How the President is elected?
Electing a president is quite a lengthy process. It begins about two years before the Presidential election takes place. Most of the time is spent by the candidates campaigning; spreading their message around and convincing people of their position on issues important to the nation. The sequence of events for electing a president are:
- Announcement by the candidates
- Primary elections
- National convention
- Final campaign
- General or Presidential election
- President takes office
Announcement by the candidates
A presidential candidate first makes an official announcement that he or she is running for president. They usually belong to a party. The two main parties in America are the Democratic party and the Republican party. Once the candidate makes the announcement, (s)he begins to work very hard on their campaign by making speeches, connecting with voters, meeting with officials from other countries and going on high-profile trips. Usually many people from the same party run as a candidate for presidency, but by the end of the primary elections only ONE candidate from each party ends up being nominated for the General elections.
Most people who run for president are already serving in government, as members of the U.S. Senate or the House of Representatives or as state governors. Former military officers have also run for president.
When January of an election year rolls around, the candidates begin their campaign in full swing. As more months go by, people in the American states gather to show their support and vote for these presidential candidates. This is called primary elections. Please note, a primary election is held by the political parties to select their nominees. These nominees are the candidates for the upcoming general election. In a primary election, Republicans run against Republicans and Democrats run against other Democrats. In the primary election, you may vote on only one party’s candidates. You cannot split your ballot between the various political parties.
When the results of the primary elections are tallied, they are represented in the national convention through delegates.
The Democrats and Republicans hold huge national conventions every four years, in the summer before the general election. Representing the state’s voters, each state party sends delegates to vote for the candidate preferred (determined by the results of the primary election) in their state.
The results of all the states are combined and each party will have chosen its final candidates for president and vice president by the end of the convention. Usually, the nominee is known before the convention starts. Each party also writes its plan of action for the government in the next four years. This plan lists the ideas and the position of the party on important problems that the nation is facing.
In the 2012 elections the parties showed their positions on health-care reform, the economy and budget, and the environment. However in the 2008 elections war in Iraq was also an important issue for the nation.
The Final Campaign
After the convention is over and a candidate is selected by each party, the really hard work for the final campaign begins for the candidates. The race for the White House is front-page news for the next few months. The candidates try to reach out to as many people as possible to make their message very clear. They go out on the road again, meeting and greeting the voters. During this time, they give hundreds of speeches and interviews. It is during this period that presidential debates also take place.
General Elections or the Presidential Elections
The presidential election takes place every four years on the first Tuesday after the first Monday in November. (If November 1 is a Tuesday, then the election takes place on November 8.) People across the country cast their votes for whichever candidate they believe will do the best job. By now there is only one candidate from each party running for presidency with his mate (vice president to be). When we as Americans are casting our votes for the presidential candidates, we are actually casting our votes for electors, who will cast their votes for the candidates. These electors collectively are called Electoral College. They are very similar to the delegates presenting the results of primary elections for each state in the national convention.
Each state is assigned electoral votes depending on its population. The presidential candidate who receives the most votes in each state gets all of the electoral votes for that state. For example, if the state of Vermont has three electoral votes, it casts all of its electoral votes for the winning candidate. So if Jenny Smith has 4,100,103 votes and Brian McCoy has 4,100,100 votes, Jenny Smith still gets all three of Vermont's electoral votes and Brian McCoy gets 0.
When all the electoral votes are counted, the candidate with the most votes wins and becomes the president.
President takes office
The presidential election takes place in November, but the new president doesn't take office until January 20 of the following year. (If a president gets re-elected, he goes right on serving.) The Constitution limits presidents to two terms. Once a president has served two terms, he retires from public office, making way for the next group of political hopefuls. Every four years, the process starts all over again.
Campaigning - Work in an organized in an active way toward a particular goal, usually a political or social one.
Candidate - A person who applies for a job or is nominated for an election.
Officials - A person holding public office or having official duties, esp. as a representative of an organization or government department.
President - The elected head of a country.
Nominate - Propose or formally enter as a candidate for election.
Nominees - A person who is proposed or formally entered as a candidate for an office
Ballot - A process of voting, in writing and typically in secret.
Tallied - Calculate the total number of: "tally the votes".
Delegates - A person sent or authorized to represent others, in particular, an elected representative sent to a conference.
Debate - A formal discussion on a particular topic in a public meeting or legislative assembly, in which opposing arguments are put forward.
Vote - A formal indication of a choice between two or more candidates.
Voter - A person who votes or has the right to vote.
Elect – chosen.
Constitution – A written record of the law for the fundamental principles of a government or an organization.
Retire - Leave one's job and stop working.