How The US President Is Elected? Here’s All You Need To Know

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Washington DC: The United States is set to go to polls later this year to elect its 47th President. This year it is a rematch of the 2020 election between President Joe Biden and Former President Donald Trump. Both these candidates faced each other in the 2020 election where Biden got the better of Trump and won the Presidency.

This year both candidates will once again be face to face with each other to become the President. Let us now find out how the elections in the US are conducted, its process, voting and everything.

The United States President and Vice President are chosen indirectly by the people through the Electoral College system. In an indirect popular election, voters choose a panel of people who have vowed to support a particular candidate rather than casting their ballots for that candidate directly. In contrast, votes are cast for individual candidates in a popular election. For instance, electors are chosen by the public to represent them in the Electoral College, not for a particular presidential candidate, in a general presidential election.

The authors of the Constitution had put this system of elections in place so that careful deliberation would lead to the selection of the best-qualified candidate. Voters in each US state cast a vote for the block of electors who are pledged to vote for a particular candidate. These electors in turn vote for the Presidential candidate. The number of electors from each state equals its Congressional representation.

These electors gather in their state capitals on election day, which falls on the first Monday after the second Wednesday in December, to cast their votes and formally choose the next President of the United States.
It is legal for the electors to cast their votes for a candidate other than the one they had promised to support.

This phenomenon is known as the “unfaithful” or “faithless” elector. This usually doesn’t occur. The candidate for whom electors ultimately cast their ballots will be the one who wins the most votes in a state during the general election. Each state awards all of its Electoral College votes to the winning candidate. There are two exceptions to the winner-take-all rule: Maine and Nebraska.

After this, the votes of the electors are then sent to Congress, where the President of the Senate opens the certificates and then counts the votes. This takes place on January 6, unless that day is a Sunday. If such a thing happens then the votes are counted the next day. An absolute majority is necessary to prevail in the Presidential and Vice Presidential elections that is, half the total plus one electoral votes are required. With 538 Electors, a candidate must receive at least 270 votes to be elected to the office of President or Vice President.

If no candidate for president secures an absolute majority, the next President is chosen by the House of Representatives. One vote may be cast by each state, and the winner must receive an absolute majority. In a similar vein, if there is no absolute majority following the Electoral College vote, the Senate selects the next Vice President.

Congress has previously determined US elections. In 1800, there was a tie in the Electoral College vote, and Thomas Jefferson was chosen as President by the House of Representatives. The House selected John Quincy Adams as President in 1824 after the Electoral College votes were so evenly divided that no candidate could secure an absolute majority. In the 1836 election, Richard Johnson was not able to secure an absolute majority of electoral votes; instead, the Senate elected him Vice President.

After getting elected the President and Vice President-elect take the oath of office and are inaugurated two weeks later, which is on January 20th.

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