London – On Tuesday November 8, America voted for its new President. The U.S. elections, held once every four years, take place on the Tuesday following the first Monday of November as stated in the Constitution adopted in 1845.
Here’s a guide to the presidential electoral system in the U.S.:
•The president is elected through general non-direct elections where voters in 50 states and the city of Washington choose among the candidates for President and Vice President.
•Voters in each state determine the selection of a set of members of the Electoral College, who pledge to support a given candidate. There are 538 members of the Electoral College, with the number from each state based on its population size.
•Every U.S. state has two senators, irrespective of its size, and an elector for each of its members of the House of Representatives, and one for each of the state’s two senators. For example: California has 55 electors, Texas has 38, New York has 29, and Florida 29, while states like Alaska, Delaware, Vermont and Wyoming has only three electors each.
•After that, Members of the Electoral College officially elect the president and vice president on December 19. This is a mere formality since each members of the Electoral College already pledge to support a candidate.
To win the U.S. presidential election, the candidate needs 270 Electoral College votes, an absolute majority of the 538 electors.
•The candidate with largest number higher votes wins in all states except for two, Maine and Nebraska.
•Some states historically support the Democratic candidate, while others are just accounted for Republicans.
Candidates thus concentrate their efforts on 12 states that are undetermined and which often determine the final result. Of these 12 states, the important known as “battleground” or “swing” states with the largest number of electors are Florida (29), Pennsylvania (20) and Ohio (18).
•Based on this system, the president can win without achieving the majority of people’s votes like in the 2000 elections when George W. Bush won against Al Gore.
•Americans also voted for 435 members of House of Representatives (for two years) and 34 out of the 100 Senates (for 6 years). They also elected 12 new governors.
•The inauguration of the president of the United States takes place on January 20, 2017 in a ceremonial event in Washington.