per state depending on that state’s population over 18 years of age. Calculate the exact number of people an electoral vote represents in your state.

  12. How does your state compare to others in terms of electoral college power?

  13. How does the map of electoral vote power (above) relate to the map of the percentage of state residents who are white (below)?

  14. Should your power to vote for president be impacted by what state you happen to live in?

  15. If I wanted to increase my presidential electoral power, what state would I most want to move from and what state would I most want to move to?

  16. Overall, Is this map good news or bad news for the U.S.?

  17. If you thought that it was best to get rid of the electoral college, what would be one step towards achieving this goal?

  18. Why hasn't the U.S. abolished the electoral college?

  19. How does this map affect strategy in presidential elections?

  20. How much wood could a woodchuck chuck if a woodchuck could chuck wood?

Learning Extension

Read about the fact that the electoral college was created to empower slave states.

Action Extension

The National Popular Vote Plan is a proposal to undo the unequal power of the electoral college. Read about the plan and contact your state legislator to share your opinion of the plan.

Visual Extension

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Our Completely Random Visual Extension

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