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Most people have heard of the Electoral College during presidential election years.
But what exactly is the Electoral College?
Simply said, it is a group of people appointed by each state
who formally elect the President and Vice President of the United States.
To understand how this process began and how it continues today,
we can look at the Constitution of the United States: article two, section one, clause two of the constitution.
It specifies how many electors each state is entitled to have.
Since 1964, there have been 538 electors in each presidential election.
How did they decide on the number 538?
Well, the number of electors is equal to the total voting membership of the United States Congress.
435 representatives, plus 100 senators, and 3 electors from the District of Columbia.
Essentially, the Democratic candidate and Republican candidate
are each trying to add up the electors in every state so that they surpass 270 electoral votes,
or just over half the 538 votes, and win the presidency.
So how do states even get electoral votes?
Each state receives a particular number of electors based on population size.
The census is conducted every 10 years, so every time the census happens,
states might gain or lose a few electoral votes.
Let's say you're a voter in California, a state with 55 electoral votes.
If your candidate wins in California, they get all 55 of the state's electoral votes.
If your candidate loses, they get none.
This is why many presidential candidates want to win states like Texas, Florida, and New York.
If you currently add up the electoral votes of those three states,
you would have 96 electoral votes.
Even if a candidate won North Dakota, South Dakota, Montana, Wyoming,
Vermont, New Hampshire, Connecticut and West Virginia,
they would only gain 31 electoral votes total from those eight states.
Here is where it can get a little tricky.
On a rare occasion, like in the year 2000,
someone can win the popular vote but fail to gain 270 electoral votes.
This means that the winner may have won and collected their electoral votes by small margins,
winning just enough states with just enough electoral votes,
but the losing candidate may have captured large voter margins in the remaining states.
If this is the case, the very large margins secured by the losing candidate in the other states
would add up to over 50% of the ballots cast nationally.
Therefore, the losing candidate may have gained more than 50% of the ballots cast by voters,
but failed to gain 270 of the electoral votes.
Some critics of the electoral college argue the system gives an unfair advantage to states with large numbers of electoral votes.
Think of it this way.
It is possible for a candidate to not get a single person's vote -- not one vote --in 39 states, or the District of Columbia,
yet be elected president by winning the popular vote in just 11 of these 12 states:
California, New York, Texas, Florida, Pennsylvania, Illinois, Ohio,
Michigan, New Jersey, North Carolina, Georgia or Virginia.
This is why both parties pay attention to these states.
However, others argue that the electoral college protects small states
such as Rhode Island, Vermont and New Hampshire,
and even geographically large states with small populations
like Alaska, Wyoming and the Dakotas.
That's because a candidate can't completely ignore small states,
because in a close election, every electoral vote counts.
There are certain states that have a long history of voting for a particular party.
These are known as "Safe States."
For the past four election cycles -- in 1996, 2000, 2004 and 2008 --
Democrats could count on states like Oregon, Maryland, Michigan and Massachusetts,
whereas the Republicans could count on states like Mississippi, Alabama, Kansas and Idaho.
States that are teetering between parties are called "Swing States."
In the past four election cycles, Ohio and Florida have been Swing States,
twice providing electoral votes for a Democratic candidate,
and twice providing electoral votes for a Republican candidate.
Think about it. Do you live in a Safe State?
If so, is it a Democratic or Republican Safe State?
Do you live in a Swing State?
Are your neighboring states swing or safe?
Is the population in your state increasing or decreasing?
And do not forget, when you are watching the electoral returns on election night every four years
and the big map of the United States is on the screen,
know that the magic number is 270 and start adding.
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TED-Ed:【別讓選民不開心】投票數是如何計算的 (Does your vote count? The Electoral College explained - Christina Greer)

47654 分類 收藏
wikiHuang 發佈於 2015 年 3 月 17 日

影片簡介

每個國家的選舉方式都不同,例如美國的總統大選和台灣的選舉方式就不一樣。美國人民這麼多,他們的總統到底是怎麼選出來的呢?他們的投票方式有什麼好處或壞處?一起來認識美國總統選舉的投票方式吧!


1
surpass1:13
surpass 就是「超過;勝過」的意思。如果要表達「以(多少)勝過...」,介係詞要用 by ,例如:
E.g., His time for the 100 meters surpassed his previous record by one tenth of a second.
他以0.1秒之差打破了自已之前的百米短跑紀錄。

英文裡有很多字可以用來表達「超過」,以下補充幾個:

exceed 超過;超出
E.g., Mom said that I can buy a new phone, but the price cannot exceed 5000 NTD.
媽媽說我可以買新手機,但是價格不能超過5000元。

outpace(速度上)超過;比...更快
E.g., Joseph outpaced every other runner in the last minute and won the championship.
約瑟夫在最後一刻超越了其他跑者,贏得了比賽。

outdo 超越;勝過
E.g., Amanda always tries to outdo her colleagues in order to catch her boss' attention.
愛曼達總是想超越她的同事以吸引她老闆注意她。


2
tricky2:15
tricky 在影片中的意思是「弔詭的」,如果用來形容人則表示那個人很狡猾,例如:
E.g., Grey is a tricky guy. You can never trust him.
格雷是個狡猾的人,你絕不能相信他。

tricky 還有另外一個意思是「困難的、難辦的」,例如 a tricky question 指的是很難回答的問題。
E.g., A: If your girlfriend and your mom fell into the sea, who would you save first? B: That's a tricky question.
A: 如果你的女朋友和你媽媽一起掉到海裡,你會先救誰? B: 這個問題很難回答。

如果有人問你,你會如何回答這個 tricky question 呢?到留言分享一下吧XD

*同場加映

[英文易混淆單字] Everyday or every day? English vocabulary & tricky words @doingenglish


3
counts3:54
count 一般常見的意思是「計數」,不過在這部影片中指的是每張票都「有價值、很重要」。
E.g., Somebody may believe that love counts more than money.
有些人可能相信愛情比金錢重要。

count 還有「認為、當作」的意思,例如:
E.g.,You can't count all things that are green as vegetable!
你不能把所有綠色的東西都當作蔬菜啊!


4
count on4:08
count on 是「依靠、指望」的意思,例如影片中說兩個政黨可以依靠各自的鐵票區來獲得選票,用法是 count on sb. + to V
E.g., You can always count on VoiceTube to help you learn English!
你永遠可以依靠 VoiceTube 來幫助你學英文!

這個片語也有「料想到」的意思,用法是 count on + Ving,例如:
E.g., Marco said that he was late because he didn't count on losing his way.
馬可說他會遲到是因為他沒料到自己會迷路。


5
teetering4:21
teeter 是「搖擺」的意思,也可以形容走路不穩、搖搖欲墜的樣子:
E.g., There was a drunken man teetering on the street late at night.
有個醉漢在深夜時分搖搖晃晃地走在街上。

另外再補充一個和 teeter 有關的片語:

teeter on the brink / edge of (sth.) 瀕臨;處於(負面形勢)的邊緣
E.g., The country is teetering on the brink of bankrupcy.
國家正瀕臨破產邊緣。

還有一個可愛字是 teeter-totter,也就是 seesaw(蹺蹺板)喔!

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  1. UrbanDictionary 俚語字典整合查詢。一般字典查詢不到你滿意的解譯,不妨使用「俚語字典」,或許會讓你有滿意的答案喔