The United States (U.S) Election Process
The US Congress and Presidential elections are held for every four years and it is an indirect voting system, where people elect their president and vice president through the electors. The US election system can be explained by understanding the terms House of representatives, The senate, The electoral vote and The popular vote.
The house of Representatives: It is the lower house of the United States and is located in the south wing of Capitol building, Washington, D.C. They stand for vote every two years. According to the Article I of the constitution of the United States, the composition of house of representatives is established. It consists of 435 voting members and 6 non-voting members. All the members who sit in congressional districts allocated to each state are the represent the state directly. The number of members in each state is decided by the census of US which measures the population of the states. The 435 voting members are directly elected by the people by voting process and called as the electors. These electors select the President.
The roles of House of representatives include passage of federal legislation, which are called as bills. These bills are sent to the president after consideration of the Senate. The exclusive powers include: The direct election of the president in situations where no candidate is chosen through electoral college, Initiation of revenue bills, Impeaches the federal officers in case of misconduct.
The senate: It is the upper house of the United States and is located in the North building of Capitol building, Washington D.C. According to the Article I of the constitution of the United States, the composition of The senate is established, it consists of 100 members, two from each state. The number of seats for the senate is fixed and unlike the House of representatives it doesn’t depend on the population of the state. There are 50 Unions, each union has 2 members who serve staggered terms of six years. So, the total is 100. By following the ratification of the Seventeenth Amendment 1913 the members are elected directly through the popular vote.
The roles of the Senate include approval of treaties, Confirmation of cabinet secretaries, judges, ambassadors, other federal executives. They also take part in electing the vice president. The senate is considered prestigious as they serve for more term and have powers to advice and consent.
The electoral vote: This is when people cast their vote and select representatives for the state. The number of electors includes both the senate members whose count is 00 and the house of representatives (whose count is 435). This totals up to 535 which is the final count for presidential voting. To win an electoral vote a candidate requires 270 votes or more. These electors are called as the Elector college.
The popular Vote (NPVIC): It is the agreement between the district of Columbia and a group of U.S states to award all their electoral votes to whoever presidential candidate wins the overall popular vote in the union of 50 states and the Columbia. Basically, the popular vote works when a citizen casts their ballots for presidential votes in the popular vote, they elect a slate of electors.
Presidential Election Process in USA
The US Election Process:
The Article II Section 1, Clauses 2 and 4 and the Twelfth Amendment of the US Constitution established the Electoral college and its procedure. According to this article, every state has to choose its electors and this can be determined by the rules and regulations of the state legislation. Many states over a period of time choose to elect their electors by using the Popular vote.
Once the electors are elected then they vote for the election of the president. The chosen registered voters cast their vote on the election day which is the 3rd of November. Generally, the popular vote is aligned with the electoral vote. In case, if the candidate wins popular vote but, loses the electoral vote he overall loses the president elections. The candidate has to mandatorily win the electoral vote to win the president elections.
Although, The United States Constitution do not specify the nomination conventions. They have been developed by the political parties. The nomination process includes the primary elections and caucuses and the nomination conventions. The political parties follow an indirect election process to elect the party’s presidential nominee. The voters from 50 states cast their ballots to select the nomination convention, who then select the presidential nominee. The presidential nominee usually selects the running mate i.e. the vice president and then carry on with the federal campaigns by following the national campaigns finance laws, which was established in 1970 and it deals with the disclosure of the contributions for federal campaigns.
The eligibility requirements to become a president of The U.S:
The Article II of the United states constitutions says that the person aspiring to become a president should be natural-born citizen of the United States, and should be a resident of US for no less than 4 years, should at least be 35-year-old. A candidate may start running his or her campaign early before turning 35 years old or completing 14 years of residency, but must meet the age and residency requirements by Inauguration Day. The Twenty-second Amendment to the Constitution also sets a term limit: a president cannot be elected to more than two terms.
The U.S typical periods of the presidential election process are as follows, with the dates corresponding to the 2020 general election:
- Late 2018 to early 2019 – Candidates announce their intentions to run, and (if necessary) file their Statement of Candidacy with the Federal Election Commission
- June 2019 to April 2020 – Primary and caucus debates
- February 3 to June 16, 2020 – Primaries and caucuses
- Late May to August 2020 – Nominating conventions (including those of the minor third parties)
- September and October 2020 – Presidential election debates
- Tuesday November 3, 2020 – Election Day
- Monday December 14, 2020 – Electors cast their electoral votes
- Wednesday January 6, 2021 – Congress counts and certifies the electoral votes
- Wednesday January 20, 2021 – Inauguration Day
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