The votes you cast in presidential elections are not for candidates but are for a slate of Electors pledged to the candidates of your choice. Collectively Electors are referred to as the Electoral College.
The Constitutional Convention in 1787 chose this indirect method for electing the president and vice president because of the political and social attitudes of the times, as well as the slowness of transportation and communication in the 18th century. Some delegates worried about giving direct political power to choose the head of government to those they thought might not be well educated and well informed about important issues.
It was also hoped that the Electoral College system would reconcile the differences between state and federal interests; give less populous states some additional leverage by apportioning electoral votes not in strict proportion to state population.
Massachusetts now has 11 Electoral Votes. This number is determined by adding the number of our Members of Congress (we will have 9 after the November election) plus two Senators.
So many ask should the Electoral College be abolished? Does it still serve a purpose? Two states currently apportion their Electors based on the popular vote in their state. Should all states do that?
Participate in our poll question on the Electoral College go to http://vote2012info.com/poll-question.