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Thursday, November 3, 2016

US Electoral Process Explained for a Layman


In United States (U.S) elections are held once in every 4 years. Every American with an age of 18 or older has the right to vote. It is easy to imagine that every citizen’s vote gets counted on Election Day. However this is not the case.US elections do not depend on popular votes but on individual States. Let us go in detail…..

US Electoral Process Explained for a Layman

On the Day of Election, every citizen has to choose President and Vice-President .Then all the votes of a particular state are counted and the candidate who gets maximum number of votes is the presidential candidate of that particular state. This happens across the country until each state has selected their own candidate. So we have 50candidates from 50states.But the president is not solely elected by the choice of the states. Each state has variable number of population and there must be a process wherein states with majority population have major influence on the elections. For this, population of each state is taken in to consideration. Each state is further divided in to districts based on population. More populated states have more districts and therefore more influence on the elections. 

The influence a state has on the election is measured by the number of Electors. This number comes from the number of districts in the state and number of senators which is always 2.So if we take the example of State like California, it has 53 districts which correspond to 53 electors plus 2 senators equals the total number of electoral voters to 55.when the candidate wins the voting in the state they win all the electors of that state. Hence, the states with more number of electors becomes vital. If we add the electors of all the districts and the District of Columbia we have total 538 electors. So the candidate must win majority of electors or 270 numbers on the Election Day.

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Once the candidate wins enough states to reach the magic number of 270 they win the election and become the president of United States. So it is an indirect way of electing President. It is expected that a candidate runs electoral campaigns in 51 States however in reality that is not the case. There are states that are purely Democrat or Republican based on the number of registered voters. Therefore candidates skips those states and concentrate more on the so called “Swing States” where the registered numbers of both democrats and republicans are almost even or in other words with more number of independent votes.

So that is the reason Democrat Clinton and  Republican Trump have campaigned numerous times in States like Ohio and North Carolina as well as in Florida and Wisconsin. Also due care has been taken by the framers of the constitution to see that  smaller states are equitably represented and have their say on elections which is  clearly visible as in the case of  State Wyoming which has three electoral votes.





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