Mommy Blog Expert: What if Electoral College Ties 269-269 - Explaining Presidential Election Poll Results to Kids

Monday, November 7, 2016

What if Electoral College Ties 269-269 - Explaining Presidential Election Poll Results to Kids


Election Results




Believe me, when I was a pre-law student working on a degree in political science, we never studied a race to elect a new president resembling anything like the one America now faces. On the eve of this unprecedented and unpredictable presidential election, it's also a great teaching moment for teachers and parents of young kids. Truly, there couldn't be a better time than now to demonstrate by a real-time example to educate the next generation of voters about how our democracy's voting system works.


Seizing a Teachable Moment

Children, by nature are curious. So, when your son or daughter comes home from school on Election Day, don't be surprised if they ask you if you voted or how you voted on the candidates and/or issues on the ballot this year. 

They might even ask you about who's winning the presidential election as polls turn their vote counts in -- your cue to bring up the electoral college and discuss it together to expand upon what they've been learning in class. Invite the youngsters to join you to watch your favorite news TV station or to hop online with you to visit media sites such as CNNUSA Today, the New York Times or others which will all be reporting results state by state as they happen. 


To get the conversation started with your child, here are a few basic questions to ask and simple answers to have on hand about the election.


How Many Electoral Votes to Win?

The Nation's president is elected not by popular votes (the total number of votes cast for each candidate's President/Vice President ticket nationwide) but by a system called the electoral college. There are 538 electoral votes in all, allocated across all 50 U.S. states in proportion to each state's individual population. States with the most votes include California (55), Texas (38) and New York (29), while at the other end of the spectrum there are seven states plus the District of Columbia which each get three electoral votes. To win, a candidate needs to reach a majority 270 electoral votes.

What Happens if Electoral Votes Are Tied?

No one knows 100% for sure what the outcome will be, but if the polls are right, this could be a close contest between Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump. Despite almost 100 different combinations of situations where a tie in the vote could result,  most of the pundits believe in reality a 269 - 269 electoral vote tie is probably not going to happen. But, in the unlikely event a tie does occur, the U.S. House of Representatives will be tasked to choose the next president. With each of the 50 U.S. states getting a single vote, a majority of 26 out of those votes is needed to name the new President of the United States. 

Learn more about the many other intricacies of the electoral college system at the non-partisan site 270towin.com.




No matter who you
support on Election Day...

GET OUT & VOTE!


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15 comments:

Jeanette said...

I like the way you explained it here! It really makes it a lot clearer even to me! Thank you for this post!

Stacie said...

I love this post. I think it's so important that we as parents teach us how our system works.

Ann B said...

I think it is important to teach our kids about the election process. Now that my kids are teenagers they are really interested in ti.

gingermommyrants said...

I have been using this election to teach my kids all about the process. It is important for them to learn how crucial it is to vote.

Ckrusch said...

Loved your post! The election process seems soooooo complicated to me!

Reesa Lewandowski said...

Wow I never thought about this happening! The way this is going, you never know!

Tara said...

I believe the whole world is watching this election. Educating your children on the electoral process is a good thing to do. It will give them a better understanding when it comes time for them to vote.

Robin Rue said...

Teaching kids about the way the election works is so important. They need to have the foundation built for them so that they know how crucial it is that they vote.

Meagan Ivie said...

I'm so proud to say that I voted today! So glad to live in such a country!

Kristin said...

It's so important that our children know how these things work. They will be choosing the president one day in the near future and it's better to have them educated at an early age.

Toni | BoulderLocavore.com said...

Thank you so much for this clear explanation! I'll use this to explain to my kids what's happening. :)

Toni | BoulderLocavore.com said...

Thank you so much for the clear explanation. Will use this to explain to my kids what is happening.

Mistee Dawn said...

I have been explaining the process to mine all week. They get it. The other issues are the things they do not get. lol

daytoday MOMents said...

Great way you have broken it down here, adults really need to teach our children.

Melissa Chapman said...

This is such great info! Sharing with my kids who have a lot of questions about this election process so that they can be informed about why it is so important that they exercise their right to vote! Thanks for sharing!