This year has certainly been one of the most dynamic political years the USA has ever seen. Though typically political talk is taboo in social culture within the USA, we’ve seen that line blurred heavily in 2016. However, when looking at the US election and making decisions about who should lead the country, it’s of utmost importance to have an understanding of how the voting process works.
Election Day was originally designed around the idea that farmers would need a day to get out to cast ballots, but had to avoid the Sabbath day of Sunday – therefore Tuesday remains as a constant.
In order to be elected president, one must be:
- 35 years old
- A Naturally born US Citizen
- A permanent resident of the USA for 14 years
One major element of the US election that surprises people is that it is not actually a 2 party system. Many people feel stuck in their choice of “Democrat” or “Republican” but we are actually a multi-party system, such as the Green party, the Libertarian party, or the Constitution party.
A key factor in the US election has also been the push to get people to vote. Typically, older generations are more likely to cast their ballots and that percentage drops significantly the younger you go. There’s also a divide between women and men, as women have shown over the past few decades that they vote in larger numbers and more regularly than men do.
How much funding and “screen time” these parties get varies wildly depending on popularity and funding, and therefore it’s been the general trend that Republicans and Democrats simply dominate the election in an all-out-battle for control as other smaller parties simply can’t compete.
The structure of the US election is not as simple as “whoever gets the most votes from the people wins.” The United States has a system in place known as the Electoral College that prevents a majority popular vote from necessarily winning the presidency. There are 538 electors in the USA divided among the states, and your vote essentially goes to tell an elector who you want to be president. This elector then takes into consideration what the people have said in their state and will vote for that candidate…usually.
Regardless of how tumultuous the election and debate style have been this past year, it was just declared that Donald Trump will be president of the United States for the next 4 years. Donald Trump will stand as the oldest person to ever be elected president for their first term.
Through the outcomes, some people are very upset while others rejoice. Yet the USA will continue to move forward, as it always has. Although one may not agree with whoever is in charge, we must all do our best to support a brighter future.