Wikinfo - U.S. Electoral College. This is an article about the Electoral College from the web encyclopedia Wikinfo. Much maligned, there are actually very good reasons for having the Electoral College. I doubt it will ever be abolished. The small states will lose clout without it so why would they agree to change the Constitution?
From the site:
Voting for President of the United States is an indirect election. Presidential elections take place on the Tuesday after the first Monday in November in years evenly divisible by four. Although ballots typically list the names of the Presidential candidates, voters within the 50 states and the District of Columbia (which is considered a state when voting for President, according to Amendment XXIII of the Constitution) actually choose electors when they vote for President. These electors in turn cast the official votes for President. Federal law says that each state's electors meet in their state capitals on the Monday following the second Wednesday of December. There, they cast their electoral votes for President and Vice President.
Once voting is complete, a record of the votes is sent to the President of the Senate, who, in the presence of both houses of Congress on the following January 6, opens them up and tallies the votes. The person with the most electoral votes for President, provided that is is an absolute majority, is to be sworn in as the new President on the following January 20 (or 21st if the 20th is a Sunday), and the person with the most electoral votes for Vice President (which must also be an absolute majority) becomes Vice President on the same date. If no person wins a majority of electoral votes for President, the House of Representatives then votes to decide who shall become the next President from among the top three candidates. Similarly, if no absolute majority is achieved by a Vice Presidential candidate, the Senate chooses from among the top two candidates.