US election: How the electoral college system works

Help

The BBC's Jeremy Vine explains how the US presidential election system works.

Tens of millions of Americans are voting to decide whether to re-elect Democratic President Barack Obama or hand the job to Republican Mitt Romney.

Each state is given a number of electoral votes in rough proportion to its population.

The candidate who wins 270 electoral votes - by prevailing in the mostly winner-take-all state contests - becomes president.

For in depth coverage as the US goes to the polls: BBC US election special report

BBC © 2014 The BBC is not responsible for the content of external sites. Read more.

This page is best viewed in an up-to-date web browser with style sheets (CSS) enabled. While you will be able to view the content of this page in your current browser, you will not be able to get the full visual experience. Please consider upgrading your browser software or enabling style sheets (CSS) if you are able to do so.