The number of Electoral College votes must be equal to the total number of Senators and Congresspeople, plus 3 for the District of Columbia, right now there are 538, so there are also 538 electoral votes (Electoral College). Each states is given electoral votes equal to its number of Senators and Congresspeople. For example, Tennessee, which went for Romney in 2012, has is allocated 9 Congresspeople and 2 Senators, a total of 11, so Tennessee has 11 electoral votes (2012 Presidential Election Results)(Distribution of Electoral Votes).
Much of the Constitution was created through compromise and the Electoral College is no different. The Electoral College represents a compromise between having the legislature vote for a President, somewhat similar to the parliamentary system; and having the President elected by a popular vote of the people, which had not really been attempted on a scale as big as the United States (Electoral College). Some of the pros to the electoral include that no single region can unilaterally elect the President and that the Electoral College allows small-population states to still have a say in elections (Posner, Defending the Electoral College). Some of the cons to the Electoral College include that fact that the people do not directly elect the President and that it is possible for a candidate to win the popular vote but lose the Electoral College, and thus lose the election (Baker, Is the Electoral College Still Useful?)
It seems that the proportional voting system in Maine and Nebraska, in which the number of state electors a candidate wins is roughly equal to the percentage of the vote they received in the state, as opposed to most state where the candidate who wins the state gets all the electoral votes, is the best compromise for the Electoral College ( The proportional voting system give people a more direct say in the election of the President, but at the same time protects the interests of small states and requires a candidate appeal to more than just one region in order to win (Maine & Nebraska). It protects the pros of both side.
“2012 Election Map.” Washington Post. November 19, 2012. [http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-srv/special/politics/election-map-2012/president/]
“Electoral College.” United States Archives. [http://www.archives.gov/federal-register/electoral-college/electors.html#selection]
“Distribution of Electoral Votes.” Federal Election Commision. November 3, 2013 [http://www.fec.gov/pages/elecvote.htm]
Baker, Ross and Raskin, Jamie. “Has the Electoral College Outlived its Usefulness.” IIP Digital. Oct. 5, 2007. [http://iipdigital.usembassy.gov/st/english/publication/2008/05/20080523105932wrybakcuh0.8598596.html#axzz3fSbc0OQv]
Posner, Richard. “Defending the Electoral College.” Slate. Nov. 12, 2012. [http://www.slate.com/articles/news_and_politics/view_from_chicago/2012/11/defending_the_electoral_college.html]
“Maine and Nebraska.” Fair Vote. Center for Voting and Democracy. [http://www.fairvote.org/reforms/national-popular-vote/the-electoral-college/solutions-and-the-case-for-reform/maine-nebraska/]