The election of the president and the vice president of the United States is an indirect election. The citizens of the US who are registered to vote in any U.S. state or in Washington, D.C., cast ballots for members of the Electoral College. When citizens cast their ballots for president in the popular vote, they elect a slate of electors. Electors then cast the votes that decide who becomes president of the United States.
These electors then cast direct votes, known as electoral votes, for president, and for vice president. The candidate who receives an absolute majority of electoral votes (at least 270 out of 538) is then elected to that office. Usually, electoral votes align with the popular vote in an election. Initially, electors cast votes for candidates without designating whether they were voting for president or vice president.