The Electoral College is made up of electors who cast the vote of each state according to which candidate receives the most votes. These electors are usually state official or people deeply involved with the candidates. They cast their vote in accordance with the votes cast by the citizens in that particular state. There is no law in most states which says they must but common sense prevails. In all states except 2 its a winner takes all vote; all the electoral votes for a state goes to whoever gets the highest percentage. In Nebraska and Maine they use a proportional representation system which results candidates sharing the electoral votes.(Seems a fairer approach)
Number of electoral votes is 538 which is the sum of Congress members, 435 Representatives, 100 Senators and 3 given to District of Columbia. They are apportioned according to the number of Congress seats allocated to each state which is adjusted after each census in an attempt to ensure the number of citizens per Congress member is “about the same”.
There are anomalies in the number of electoral votes per state. On average each state is awarded an electoral vote for every 543,668 citizens, but in Wyoming where there are 3 electoral votes giving 177,556 citizens per electoral votes. So if you live in Wyoming your vote has over 3 times the clout of the average.
A more significant difficulty I see with the electoral college is system is that the President & VP are not really elected nationally but state by state. This can mean that many, probably the majority, of states are “spectator states”. Certain states are assured of being won by one party of the other and therefore the candidates do not have to spend much time or money campaigning in these states. All the effort goes into influencing the votes in “swing states”. So if you’re not living in a state with lots of electoral votes or in a swing state you may not see much og the candidates in the run up to the election.
The election, since 1845, takes place on the first Tuesday after the first Monday in November. In 1845 there were a couple of dozen states, a population of less than 5 million spread over a huge area with limited communication and slow transportation. Sunday was ruled out as a possible date since so many folk attended church then. Monday could be a problem getting to a voting station if you had bible classes late on Sunday. Wednesday was problematic since it was market day in may areas and so on and so on. Also to avoided clashing with All Saints Day (now commonly known as Halloween) it was pushed out to the Tuesday following the first Monday !
The electoral college establishment dates back to about 1786, when there were only 13 states. Those involved I setting it up were very learned men but relatively inexperienced in national politics; they had only managed to get freedom from Britain 10 years earlier after their war of Independence. With all the changes which have taken place in the last 200 years, it seems remarkable that the system of choosing a leader who holds so much power has not been revamped. The entire USA democratic system is now manipulated largely by lobbyists, Big Money and Corporations. A revamp of the entire system is long overdue.