Student Project

Electoral College

The 2016 Presidential election ended with more drama than a daytime Telemundo show.

Donald Trump was elected to be president, but Hillary Clinton received nearly 3 million more votes. This has left many people wondering what the Electoral College is, why we have it, how it affects them, and how the results can be in stark opposition to what the majority of Americans wanted.

The Electoral College is prescribed by the US Constitution. It was conceived during a time when communication across the country was nearly impossible. Citizens were supposed to vote for someone to travel and represent them in deliberations about who the next President and Vice President should be. However, it's turned into something much different.

Our intent is to help you understand what a harmful and undemocratic thing the Electoral College has become. With elections being sealed by a handful of “swing states” and disproportionate voter representation, we hope you will agree that a national popular vote is more in line with our country’s values.

In this visualization, we show you the power of your vote within the electoral college. We demonstrate how each state's elector count is calculated and why it results in unequal represention. To demonstrate how the electoral college silences many citizen's voice, we show the margin of popular vote, power of a vote, and the gap between the popular voting system and electoral college. These results are not limited to the most recent election and we show this trend back through 1980. Finally, if you are as confused and offended by the unfairness of the electoral college, we provide ways of contacting your government representatives to urge them to change this outdated system.

Sticker image with text I Think I Voted
I think I voted, didn't I?
The electoral college is unevenly distributed across states which results in a few swing states deciding the presidential election.
Electoral College Impact by State

Last updated:

April 22, 2017