Except Nebraska and Maine

Lee and Sachi have a new video explaining something much more baffling than RSS or wikis: the American electoral process.

Lee does an excellent job of explaining the US’s somewhat baroque (and if you ask me, highly peculiar) means of electing a president. He gets through the whole video without once saying “electoral college”.

The title of this post refers to an asterisked disclaimer in the video that indicates that Lee’s explanation doesn’t apply to two states: Nebraska and Maine. What’s with them? From Wikipedia:

Two other states, Maine and Nebraska, use a tiered system where a single elector is chosen within each Congressional district and two electors are chosen by statewide popular vote.

So, Maine and Nebraska have a more complicated system?


  1. The reason ME and NE have always gone to one candidate since they went to proportional voting is because they’re small. ME has 2 congressional districts; NE has 3. Since there aren’t any dramatic in-state divides (unlike, say, NYC and upstate NY) in either place, it’s very normal for the congressional districts to swing together, especially in an election where (unlike congressional reps) they’re all voting to elect the same candidates.

    Given that, the two popular-vote EC votes (the senate EC votes) will always go to the candidate who won all the districts.

    Technically each state sets its own method of choosing its Electoral College electors, and historically some were not even elected by a popular vote.

  2. To Darren,

    Canada does not have a proportional voting/election system in place. We vote for a local member of a party and which ever party wins the most seats their party leader is our Prime Minister.

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