Under our Constitution, elections are entirely controlled by the States. Despite what Trump would like to think, the Federal Government has zero authority over elections, any elections.
From State Reps to Senators, all votes cast are for State representatives. A straight popular vote for the president would violate this and could, in the minds of the Founders, create a king, as has happened in countries like Venezuela and Russia. So, each semi-autonomous State elects Electors to represent the State’s at the Electoral College. It is at that body that the president is selected by the State’s Electors.
The number of Electors each State receives is equal to the number of Representatives it has plus 2 for its Senators. Here is a link to the game board, a Britannica page that shows how many Electoral College votes each State receives. https://www.britannica.com/topic/United-States-Electoral-College-Votes-by-State-1787124 Just like games like Risk, each State has a point value and it takes 270 points to win the game.
According to Article II of the Constitution, each State determines how it will select its Electors to represent it. The State’s control this and can change it. The federal government has no control over it at all. This helps to prevent a dictator from ever gaining control of the United States.
When you vote for President, you are voting for the slate of Electors chosen usually by the State-level party of the person you voted for. The States can determine whether all of the State’s Electors come from the party of the candidate who won that State’s popular vote, or whether they are split among the parties of the candidates who received votes. At present, Maine and Nebraska are the only States that divide their Electors proportionately among the candidates. All others are all-in to the winner.
And this shocker, in some States Electors are NOT bound to vote as promised. In fact, in 2016, 7 Electors voted for someone other than their State’s choice. Five who were pledged to Hillary voted for someone else, and two Electors from Texas refused to vote for Trump. He still won, but with 304 Electoral College votes instead of the 306 he “earned.” https://www.270towin.com/maps/2016-actual-electoral-map
So that is the Game Board and how one wins a space on that Board. Let’s begin to look more closely at the spaces on that Game Board, the States.