Constitutional FAQ Answer #99 – The U.S. Constitution Online – USConstitution.net

Constitutional FAQ Answer #99

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Q99. “How many electors are there in

A. Article 2, Section 1, Clause 2 provides
that “Each State shall appoint … a Number of Electors, equal to the whole
Number of Senators and Representatives to which the State may be entitled in
the Congress.” Based on this, we can easily determine the number of electors.
The number of Representatives is fixed at 435 at this time. This is regardless
of the number of states. The number of Senators is based on the number of
states, two each – at this time, 100 total Senators. In addition, the 23rd Amendment provides the District of Columbia
with the same number of electors as the state with the fewest electors – in
other words, 3. 435 plus 100 plus 3 is 538 electors. When you hear commentators
refer to the magic number of electors needed to win the Presidency, that number
is 270, or half plus one.

Last Modified: 10 Aug 2010

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