QUORA: Why is there a need of electors choosing president in December in constitution when a candidate has already won majority of electoral votes in Nov?
Here is my answer:
The Electors are actual human beings, not an abstract formality. The Electors are pledged to vote a certain way. But they are not legally or constitutionally bound to honor their pledge. So an actual Electoral College vote is necessary to officially choose the president.
In 2016, Trump won the Electoral vote by 306-232 based on the popular voting. But in the Electoral College election in December, seven electors voted for people other than those they were pledged to, with Trump losing two votes and Clinton losing five, leaving a final tally 304-227 for Trump. The defections went to John Kasich , Ron Paul , Bernie Sanders , Colin Powell , and Faith Spotted Eagle .
Keep in mind that the popular vote is not binding. The state legislatures are constitutionally charged with the responsibility to choose the Electors. All state legislatures have chosen to have Electors allocated by popular vote. But the legislatures can and must step in to override the popular vote should there be a problem. After all, Article II of the constitution states that “Each State shall appoint, in such Manner as the Legislature there of may direct, a Number of Electors, equal to the whole Number of Senators and Representatives to which the State may be entitled in the Congress”
A state’s legislature can pick the Electors without any direct input from voters. This is fine, given that the legislators are themselves elected.