From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
The election of the President and Vice President of the
is an indirect vote in which citizens cast ballots for a slate of members
Electoral College. These electors,
in turn, directly elect the President and Vice
President. Presidential elections occur quadrennially on Election Day, which since 1845 has been the Tuesday after the
first Monday in November, coinciding with the general elections of various other
federal, state, and local races. The 2016 U.S. presidential election is scheduled for November 8. United States
The process is regulated by a combination of both federal and state laws. Each state is allocated a number of Electoral College electors equal to the number of its Senators and Representatives in the U.S. Congress.Additionally, Washington, D.C. is given a number of electors equal to the number held by the smallest state.U.S. territories are not represented in the Electoral College.
Under the U.S. Constitution, each state legislature is allowed to designate a way of choosing electors. Thus, the popular vote on Election Day is conducted by the various states and not directly by the federal government. Once chosen, the electors can vote for anyone, but – with rare exceptions like an unpledged elector or faithless elector – they vote for their designated candidates and their votes are certified by Congress, who is the final judge of electors, in early January. The presidential term then officially begins on Inauguration Day, January 20 (although the formal inaugural ceremony traditionally takes place on the 21st if the 20th is a Sunday).
The nomination process, consisting of the primary elections and caucuses and the nominating conventions, was never specified in the Constitution, and was instead developed over time by the states and the political parties. The primary elections are staggered generally between January and June before the general election in November, while the nominating conventions are held in the Summer. This too is also an indirect election process, where voters cast ballots for a slate of delegates to a political party's nominating convention, who then in turn elect their party's presidential nominee. Each party's presidential nominee then chooses a vice presidential running mate to join with him or her on the same ticket, and this choice is rubber-stamped by the convention. Because of changes to national campaign finance laws since the 1970s regarding the disclosure of contributions for federal campaigns, presidential candidates from the major political parties usually declare their intentions to run as early as the Spring of the previous calendar year before the election. Thus, the entire modern presidential campaign and election process usually takes almost two years.
The series of presidential primary elections and caucuses held in each
state and territory is part of the
nominating process of United States presidential elections. This process was never included in the United States Constitution; it was
created over time by the political parties. Some states hold only primary elections, some hold only caucuses, and
others use a combination of both. These primaries and caucuses are staggered
generally between January and June before the general election in November. The
primary elections are run by state and local governments, while caucuses are
private events that are directly run by the political parties themselves. A
state's primary election or caucus is usually an indirect election: instead
of voters directly selecting a particular person running for President, they
determine how many delegates each party's national convention will
receive from their respective state. These delegates then in turn select their
party's presidential nominee. U.S.