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Presidential Elections

Page history last edited by Sarah Mann 14 years, 2 months ago

Previous Section: National Elections                                                                                                                        Next Section: Electoral College


The Presidential Election process can be described in a series of steps:


1. Selection of Delegates:

First presidential primaries are used to select delegates.  Then the candidates for presidency are chosen at local caucuses and then narrowed at district conventions.  Next, candidates are then finalized at state conventions.  The delegates from each state go to National Conventions where the party's offical candidate is revealed.



2. Voting by the People:

Every four years, on the Tuesday after the first Monday in November, the American people vote.  This is a two-step process.  The first step is carried out by the electorate of the nation and the second by the "Presidential Electors." 


3. Electors Vote:

The Electoral College System is a way to indirecty elect the President.  The people when voting for the presidential and vice presidential team are essentially choosing "electors" who will elect the president and vice president.  Electors are chosen for each state and meet on the first Monday after the second Wednesday in December to cast their votes.  The President is then elected depending on who won the majority of the electoral votes.  In the case that there is no majority, the House of Representatives selects the president from the top three candidates and the vice president through a separate vote.  If no candidate recieves the majority vote, the Senate will select the president from the top two candidates.  



Winner-take-all System:

Forty-eight states and the District of Columbia have adopted the winner-take-all system, meaning that the candidate who gets the most votes in teh state wins the support of all the states electors. 


Congressional District Method:

In Maine and Nebraska, where there are four and five electors respectively, the electors are split.  Each congressional district gets an elector and the remaining two electors are chosen by the statewide vote.



To better understand how a president is elected, watch this cool video!


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“I Win Cartoon” http://www.peopledemocracy.com/images/super-delegates2.jpg> (30 November 2009).


Video :

“Electing a US President in Plain English Video”  http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ok_VQ8I7g6I&feature=fvw> (25 November 2009).



Meltzer, Tony and Paul Levy, eds., Cracking the AP U.S. Government & Politics Exam 2010

            Edition. New York: Random House, Inc., 2009.



Comments (1)

mberry said

at 9:44 am on Nov 17, 2009

Okay -- a good video that is a little too simple. Try to explain the "majority takes all" system (that exists in most states) and how it differs in NB and ME!!

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