The Electoral College The Electoral College process is part of the original design of the U.S. Constitution. It consists of senators and representatives who direct their votes for the state they represent. The United States Constitution provides that electors be "chosen" every four years on the first Tuesday after the first Monday in November. The method of choosing electors is determined by the individual states. In all states they are chosen at a general election.

The number of electors for each state is equal to the number of its Senators and Representatives in Congress. The total number of electors is 538, a total of 100 Senators, 435 Representatives plus 3 electors for the District of Columbia. Certain federal officials cannot be electors: Senators, Representatives, or persons holding an office of trust or profit under the United States. The U.S. Constitution contains very few provisions relating to the qualifications of electors. Article II, section 1, clause 2 provides that no Senator or Representative, or Person holding an Office of Trust or Profit under the United States, shall be appointed an Elector. As a historical matter, the 14th Amendment provides that State officials who have engaged in insurrection or rebellion against the United States or given aid and comfort to its enemies are disqualified from serving as electors.

This prohibition relates to the post-Civil War era. A State's certification of electors on its Certificates of Ascertainment is generally sufficient to establish the qualifications of electors. Order of Succession According to the Presidential Succession Act of 1947, if the President of the United States is incapacitated, dies, resigns, is for any reason unable to hold his office, or is removed from office (impeached and convicted), people in the following offices, in this order, will assume the office of the President, provided they are qualified as stated by the Constitution to assume the office of the President, which means they have to be must be at least 35 years old, must be a natural-born U.S. citizen, and have lived in the U.S. for at least 14 years. 1.

Vice President- Dick Cheney 2. Speaker of the House- J. Dennis Hastert 3. President Pro Tempore of the Senate - Ted Stevens 4. Secretary of State- Colin Powell 5. Secretary of the Treasury -Paul O'Neill 6. Secretary of Defense -Donald Rumsfeld 7.

Attorney General -John Ashcroft 8. Secretary of the Interior -Steve Giles 9. Secretary of Agriculture -Ann M. Venema n 10. Secretary of Commerce - Don Evans 11. Secretary of Labor - Elaine L. Chao 12. Secretary of Health and Human Services - Tommy G. Thompson.