What is the US Presidential Election Process?

US Election Process

There are certain things you have to know about the US Presidential Election process. It will definitely give you knowledge on how the election process is being carried out. You need to know about their caucuses, primaries, national conventions and their electoral college. You need to have this in mind and at heart while thinking about the US Presidential Election or probably thinking about this forthcoming USA Elections 2020. Any contestant or electorate should be kept abreast with this pertinent information.

Who is eligible to Vie for the position of the President

There are three major criteria to be eligible for the position of the President which was promulgated in the US constitution apart from party eligibility.

1) Someone naturally born in the USA

2) A resident of the USA for 14 years

3) At least being 35 years old

These are the major criteria spelt out by the US constitution but we can’t still negate the quintessential criteria too involved at party level.

Who Votes?

Today, the US constitution guarantees that any US citizens over the years of 18 can vote in federal, state and local elections. It has been amended, unlike the first Presidential election that was won by George Washington which made only 6 percent of the US citizens to vote in 1789.

Requirements to Hold Federal Office

  • A federal office holder must meet certain requirements.
  • For the position of the President, he or she must be 35 years of age which is the minimum age requirement, he or she must be natural-born, US citizen and resident of US for over 14 years before the election.
  • For the position of the Vice-president, he or she must be 35yrs of age which is the minimum age requirement, he or she must be natural-born, US citizen and resident of US for over 14yrs and must reside in different states than the President.
  • For the position of Senator, he or she must be 30yrs of age which is the minimum age requirement, he or she must be US citizen for 9yrs and reside in the state from which elected.
  • For the position of Representative, he or she must be 25yrs of age which is the minimum age requirement, must be US citizen for 7yrs and reside in the state from which elected.

Date For Election in the US

  • The Presidential election is held every four years, and takes place by November, on a Tuesday after the first Monday.
  • Elections for the 435 seats in the US, House of Representatives are held every two years all things being equal.
  • Elections for federal offices are held in even-numbered years. US senators serve a six-year term that is staggered so the one-third of the 100 Senate seats come up for election every two years.
  • If peradventure, a Senator dies, a special election could be held to replace him or her, which the procedures are further stated in the constitution.

Tenure a Person Can Serve As US President

  • George Washington who was the first democratic US President was in power for two terms which he declined to run for the third term.
  • Many Americans believe that two terms in office were enough for any President.
  • In 1951, the 22nd amendment of the US constitution was ratified and gave exclusive power to act in the capacity of the US President for just two terms.

Duration of Other Political Office Holder

  • There are no tenure limits of members of Congress, state and local officials, if any, for state and local officials, it is spelt out in their state constitution and bye-laws.
  • Each of the 50 states is entitled to one seat in the house, additional seats could be allocated based on population.

US Presidential Election Process

The US Presidential election could be broken down into various steps;

1) Primaries and Caucuses
2) National conventions
3) Election campaigning
4) General election
5) Electoral college

The President and the Vice President of the United States are not elected directly by the electorates. They are given power indirectly. The nominating process of the USA elections 2020 will be a form of an indirect election, a slate of delegates will be selected by the voters by casting their ballots to a political party’s nominating convention, who will elect their parties nominees for the position of the President and Vice President. It’s a form of an indirect election process but everyone partakes one way or the other. It’s really open for every who is a true citizen to cast his or her vote.

Primaries and Caucuses

  • Several people may want to vie for the same position under the same party. All of them can’t be elected to vie for just a position, so it’s left for the party members to select or elect their preferred candidate that will represent them in the general elections.
  • Primaries and caucuses are used by political parties to select their candidates.
  • In the forthcoming USA elections 2020  which is slated to hold on the 3rd of November, 2020, primaries have been held and caucus members have already selected their preferred Republican and Democratic candidates to represent them in the general election.
  • Primary is a party level election, where members of the party vote for the candidate that will represent them in the general election. All the parties preferred candidates will contest against each other in the general election.
  • Caucus is a local meeting where registered members of the party in a city, town or county vote for their preferred candidate, and they are to oversee other party business.

National Convention of the Parties

  • After the primaries and the caucuses are completed. The preferred candidate is made known to the public during the national convention.
  • During the national convention, elected delegates cast their votes to elect a preferred candidate.
  • The candidate with the most delegates gets the party’s nomination.
  • Each party holds a national convention to finalize the selection of the Presidential nominee.
  • At the convention, each of the party’s Presidential candidate chooses his or her running mate which is the Vice President.

Campaign For the General Election

  • Once the single candidate is chosen from the party’s primaries, caucuses or national convention then he or she travels around the country, explaining their views, agenda, projects to execute.
  • They will try to convince people to vote for them, they make promises and so on.

General Election

  • The forthcoming USA elections 2020 is slated to hold in November. As the masses step out to vote, they are voting for one Presidential candidate and Vice Presidential candidate irrespective of the party. When the people cast their votes, they are actually voting for a group of people called electors.
  • The voters of each state and district vote for electors to be authorized constitutional members in the Presidential election. These voters form the Electoral College.
  • An elector is a member of the electoral college, they pledge to support the Presidential candidate the voters support. Even though the majority of the people vote for a particular candidate, it doesn’t mean he or she will win the election.
  • To win the election the candidate needs to secure more than 270 of the electoral votes.

Electoral College

  • The electoral college will vote by this year’s December, it will be after the popular votes by November.
  • The US President is elected by the Electoral College. The constitution says the candidate who receives the majority of votes from the Electoral College should be declared winner and not from popular votes.
  • The purpose of this electoral college was to filter public opinion through well-experienced scholars, wiser and more experienced people. They didn’t want the President to be chosen directly by the people.

Wrapping Up

The US Presidential election process is a unique one and it has always set the template for other nations to follow. This year’s USA elections 2020 is a historic and critical one which is coming at a time the world is faced by the global pandemic called COVID-19. Other nations have anticipated for the election because it has been making waves around the world. It’s still a popular contest between the Republicans and Democrats.


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