Elections in the United States

Election Day

Election Day is one day after the first Monday in November. On that Tuesday, American citizens who are registered in a certain state can cast their ballots. The popular vote is not a direct election of the president, however, but only decides how many electoral votes each candidate receives. As explained earlier, all electoral votes of a state go to the winner (winner take all).

Electoral College

On the Monday after the second Wednesday in December, the President is officially elected by means of an electoral college. These are the 538 electors from the popular vote on Election Day.

The number of electoral votes for each state depends on how many people live in that state. In the graphic below, move the mouse pointer over a state to view information on population and electoral votes.

Move the mouse pointer over a state to view information on population and electoral votes.

Alaska
Capital: Juneau
Inhabitants: 649,000
Electoral votes: 3

Washington
Capital: Olympia
Inhabitants: 6,131,000
Electoral votes: 11

Oregon
Capital: Salem
Inhabitants: 3,560,000
Electoral votes: 7

California
Capital: Sacramento
Inhabitants: 35,484,000
Electoral votes: 55

Idaho
Capital: Boise City
Inhabitants: 1,366,000
Electoral votes: 4

Nevada
Capital: Carson City
Inhabitants: 2,241,000
Electoral votes: 5

Arizona
Capital: Phoenix
Inhabitants: 5,581,000
Electoral votes: 10

Utah
Capital: Salt Lake City
Inhabitants: 2,351,000
Electoral votes: 5

Montana
Capital: Helena
Inhabitants: 918,000
Electoral votes: 3

Wyoming
Capital: Cheyenne
Inhabitants: 501,000
Electoral votes: 3

Colorado
Capital: Denver
Inhabitants: 4,551,000
Electoral votes: 9

New Mexico
Capital: Santa Fe
Inhabitants: 1,875,000
Electoral votes: 5

Texas
Capital: Austin
Inhabitants: 22,119,000
Electoral votes: 34

Oklahoma
Capital: Oklahoma City
Inhabitants: 3,512,000
Electoral votes: 7

Kansas
Capital: Topeka
Inhabitants: 2,724,000
Electoral votes: 6

Nebraska
Capital: Lincoln
Inhabitants: 1,739,000
Electoral votes: 5

South Dakota
Capital: Pierre
Inhabitants: 764,000
Electoral votes: 3

North Dakota
Capital: Bismarck
Inhabitants: 643,000
Electoral votes: 3

Minnesota
Capital: Saint Paul
Inhabitants: 5,059,000
Electoral votes: 10

Iowa
Capital: Des Moines
Inhabitants: 2,944,000
Electoral votes: 7

Missouri
Capital: Jefferson City
Inhabitants: 5,704,000
Electoral votes: 11

Arkansas
Capital: Little Rock
Inhabitants: 2,726,000
Electoral votes: 6

Louisiana
Capital: Baton Rouge
Inhabitants: 4,496,000
Electoral votes: 9

Mississippi
Capital: Jackson
Inhabitants: 2,881,000
Electoral votes: 6

Alabama
Capital: Montgomery
Inhabitants: 4,501,000
Electoral votes: 9

Florida
Capital: Tallahassee
Inhabitants: 17,019,000
Electoral votes: 27

Georgia
Capital: Atlanta
Inhabitants: 8,685,000
Electoral votes: 15

South Carolina
Capital: Columbia
Inhabitants: 4,147,000
Electoral votes: 8

North Carolina
Capital: Raleigh
Inhabitants: 8,407,000
Electoral votes: 15

Tennessee
Capital: Nashville-Davidson
Inhabitants: 5,842,000
Electoral votes: 11

Kentucky
Capital: Frankfort
Inhabitants: 4,118,000
Electoral votes: 8

Virginia
Capital: Richmond
Inhabitants: 7,386,000
Electoral votes: 13

Illinois
Capital: Springfield
Inhabitants: 12,654,000
Electoral votes: 21

Wisconsin
Capital: Madison
Inhabitants: 5,472,000
Electoral votes: 10

Michigan
Capital: Lansing
Inhabitants: 10,080,000
Electoral votes: 17

Indiana
Capital: Indianapolis
Inhabitants: 6,196,000
Electoral votes: 11

Ohio
Capital: Columbus
Inhabitants: 11,436,000
Electoral votes: 20

West Virginia
Capital: Charlston
Inhabitants: 1,810,000
Electoral votes: 5

Maryland
Capital: Annapolis
Inhabitants: 5,509,000
Electoral votes: 10

Delaware
Capital: Dover
Inhabitants: 817,000
Electoral votes: 3

Pennsylvania
Capital: Harrisburg
Inhabitants: 12,365,000
Electoral votes: 21

Washington, DC
Capital: Washington
Inhabitants: 563,000
Electoral votes: 3

New Jersey
Capital: Trenton
Inhabitants: 8,638,000
Electoral votes: 15

New York
Capital: Albany
Inhabitants: 19,190,000
Electoral votes: 31

Vermont
Capital: Montpelier
Inhabitants: 619,000
Electoral votes: 3

Connecticut
Capital: Hartford
Inhabitants: 3,483,000
Electoral votes: 7

Massachusetts
Capital: Boston
Inhabitants: 6,433,000
Electoral votes: 12

New Hampshire
Capital: Concord
Inhabitants: 1,288,000
Electoral votes: 4

Maine
Capital: Augusta
Inhabitants: 1,306,000
Electoral votes: 4

Rhode Island
Capital: Providence
Inhabitants: 1,076,000
Electoral votes: 4

Hawaii
Capital: Honolulu
Inhabitants: 1,258,000
Electoral votes: 4

Washington, DC Delaware Rhode Island Connecticut Massachusetts Maine New Hampshire Vermont New York New Jersey Maryland Virginia Pennsylvania Kentucky West Virginia North Carolina South Carolina Georgia Alabama Ohio Indiana Tennessee Mississippi Illinois Missouri Michigan Wisconsin Iowa Minnesota Arkansas Florida Louisiana Texas Oklahoma Kansas Nebraska New Mexico Arizona Colorado Utah South Dakota Wyoming North Dakota Montana Hawaii Hawaii Hawaii Hawaii Hawaii Hawaii Hawaii Idaho Nevada California Oregon Washington Alaska

A side effect of the electoral vote is that one candidate can become President even if on Election Day he has received fewer popular votes than the other candidate.

Inauguration Day