Presidential Election Process | USAGov

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Presidential Election Process

Learn about the presidential election action, including the Electoral College, caucuses and primaries, and the national conventions .

Video: How to Become President of the USA

Explains the presidential election serve from beginning to end.

How to Become President of the United States

  • The Requirements Lots of people pipe dream of becoming President of the United States. But to officially run for office, a person needs to meet three basic requirements established by the U.S. Constitution ( Article 2, Section 1 ). A presidential candidate must be :
    • A natural born citizen (U.S. citizen from birth)
    • At least 35 years old and
    • A U.S. resident (permanently lives in the U.S.) for at least 14 years

    Step 1: Primaries and Caucuses People with similar ideas normally belong to the lapp political party. The two main parties in the U.S. are Republican and Democrat. many people want to be President. They crusade around the country and compete to try to win their party ’ randomness nomination. In caucuses, party members meet, discus, and vote for who they think would be the best party candidate. In primaries, party members vote in a country election for the campaigner they want to represent them in the general election. Step 2: National Conventions and General Election After the primaries and caucuses, each major party, Democrat and Republican, holds a national conventionality to select a presidential campaigner. The party ’ s Presidential campaigner announces his or her choice for Vice President. The Presidential candidates political campaign throughout the state to win the digest of the general population. On election day, people in every state cast their vote. Step 3: The Electoral College When people cast their vote, they are actually voting for a group of people called electors. The issue of electors each state of matter gets is equal to its full number of Senators and Representatives in Congress. A sum of 538 electors form the Electoral College. Each elector casts one vote following the general election. The candidate who gets 270 votes or more wins. The newly elected President and Vice President are then inaugurated on January 20th .

Overview of the Presidential Election Process

An election for president of the united states of the United States happens every four years on the first base Tuesday after the inaugural Monday in November. The most holocene presidential election was November 3, 2020 .

Primaries, Caucuses, and Political Conventions

The election process begins with primary elections and caucuses. These are two methods that states use to select a potential presidential campaigner tooltip campaigner : the final examination candidate chosen by a party to represent them in an election.. In general, primaries use secret ballots for vote. Caucuses are local gatherings of voters who vote at the end of the meeting for a detail campaigner. then it moves to name conventions, during which political parties each select a campaigner to unite behind. During a political party convention, each presidential campaigner besides announces a frailty presidential run teammate. The candidates then crusade across the country to explain their views and plans to voters. They may besides participate in debates with candidates from early parties .

What is the Role of the Electoral College?

During the general election tooltip General election : a final election for a political function with a limited list of candidates., Americans go to their poll plaza tooltip Polling place : the placement in which you cast your vote. to cast their vote for president of the united states. But the score of those votes—the popular vote—does not determine the winner. rather, presidential elections use the Electoral College. To win the election, a candidate must receive a majority of electoral votes. In the event no candidate receives a majority, the House of Representatives chooses the president of the united states and the Senate chooses the frailty president of the united states .

What is a Typical Presidential Election Cycle?

The presidential election work follows a typical cycle :

  • spring of the year before an election – Candidates announce their intentions to run .
  • summer of the year before an election through spring of the election year – Primary and caucus tooltip Caucus : a statewide meet held by members of a political party to choose a presidential candidate to support. debates take place .
  • January to June of election year – States and parties hold primaries tooltip Primary : an election held to determine which of a party ‘s candidates will receive that party ‘s nominating speech and be their sole campaigner later in the general election. and caucuses .
  • July to early September – Parties hold nominating conventions to choose their candidates .
  • September and October – Candidates participate in presidential debates .
  • early November – Election Day
  • December – Electors tooltip Elector : a person who is certified to represent their state ‘s vote in the Electoral College. cast their votes in the Electoral College .
  • early January of the following calendar class – Congress counts the electoral votes .
  • January 20 – Inauguration Day

For an in-depth look at the federal election work in the U.S., check out USA In Brief : election .

Presidential Primaries and Caucuses

Before the general election, most candidates for president go through a series of state of matter primaries and caucuses. Though primaries and caucuses are run differently, they both serve the same purpose. They let the states choose the major political parties ’ nominees for the general election .

State Primaries and Caucuses for the Presidential Elections

  • state primaries are run by state and local governments. vote happens through secret ballot .
  • Caucuses are private meetings run by political parties. They ’ rhenium held at the county, zone, or precinct level. In most, participants divide themselves into groups according to the campaigner they support. Undecided voters form their own group. Each group gives speeches supporting its campaigner and tries to get others to join its group. At the end, the number of voters in each group determines how many delegates each campaigner has won .
  • Both primaries and caucuses can be “ open, ” “ closed, ” or some hybrid of the two .
    • During an exposed chief or caucus, people can vote for a candidate of any political party .
    • During a close primary or caucus, only voters registered with that party can take part and vote .
    • “ Semi-open ” and “ semi-closed ” primaries and caucuses are variations of the two main types .

Learn which states have which types of primaries .

Awarding Delegates from the Primaries and Caucuses

At bet on in each primary or caucus is a certain number of delegates. These are individuals who represent their country at home party conventions. The candidate who receives a majority of the party ’ second delegates wins the nomination. The parties have unlike numbers of delegates due to the rules involved in awarding them. Each party besides has some unengaged delegates or superdelegates. These delegates are not bound to a specific campaigner heading into the national convention. When the primaries and caucuses are over, most political parties hold a national convention. This is when the winning candidates receive their nomination. For information about your express ‘s presidential primaries or caucuses, contact your state election office or the political party of your choice .

U.S. Constitutional Requirements for Presidential Candidates

The president of the united states must :

  • Be a natural-born citizen of the United States
  • Be at least 35 years old
  • Have been a nonmigratory of the United States for 14 years

Anyone who meets these requirements can declare their campaigning for president. Once a candidate raises or spends more than $ 5,000 for their crusade, they must register with the Federal Election Commission. That includes naming a principal campaign committee to raise and spend crusade funds .

National Conventions

After the primaries and caucuses, most political parties hold national conventions .

What Happens at a National Political Convention?

Conventions finalize a party ’ randomness choice for presidential and vice presidential nominees. To become the presidential campaigner, a candidate typically has to win a majority of delegates. This normally happens through the party ’ randomness primaries and caucuses. It ’ second then confirmed through a vote of the delegates at the national convention. But if no candidate gets the majority of a party ’ randomness delegates during the primaries and caucuses, convention delegates choose the campaigner. This happens through extra rounds of vote .

Types of Delegates at a National Convention

There are two independent types of delegates :

  • Pledged, or bound delegates must support the campaigner they were awarded to through the primary coil or caucus process .
  • Unpledged delegates or superdelegates can support any presidential candidate they choose .

Contested and Brokered Conventions

In rare cases, none of the party ’ sulfur candidates has a majority of delegates going into the conventionality. The convention is considered “ contested. ” Delegates will then pick their presidential campaigner through one or more rounds of vote .

  • In the first rung of vote, pledged delegates normally have to vote for the campaigner they were awarded to at the begin of the convention. Unpledged delegates do n’t .
  • Superdelegates ca n’t vote in the first round unless a campaigner already has enough delegates through primaries and caucuses to get the nomination .
  • If no campaigner wins in the first round, the convention is considered “ brokered. ” The pledged delegates may choose any campaigner in belated rounds of vote. Superdelegates can vote in these late rounds .
  • Balloting continues until one candidate receives the want majority to win the nomination .

At the convention, the presidential campaigner formally announces their survival of a vice presidential hunt copulate .
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last Updated : July 28, 2021

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