Americans vote for the president on Election Day, but they're really casting votes for each state's electors, who will decide the next president on December 19.
Electors who don't vote for the candidate they've pledged to vote for are called "faithless electors".
Patrick Butler, the Vice President, Programmes at the International Centre for Journalists (ICFJ), described the American electoral system as "a confusing system and even most Americans don't understand it".
Hillary Clinton, Donald Trump or their chosen third-party candidate. California ranks first with 55, while seven states and the District of Columbia have the least at three each.The District of Columbia originally didn't have any electors but was granted its three by the 23rd Amendment.In all, there are 538 electors who make up the electoral college. A presidential candidate needs 270 electoral votes to win, but if the two men break their pledge it would mean Clinton needs to secure 2 extra electoral votes to reach 270. That's because there are more Republican states than Democratic states, so a House vote would nearly certainly produce a Republican president.
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Even if there were any damaging developments in the review of the newly discovered emails, the content of which is still unknown, Clinton would still be able to assume the presidency if she wins and the Electoral College affirms the results.
In all but two states, the victor of the state's popular vote gets all of the state's electors. He told the Associated Press that he has wrestled with what to do but feels that neither Clinton nor Donald Trump can lead the country.
Satiacum faces a $1,000 fine in Washington - a penalty in the state for a "faithless elector". And, throughout the country's history, failing to vote as pledged is a rarity, with 99 percent of electors picking the candidate to whom they're pledged. Never has a faithless elector changed an election result, and there have only been a handful of them in the past 50 years. But in many states, they aren't legally required to support that person.
There is no federal law or provision in the Constitution that forces electors to vote for the candidate who won the popular vote in their state.