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What you need to know about the Electoral College’s role in a presidential election

Electors cast ballot to choose president

DETROIT – On Saturday, Joe Biden clinched the presidential nomination with Pennsylvania’s 20 electoral votes. That put him at 290 compared to Donald Trump’s 214.

The election verdict isn’t the last step in selecting an American president. There is still a weeks-long timeline, during which the 538-member Electoral College picks the president.

READ: Electoral College vs. popular vote in the United States: What to know

Because democrat Gary Peters was more popular than Republican John James by more than 84,000 votes, Peters will remain a Michigan Senator. In the 10th congressional district, Lisa McClain received more than 133,000 votes than Kimberly Bizon. McClain will go to Washington D.C. as a member of Congress.

But when it comes to the presidential contest, technically it’s not the 146,123 more votes Joe Biden got over Donald Trump -- the vote will technically come down to 16. Sixteen chosen democratic electors who will cast their ballot to help choose the president.

The Electoral College was devised because in the 1700′s the electorate, or general population, was thought to lack the knowledge and resources to have the ability to choose who was in the most important office in the country.

So the founders of the Constitution reached a compromise to create w weighted system, essentially having voters put all of their votes in one big pot in each state. Whoever wins the pot, wins the state and it’s electors.

READ: Complete election coverage


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