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The Presidential Election Process

An overview of the presidential election process of the United States of America.

Meghan Foy

on 24 February 2014

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Transcript of The Presidential Election Process

Electing the Future President of the “Free World”
New York State Primaries
Democratic Primary
Republican Primary
Date: Tuesday, April 24, 2012
Date: Tuesday, April 24, 2012
Type: Closed Primary
Type: Closed Primary
Delegate Selection: Proportional Selection*
Delegate Selection: Winner-Take-All** if one obtains majority, otherwise a Proportional Selection
Polling Times: 6:00am - 9:00pm (EDT)
Polling Times: 6:00am - 9:00pm (EDT)
**Winner-Take-All System - An electoral system in which the winner of the popular vote receives all of the support of the party
*Proportional selection - District delegates are apportioned among the top vote-getters statewide by the percentage of a vote received above a certain threshold (usually 15%).
During a primary election, candidates for a particular office are chosen. In this case, the candidates representing each party during the presidential campaign are chosen.

Voters are able to request either a Democratic or Republican ballot, regardless personal party affiliation.

Voters are limited to vote only for those on the ballot of their personal party affiliation.
Types of Primaries

Party affiliation does not limit the voter. Therefore, they are able to vote for a candidate of any party with no regard to their own registered party.
A caucus is a meeting of all the party leaders in a state with the purpose of determining the delegates sent to the National Party Convention.
Open Primary
Blanket Primary
Closed Primary
Small, neighborhood, precinct-level Caucuses
County Caucus
Congressional-District Caucus
State Convention
A Delegate's Path to the National Convention
"It's Super Tuesday; Let's Vote!"
"We're going to nationals!"
The delegates elected by state primaries or caucuses now travel to their party's national convention.
In order for a candidate to make it to their party's convention, they must have survived the brawl of preliminary caucuses.
Based on data from caucuses and primaries, the Republicans and Democrats choose their presidential candidate at their party's national convention. Many well-known fellow party members often attend and show their support for the new candidate.
The Republican National Convention was
held from August 27th until August 30th, during which Mitt Romney and Paul Ryan officially became the Republican's ticket. A week later, Democrats held their convention and announced Barack Obama and Joe Biden to be the names on the Democrat ballot.
General Election - an election held in even-numbered years on the Tuesday following the first Monday in November; held to fill a vacancy in a Federal office
ex) President of the United States
Now that the candidates have been selected, it's campaign time!
"Just as water flows downhill, money in politics flows to where the power is."
*This is not Abe Lincoln's quote.
How could the candidates ever fund all this!?
Candidates are able to raise the millions of dollars required to advertise their party, their platform, and, most importantly, themselves.
Presidential Candidates and their money:

Barack Obama
Mitt Romney
It's time to vote!
So what happens after you vote?
Popular votes are counted in each state. After that, the electoral college takes over.
The electoral college?
The electoral college finds its roots in the United States Constitution in Article II, section 1 under Clause 2.
The electoral college, based on the Constitution, consists of delegates from every state and the District of Columbia. The number of delegates per state is based on the sum of the number of Senators and House Representatives each state has.
Because the Constitution does not say how the electors are chosen, most states resort to state party conventions or state party committees to nominate electors. Also, most ballots do not show the potential elector's name. Therefore, when one casts their vote, the vote essentially helps decide the electors in the electoral college.
Presidential candidates, their affiliated party, and party committees attempt to strengthen and gain support from voters by:
running both positive and negative television ads
participating in presidential debates
holding press conferences and rallies
influencing voters by information sent by mail
many other forms of advertisement (bumper stickers, lawn signs, etc.)
*Presidents tend to focus their attention on "swing states" such as Florida or Ohio*
information sent via e-mail to promote the candidate
Funds are obtained through various methods. Some of these methods include:
Political Action Committee (PAC) contributions
Candidate self-financing
Individual donations (from supporters colleted online, through the mail, and over the phone
Other organizations (colleges, sates, U.S. Government, top industries, sectors, and soft-money contributions
The campaign
How many votes does a candidate need to win the election?
In order to become president, either candidate needs to win a majority of the Electoral College votes. Technically, they need 50% of the votes plus 1. In today's electoral college, 270 of the 538 votes need to be won in order to secure the presidency.
Two words: Popular vote
If the Electoral College selects the president, why should we vote?
The popular vote of a state almost always directly influences the votes of its electoral college. Faithless electors, whose vote is cast for a different candidate than promised, or the occasional misalignment of popular and electoral votes due to close wins and big losses for one side.
Don't be scared; there are laws to both help and protect the voter!
Help Americans Vote Act (HAVA) - implemented to improve the electoral process while safeguarding the rights of voters
The National Voter Registration Act (NVRA) - allows voters to register or change registration data at any voting registration agency
The Uniformed and Overseas Citizens Absentee Voting Act (UOCAVA) - allow military and other active duty members overseas to send in absentee ballot

For more information, click here!
The Civil Rights Act of 1965 strengthened the 15th amendment by outlawed literacy tests and poll taxes that deterred some citizens from voting
Head to your nearest polling station! If you live in New York, don't forget the following items:
A current and valid photo id
A government document that shows your full name and current address; examples include: utility bill, bank statement, paycheck, etc.
Questions? Contact the Board of Elections:
(518) 474-6220
Who will you vote for?
Full transcript