Electoral College

Electors and the Election Process

The Electoral College is the process by which the United States elects the president and vice president. These offices are elected by electors, who are selected by political parties.

The number of electors in any state is equal to the number of U.S. senators and representatives that the state has in Congress. North Carolina has two senators and 14 representatives, for a total of 16 electors. The Electoral College consists of 538 electors. A majority of 270 electoral votes is required to elect the president.

In North Carolina, political parties file the names of their candidates for electors for their nominees for president and vice-president with the North Carolina Secretary of State. If unaffiliated candidates qualify, they also must file with the Secretary of State the names of their candidates for electors for their nominees for president and vice-president.

A vote for a candidate named on the ballot for president and vice-president is a vote for the electors of that party or unaffiliated candidate.

Learn more at Electoral College | NCSOS. For more information, also see The Electoral College | National Archives.

If the Electors Vote for President, Why Should I Vote in the General Election?

During the general election, your vote helps determine your state’s electors. When you vote for a presidential candidate, you aren’t voting for president. You are telling your state which candidate you want your state to vote for at the meeting of electors. The states use these general election results, also known as the popular vote, to appoint their electors. The winning candidate’s state political party selects the individuals who will be electors.

State laws governing the Electoral College in North Carolina are found in Article 18 (Presidential Electors) of the North Carolina General Statutes.