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The Electoral College

As established by Federal Law, on the first Monday after the second Wednesday of December after a Presidential General Election, each State's Electors will meet in their respective State capitals and cast their electoral votes - one for President and one for Vice President.

Each State is allocated a number of Electors equal to the number of Senators (always 2) plus the number of its U. S. Representatives (8 in Maryland).

In Maryland, political parties (or independent candidates) submit to the State's chief election official a list of individuals pledged to their candidate for President and equal in number to the State's electoral vote. The major parties usually select these individuals in their State party convention while third parties and independent candidates merely designate theirs.

Once elected, the presidential electors must take an oath before the Clerk of the Court of Appeals before casting their votes for the candidates for President and Vice President who received the majority of the votes cast in the state. (Election Law Article, Section 8-505)

The electoral votes are then sealed and transmitted from each State to the President of the Senate who, on a designated date, opens and reads them before both houses of Congress.

There are a total of 538 electoral votes; 270 are required to elect the President.

More information about the electoral college is available on the Federal Election Commission website. For historical information on the presidential Electors of Maryland see the Maryland State Archives's list of the presidential Electors in Maryland from 1789 to 2008.

Maryland Information

Maryland has 10 electoral votes:

  • 1 for each of Maryland's 8 congressional seats in Congress
  • 2 for Maryland's 2 U.S. Senate seats in Congress

Certification of Names of Electors

The presiding officers of the State Convention must certify the names of the 10 electors to the State Board of Elections 30 days before the General Election. Independent and write-in candidates for President should certify the names of their 10 electors on a prescribed form to the State Board of Elections 30 days before the General Election.

Qualification and selection method

No Senator or Representative, or person holding an office of trust or profit under the United States, shall be appointed as an elector. (Article II, U.S. Constitution) There are no specific rules for the method of selecting electors. However, some political parties select one person residing in each of the 8 congressional districts and 2 at-large.

Ballot

The names of the electors are not printed on the Maryland ballot - a vote for the President and Vice President is deemed a vote for the electors of that candidate. (Election Law Article, Section 8-504(b))

EAC

As part of the EAC's clearinghouse function, the EAC has posted background information on the Electoral College.