General Question

Tennis5tar's avatar

Can you explain to me (fairly simply) the election process in America?

Asked by Tennis5tar (1255points) January 9th, 2008

I’m English and interested.

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5 Answers

Zaku's avatar

Two very similar parties monopolize the choices, leading to no real choice and lots of distracting drama. The global corporatocracy owns the USA.

cwilbur's avatar

This is the core of it, for the Presidency: in each of the 50 states, all the recognized political parties that exist and can get a certain number of signatures choose delegates to send to the national convention to support certain candidates. The exact definition of “recognized political party” varies from state to state; sometimes it’s a matter of getting enough signatures of registered voters on a petition, sometimes it’s getting a certain number of votes for their candidate in the last Presidential election. Some of the delegates they send are required by the party to support the candidate they were chosen to support; others are expected to support the candidate they were chosen to support, but may choose to change their minds.

These delegates are chosen in the various states by caucus (which means a lot of talking and persuading, and deciding more or less by consensus what percentages to use in apportioning delegates) or by primary election (which means that everyone votes, and the state may go winner-takes-all in its delegates or proportional.)

At the national convention for the party, the delegates vote to nominate a candidate for President. By this point, it’s usually clear which candidate the party will nominate, because all of the primaries and caucuses have been held, and there are few surprises. Also, by this point the Presidential candidate has chosen his vice-president.

Then it goes to the national election. Each state’s election is independent; what you are really voting for is electors from your state. Most states have a “winner-takes-all” approach, where the candidate who receives a simple majority of the vote gets all the state’s electoral votes; others, and I think there are only two, apportion their electoral votes proportionally with the number of votes each candidate got. The number of electoral votes determines the President.

Other offices are similar, but tend to have fewer levels of nomination. And the electoral vote is unique to the Presidency.

Spargett's avatar

One party hacks the electronic voting machines, steals votes, wins election.

See G.W. Bush reelection.

DieAlone's avatar

The Coporations lobby insane cash to pro-corporate candidates.

The Media limits coverage of candidates based on their choice.

The People vote for similar race, gender, religion, desire to drink with, or other minute detail that does not involve the candidate’s policies or congressional voting history.

RIGGORYU's avatar

who ever has more power controls the results. thee end.

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