The Election Process

By Jay Taheny


This WebQuest is designed to help middle grades students fully understand the election process and to investigate other possible means by which the President might be elected.


The project involves the following tasks. Due dates TBA in class.

1. List the five states with the largest number of electoral votes.

2. Determine the minimum number of states that a presidential candidate must win in order to obtain the required 270 electoral votes.

3. Email to the electoral count of the 2000 election if each states electoral votes were split based on the percentage of popular vote.

4. Think of an alternate way to elect the President and prepare a five-minute discussion to be given in class.


1. Use the links given to determine which states have the highest number of electoral votes. List them and turn them in during class. A good site for tasks one and two is located at the Education Planet website.

2. Using the Education Planet website again, determine the fewest possible number of states which are needed to give the required 270 electoral votes. List them and turn them in during class.

3. Go to this USA Today webpage and find out how each state voted in the 2000 presidential election. Then determine the number of electoral votes each state has. Finally, figure up how many electoral votes each candidate would have if electoral votes were awarded by percentage of popular vote. For example, divide California’s electoral votes using the same percentage as the popular vote. Always round up.

4. Think of a way that you think would be fair in determining the outcome of a presidential election. For some ideas, use this link to an approval vote webpage which provides links to several alternative voting methods. Prepare a five-minute discussion that argues your thoughts and is presentable in front of class.

Resources college&startval=0


Your work on each task will be graded as follows with 200 maximum points.

1. Five states with largest number of electoral votes. (25 points)

2. List of the fewest number of states needed for 270 electoral votes. (25 points)

3. Election outcome if percentage of popular vote determined percentage of each states electoral vote that is awarded to candidates. (100 points)

4. Five minute presentation of alternate ways to elect the President. (50 points)


The Internet contains a wealth of information regarding the election process. After researching election information on the Internet, it is hoped that you will learn to research other important topics on the Internet.