Claiming the white house: how does the electoral process work?

On January 7th, 1789 the first US presidential election was held. George Washington was subsequently sworn into office on April 30th, 1789. At the time only white American citizens who were owners of property were allowed to vote in the election. Nowadays a President is elected every four years. Election Day in America takes place on the first Tuesday after the first Monday of November.

Can You Be President Of The United States Of America?

To run for Presidency, you need to be 35 years or older and have been a resident of the US for the last fourteen years. So if you fit the bill, then technically, yes, you could be president. But history shows us that pretty much every President since the ‘30’s has already been a senator, governor or a military general.

How Does The Picking Process Work?

Well, a succession of party elections is held in every state to determine which one person will represent the Republican party and the Democratic party. This year Donald Trump and Hillary Clinton were the winners of these elections. And, in July, were confirmed as the Presidential candidates. Hillary Clinton is a Democrat, and Donald Trump is a Republican. At this point, the winners also choose their vice presidents. For Clinton, this is Tim Kaine and For Trump it is Mike Pence.

Then What Happens?

As you have probably seen in the media, at this point and going forward, there are many live televised heated debates. Throughout September and October, both parties participate in numerous presidential campaign. These campaigns come in at billions of dollars and are broadcast worldwide. It’s a pretty big deal. And considering over 300 million Americans vote in 50 states, we can understand why.

Voting Day

Tuesday, November 8th is the official US election day. On this day US citizens will go the polls their state's electors. Then the Electoral College, which is made up of 538 electors will vote who to swear into the White House. To prevent voter fraud on election day, a US citizen must provide ID at their polling station. Types of ID can differ from state to state so be sure to check with you need to take with you if you are choosing to vote. And then, the candidate that receives the majority of Electoral votes is the one that wins the presidency. What’s the magic number? It’s 270. It is common practice for the state’s electors to vote for their party candidate but in 24 states there is no law to say that they have to.

Popular Vote Vs. Electoral College Vote

You may be wondering what the point of having a popular vote, and an electoral vote is. Because surely the popular vote will win? But that’s not always the case! In 2000 George W. Bush lost the popular vote against Al Gore but won the Electoral vote by 271 to 266. The popular vote basically means a combined win from all the voters in all the states of America. There is no national election for Presidency, only state wins. By voting for your chosen state elector’s you then let them make that decision in December as to who the President of the United States will be.



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