The US presidential election is going to be held again. No doubt, the United States is one of the world’s superpower. America is still the world’s number one superpower in economic statistics. Except for the post-second World War Cold War period, America alone has played the role of a world leader. I have no hesitation in saying that the fate of the whole world is involved with the fortune of America. That is why the heat of the US presidential election is not limited to the United States but has spread to other parts of the world. Who will be the next president of America? This question is now on everyone’s lips. In such a tense situation, today’s article is arranged around the US presidential election.
Qualifications required to be a voter and to run for president
After India, America is the second-largest democratic country in the world. The US presidential election is held once every four years. The term of the president is also four years. Election day is scheduled for the next Tuesday after the first Monday in November. That is why there is no alteration in the election day for ages. Elections are held during the tenure of the previous president. There is no caretaker government or interim government.
If you want to run for president of the United States, you must be a U.S. citizen by birth and have lived in the United States for at least 14 years. The minimum age to run for president is 35. John F. Kennedy is the youngest president in American history. He was elected president at the age of 43. Also, no one can be elected president more than twice. That means neither Obama, George W. Bush nor Bill Clinton is eligible to run in the election. The law was originally designed to pay tribute to George Washington, America’s architect, and first president. He has not run for the third term after being elected president twice in a row.
Any U.S. citizen over the age of 18 can vote. No general holiday is declared on polling day. You have to take the time to vote on your responsibility. However, the negative aspects of this system have been seen in the recent interim elections. In the 2014 elections, the turnout was only 34.4%.
What is a primary and caucus?
Candidates have to go through a long preliminary selection process to get a party ticket to run in the US presidential election. This is known as primary and caucus. Through this process, Democrats and Republicans in each state decide who will be their party’s presidential candidate. The primary is the traditional election, where secret ballot voting is held throughout the day. The winning candidate in the primary took his party’s representatives from that state to the National Conference to vote for him.
The Caucus, on the other hand, is a meeting of the party’s registered voters and staff, which is held on prearranged days and moments. Candidates and their election issues were discussed at the meeting. Later they organized a vote and selected a candidate. Representative is also elected to support the candidate at the county level conference. Delegates are selected for the State Conference at the County Conference. And the representative of the national conference was elected at the state conference.
How does the selection process work?
The final nominees from the Republican and Democrat parties are nominated through a national conference. The conference is held in late summer. Earlier, the party representative is elected in the states and sent to the national conference. The party representatives select the final candidate by voting there. State voters can only cast their votes directly in the primary or party caucus.
This is the day when most states and territories hold their primary elections or caucuses.
How long does it take?
Primary and caucuses are held throughout the United States, beginning in February and ending in June. It is said that the nomination of the Democrat party will be ignited within this period. Because the candidates will collect their party representatives through each primary or caucus. Campaigns in the United Kingdom and France are limited. But U.S. candidates can run their campaigns as long as they want.
From the beginning to the end of the presidential campaign lasted about 18 months.
How long can voters vote?
Like many other things in the United States, it depends on the states. Advance voting is allowed in most states. As a result, registered voters can cast their votes before election day. There is also a system of postal voting. For those who cannot go to the polls due to illness, disability, travel, or studying outside the state, there is an opportunity to vote by post. Those who go to the polls on election day will have to appear in person at the polling station to cast their vote. Each state counts its votes, and the winner is usually announced that night.
The way the president was elected
The US President is not elected by the direct vote of the citizens. Rather, the US presidential election system is indirect. First, the people elect the electoral college or constituency by vote. One thing to note here is that the names of the candidates for the post of President and Vice-President are written on the ballot paper. And according to the rules of each state, the name of the constituency may or may not be mentioned.
People voting for a particular presidential candidate means nominating his or her party’s constituency. The constituency then elects the people’s preferred presidential candidate by ballot. However, according to federal law, the electorate is not obliged to vote for the candidate of the people’s choice. In other words, even if the electorate wants, they can go outside the party and vote for the candidate of the opposition party. However, in 24 out of 50 states, this type of “Betrayal” is considered a crime. And in the present age, it is not common for a selector to vote for someone other than his party candidate. Therefore, it can be said that the people who will vote for the constituencies of the presidential candidate will get all the electoral votes in that state.
For example, in this election, the majority of people in the state of Texas voted for Donald Trump. The number of electoral votes allocated for Texas is 38. This means that the people voted for the Republican electorate to vote for Donald Trump, and Donald Trump will get all of those 38 electoral votes in Texas alone if no one in the electorate betrays him. Another thing to note here is that a candidate from one state will either get all the electoral votes or will not get any electoral votes at all. That’s why there have been several instances in the history of the United States where people have lost their votes due to low turnout.
The last such incident took place in the 2000 elections. George W. Bush of the service did not get the majority vote but got 271 electoral votes. His rival, Al Gore, on the other hand, won the popular vote but he lost the election due to electoral votes.
He received 266 electoral votes. However, not only do the winning candidates in the states of Nebraska and Maine receive all the electoral votes alone, but they are also divided between the winner of the popular vote and the winning candidate in the congressional district.
The number of electoral votes allocated in each state is equal to the number of people’s representatives and senators in that state. The total number of electoral votes in the United States is 538, of which California alone has the highest number of 55. And to be elected president, a candidate must get at least 270 electoral votes. It would not be wrong to call the US presidential election, not a single election but a combination of separate elections in 50 states and one district (Colombia).
Because the president is finally elected by the votes of the electorate elected from each state. Although the electorate was elected in the first week of November, they came to the capitals of their respective states to vote for the president in the second week of December.
What happens if no one wins the electoral vote?
If a single candidate does not receive a majority electoral vote, members of the House of Representatives will choose one of the top three candidates as president. The Senate will select one of the remaining two candidates as vice-president. Although such incidents are rare, once it happened.
This is how the Democratic candidate John Quincy Adams was elected president in 1824.
Why is the election process so complicated?
After reading this complex process of the US presidential election, a question naturally comes to mind that if the electorate has its hands and feet tied to the people’s support, then what is the benefit of holding an indirect election with the constituencies? It is better to elect a president by direct popular vote.
The answer to this question is hidden in the US Constitution. We must not forget that at the time of the founding of the United States in 1776, it was not a single country but an integrated alliance of many independent states. So we still see how different and diverse the laws of each state in America are. However, at the time of the founding of the United States, small states like New Jersey did not want to go for direct democracy for fear of the monopoly of populous states like Virginia or New York in the presidential election.
Therefore, the incarnation of this electoral college system is to reflect the views of all the states, big and small, in the national elections. Also, the people of the United States chose indirect democracy over direct democracy, fearing that if the people voted directly, it could lead to chaos and establish the dominance of numbers over standards. Although many times in the past there have been calls for the repeal of this system and there has been a lot of controversy in the courts, this rule made by the Eastern men has survived in the United States.
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