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  • 1670s, "pertaining to electors," in reference to Germany, from elector + -al (1). In general sense from 1790. Related: Electorally. The U.S. electoral college so called from 1808 (the term was used earlier in reference to Germany).1670, 1790, 1808

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  • United States Electoral College The United States Electoral College is the group of presidential electors required by the Constitution to form every four years for the sole purpose of electing the president and vice president. Each state appoints electors according to its legislature, equal in number to its congressional delegation. Federal office holders cannot be electors. Of the current 538 electors, an absolute majority of 270 or more electoral votes is required to elect the president and vice president. If no candidate achieves an absolute majority there, a contingent election is held by the United States House of Representatives to elect the president, and by the United States Senate to elect the vice president.
  • Electoral Count Act The Electoral Count Act of 1887 is a United States federal law establishing procedures for the counting of electoral votes by Congress following a presidential election. The law was enacted ten years after the disputed 1876 presidential election, in which several states submitted competing slates of electors and a divided Congress was unable to resolve the deadlock for weeks. Close elections in 1880 and 1884 followed, and again raised the possibility of an electoral dispute coming to Congress — or of partisans in Congress using the counting process to overturn the result. After years of discussion, Congress passed the Act in 1887 and has followed the Act's procedures since then.
  • Electoral college An electoral college is a set of electors who are selected to elect a candidate to particular offices. Often these represent different organizations, political parties or entities, with each organization, political party or entity represented by a particular number of electors or with votes weighted in a particular way.
  • Electoral quota An electoral quota is an election threshold.
  • Electoral Commission (United States) The Electoral Commission was a temporary body created on January 29, 1877, by the United States Congress to resolve the disputed United States presidential election of 1876. Democrat Samuel J. Tilden and Republican Rutherford B. Hayes were the main contenders in the election. Tilden won 184 electoral votes, one vote shy of the 185 needed to win, to Hayes' 165, with 20 electoral votes from four states unresolved. Both Tilden and Hayes electors submitted votes from these states, and each claimed victory.
  • Electoral College abolition amendment Bills have been introduced in the U.S. Congress on several occasions to amend the United States Constitution to abolish or reduce the power of the Electoral College and to provide for the direct popular election of the president and vice president of the United States.
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