Electoral College System Sparks Memes From Confused Non-Americans

As results continue to roll in, non-Americans have taken to sharing memes on social media to express their confusion at the electoral college system.

President Donald Trump and former Vice President Joe Biden are currently waiting for the final votes to be cast to determine who will be in the White House come January—despite the former prematurely and falsely declaring victory earlier this morning.

The presidential candidates are particularly awaiting the results of the key swing states of Pennsylvania, Wisconsin, and Michigan, which have a total of 46 electoral votes and would, at the time of writing, give Biden more than the 270 votes needed to secure the presidency.

While the electoral college system is a key part of the election process in the U.S., it has some international social media users stumped.

Twitter user AJ posted the Lemme Move My Bang meme and captioned their tweet: "Me after trying to understand how the electoral college works for the millionth time but still not getting it"

Me after trying to understand how the electoral college works for the millionth time but still not getting it pic.twitter.com/KujP54m0RY

— AJ 3000🥭 (@ajiswriting) November 2, 2020

One Twitter user shared a meme of Charlie from It's Always Sunny in Philadelphia explaining a conspiracy theory to Mac and said: "Americans predicting who will win the election," with the Me Explaining to My Mom meme and said: "The rest of the world trying to understand their voting system."

Americans The rest of
predicting who the world
will win the trying to
election understand
their voting
system#ElectionNight pic.twitter.com/T90E3ec7ZQ

— 🅰️ (@awizardharreh) November 3, 2020

Twitter user @__neonk shared an image of a confused-looking Ariana Grande and said: "non-Americans trying to understand how the election system works"

#Elections2020

non-americans trying to understand how the election system works: pic.twitter.com/qJoPHQyarZ

— 𝖓𝖊𝖔𝖓 ☽ (@__neonk) November 4, 2020

Twitter user Victor said: "Me, non-American, trying to understand how the US election system works and checking the results every five minutes" and attached the Math Lady meme.

#Elections2020
Me, non-american, trying to understand how the US election system works and checking the results every five minutes pic.twitter.com/6fBGNMqudQ

— 𝕧𝕚𝕔𝕥𝕠𝕣 (@baianinhovictor) November 4, 2020

@billyjoebaldwin on Twitter shared the Elon Musk Smoking Weed meme and captioned it: "me making predictions on Twitter dot com about the [election] after not paying any attention to polls and not understanding how the electoral college works."

me making predictions on twitter dot com about the ******** after not paying any attention to polls and not understanding how the electoral college works pic.twitter.com/LAaZ16hkwv

— bill (@billyjoebaldwin) November 3, 2020

Taylor on Twitter compared America right now to Squidward from Spongebob Squarepants hiding and the rest of the world to a baffled Spongebob.

america rn: the rest of the world tryna figure out how their voting system works: pic.twitter.com/j3t6mMp3z0

— taylor𓆈 (@bloodtowns) November 4, 2020

Even some Americans are confused by the voting system as one Twitter user shared a gif of Michael Scott from The Office saying: "Why don't you explain this to me like I'm five?" with the caption: "If I'm being honest I kind of don't understand how our voting system works because the person who gets the most votes should win and that's not how it works in America and I just...."

If I’m being honest I kind of don’t understand how our voting system works because the person who gets the most votes should win and that’s not how it works in America and I just.... pic.twitter.com/h1tpkdvgIf

— Twenty Struggles (@twentystruggles) November 4, 2020

MB on Twitter compared themselves trying to understand how the U.S. voting system works to the Confused Mr. Bean meme.

*someone explaining how the US voting system works*

Me:#ElectionNight  #USElection pic.twitter.com/KnoerD1BME

— MB (@Enigmahimovic) November 4, 2020

Finally, another Twitter user shared the Terio at Popeye's meme and said: "Me going through election night without even knowing how their voting system works."

Me going through #ElectionNight without even knowing how their voting system works. pic.twitter.com/MVcz0OAxJg

— Laideyy! (@YusufLaideyLee) November 4, 2020

How does the electoral college system work?

During an election, Americans vote for a representative of a presidential candidate, known as an elector, and there are 538 electors who vote for the president on behalf of the state.

States are assigned a certain number of electoral votes based on their number of congressional districts, as well as two additional votes for the state's Senate seats.

The number of electoral votes per state is distributed unequally due to the requirement for each state to have a minimum of three electoral votes. Therefore, the least populous states are overrepresented while the most populous states are underrepresented.

A presidential candidate needs a majority of 270 of these electoral votes to win the presidency.

The presidential candidate typically takes all of the electoral votes of the states that they achieve the most votes in, even if they only win the most votes by a small margin.

This system explains how despite winning the popular vote, Hilary Clinton lost the election to Trump in 2016.

Electoral College Map
A foreign exchange trader looks at screens showing information on the U.S. election as results are counted on November 4, 2020, in Tokyo, Japan. The American electoral college system has left some international social media users confused about the voting process in the U.S. Getty/Carl Court