Bush’s 20 Electoral College “Bonus Votes”

Here’s a bit of arcane, but consequential US Civics:
One of the ways the Electoral College is skewed is that states don’t get Electoral votes in proportion to their population. There are 435 votes allocated by population, according to the number of seats the state has in the Hose of Representatives. Then each state gets what are, in effect, two “Bonus Votes,” based on its two seats in the US Senate. (DC is allocated a total of three.)
So, for example, Alaska, Montana, North Dakota, South Dakota, Wyoming, Delaware. Vermont, and DC (in its unique way) each have just one seat in the House of Representatives. Based solely on population, then, they would have a total of eight Electoral Votes among them. But with the addition of the two Bonus Votes for each, they have a total, not of eight votes, but 24
Using the projections of ABC News, Bush is currently leading for 222 Electoral Votes, and Kerry for 221 (the other 95 are “Toss Ups.”). But Bush is leading in 26 individual states, Kerry in only 16. So, Bush gets an extra 20 of the Bonus Votes–52 of them to Kerry’s 32.
Without Bonus Votes, the projection of
Bush 222 Kerry 221
would become
Kerry 189 Bush 170
In 2000, Bush received 271 Electoral Votes, Gore 266 (there was one abstention). Subtracting the Bonus Votes, the Presidential results in 2000 would have been:
Gore 224 Bush 211






2 responses to “Bush’s 20 Electoral College “Bonus Votes””

  1. Cecil Vortex Avatar

    yikes — I’d known this years ago and completely forgot. Never heard this analysis put to the 2000 election before. It should receive more attention. Thanks for posting this one, David….

  2. David Kolodney Avatar
    David Kolodney

    Dear Mr. Vortex,
    (You know, I think it’s something only a computer-book editor could have expalined.)