HOW A PRESIDENTIAL
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How does a Presidential election work?
The right for the people of the United States to elect
a leader through a presidential election was first stated in the United States
Constitution. In order to be eligible to run for President, the individual must
be a United States citizen, they must have lived in the United States for the
fourteen years prior to accepting office, and be over the age of 35. The
election is to be held every four years and the process begins long before the
actual voting day. Candidates from major and minor political parties and
independent candidates start their campaigning to the people and promoting
themselves, usually a year in advance but sometimes even sooner. Within this
time period, the candidates will also try to raise money as running for election
costs a lot of money! It all starts with the question of who will represent the
party for the national election and this person must be nominated by that party.
The primaries and caucuses are the first step
officially taken in the presidential election. This will decide who will be the
candidate for the party and gives the public their first say in the election.
Primaries and caucuses are generally held in the February before the election.
There are many factors involved in who will run as the candidate for a certain
party. Because it is ultimately the public that decides, factors such media
coverage, the candidate’s advertising efforts, public polls, and candidate
preference surveys, all have a hand in deciding who will become the candidate.
The process of the primaries and caucuses comes to
a head at the national conventions of the different political parties. It is
here that the candidate who will represent the party is determined. That is
determined by the delegates from the states voting for the person that they
would like to see in the November election. A candidate will be eligible to run
for the office of the President if they have received the majority of the votes
from the delegates at the national conventions. Often the votes will need to be
cast several different times before a candidate can be viewed as eligible to
represent the political party. Once the candidate has been announced, that
person must then choose someone as their running mate. This is the person they
will take to office with them to become Vice President.
If a current President is rerunning for office,
they must still go through the primary process. National conventions are held
even if there is no opposing party running as a candidate as well. The national
conventions are wonderful places to be and to watch, as people become very
excited and display some of the truest patriotism. Signs and flags wave as the
party nominees speak to the jubilant crowd. They are a wonderful way to get the
American public excited about the upcoming election. If an individual chooses to
run independently, they do not need to be nominated by a party but they do have
other requirements that must be met. The first is that they must show support
for their nomination in the form of signatures. They must also have access to a
large amount of funds to support their run in the election and these funds can
come from personal loans, fundraising, and personal funds.
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