CNN’s Zachary B. Wolf is answering questions from readers about the Electoral College. You can ask your question here.
Here are some questions submitted by our readers:
The whole process seems rather cumbersome and antiquated and can produce different results than the popular vote. What would it take to remove the Electoral College process and just rely on the will of the voters? — Larry
It is definitely an antiquated system. Part of that has to do with how difficult it is to change the Constitution — very. And part of that has to do with the fact that it benefits some states. The last two Republican presidents were first elected with fewer votes than the Democrat. So Republican-leaning states are not going to be in favor of a process that dilutes their power.
One idea for reform is the National Popular Vote Interstate Compact by which states would simply agree to give their electoral votes to whichever candidate won the national popular vote. Organizers have 16 states — worth 196 electoral votes — in favor of that plan already.
They argue once they reach 270, they’d essentially end-run around the Electoral College. Here’s their website. But even with the national popular vote system, you could have a winner with less than 50% of the vote. Bill Clinton won just 43% when he won in 1992, thanks to Ross Perot’s strong third-party run. Here’s the argument by University of Texas law professor made for a national presidential runoff system.
Are the results of the elector count known and made public by the end of today?
—Steve in Alfred, New York
Yes. Electors in all 50 states and DC are required by federal law to meet today and cast electoral votes. CNN is monitoring all of them and broadcast as much as possible. We’re updating the results in real time. So we’ll know today.
But it’s important to know the electoral votes won’t be officially counted until Jan. 6 during a joint session of Congress. Here’s the full timeline.
Who were Iowa’s electors? — Linda in Iowa City, Iowa
Linda! I’m glad you’ve asked this. The National Archives helps coordinate the reporting of Electoral College votes and they’ve got a link for each state’s “Certificate of Ascertainment,” which includes the names of the electors in that state. Look at them here.
But if you go there you will see there’s no certificate uploaded for Iowa! So I’ve gone to CNN’s political team’s master list of electors to bring you these seven names: David Chung, Thad Nearmyer, Ronald Forsell, Polly Granzow, Charlie Johnson and Kurt Brown.