HARLINGEN, Texas (KVEO) –The voters of the Electoral College are ultimately the ones who decide who will win the election. But they don’t vote until December 14th, more than a full month after Election Day.
“There’s some states already today where we might not know for a couple days,” said Ariel Gonzalez, a political science professor at South Texas Collage. “I mean we go back to 2000, during the Bush v. Gore election, we didn’t know for weeks on end.”
The long delay is to ensure that all the votes that have been cast will be counted, and to ensure that the Electoral College voters for each state understand the will of the people they vote for. But they don’t necessarily have to abide by that.
“Well we have had what are called ‘faithless electors,” said Gonzalez.
Electors in 17 states, including Texas, don’t have to vote for the winner of the popular vote, but most often do.
The last day to complete the manual vote count in Texas is November 24th.
Between then and December 14th, when the Electoral College votes, Governor Abbott will issue a Certificate of Ascertainment.
The Certificate of Ascertainment identifies which group of Electors, either Republican or Democrat, will decide which candidate the state votes for.
Something experts say favors the opinions of voters living in smaller states.
“Their vote proportional to the population is a lot higher because there’s less people that live there as opposed to an elector from California,” said Gonzalez.