The process of electing the President of the United States is quite complicated. To understand how complex it is, let’s start with statistical data; On paper, with only 12% -14% of the 328.2 million Americans vote, one could easily become President of the United States!
That means he can be President even if he is extremely unpopular with more than 6% -8% of the people. Literally, this is quite a complex process.
This time we will discuss the election process in the United States. To understand the whole process, you need to look closely at the map.
Follow what I will say now. You can see the map of the United States in the picture above. There are fifty states and one federal district. The Federal District is the capital of the entire United States, Washington DC. It is not under any state. The federal government refers to this Washington DC-based political system. The White House and the Capitol building are located here.
The question is, what is the state?
The state is like a separate government system. Say, you are a resident of Texas. In that case, you are a citizen of Texas. Since Texas is a state, you are also a citizen of the United States.
Each state has a different flag, the capital. There are the legislature and judiciary. Each state has the power to legislate separately, but it can never conflict with the US Constitution or the federal government in Washington DC.
For example, California is the third-largest state in the United States in terms of size and the largest in terms of population. Sacramento, the capital of California. Los Angeles is the largest city in California.
Again the capital of Florida is Tallahassee. Miami is a city in Florida. Every city has a mayor. Again each state has a governor. From the Attorney General to the Foreign Secretary appointed by the State Government. For example, John Kerry is the Secretary of State for the Federal Government of the United States. Ken Detzner is the Secretary of State for the Government of Florida.
To understand, you can think like this, 50 countries in one country. However, it is not appropriate to use the word ‘country’ here.
Say, If you open a cannabis store in Florida, you have to go to jail because there is a felony to sell marijuana.
Again you can eat marijuana comfortably in Colorado. You can also grow six cannabis plants at home to eat by yourself. But you can’t plant more than six cannabis plants.
This is how the rules of one state change. The US federal government has not passed any cannabis-related legislation. But if tomorrow, the federal government legalizes marijuana for America, then this law will be enforced in the whole of America. That means no state can oppose it. A state can do it. But in that case, the result will not be very good.
At the end of the day, the federal government shares the sovereignty of all states. The army and security forces are in their hands. The federal budget, Central banking system, and Monetary system are in their hands.
For example, when the US federal government passed the Same-Sex Marriage Related Act, it became law for the whole of America. Earlier, same-sex marriage was legal in several states and illegal in some states.
See the powers of the state and the federal government in the following diagram. Then you get an idea of what the state government can and cannot do.
The federal government represents the entire United States. And the state governments to their respective states.
If the federal government imposes an economic embargo on Iran, it is not possible for any state to have separate trade relations with Iran. Again, no state can be separated from the United States. Will not be able to present itself as an independent country. Then civil war will break out again. For example, there was a civil war in the United States during the time of Abraham Lincoln. This is because the federal government, the Washington DC-based federal government, passed a law abolishing slavery. As such, slavery will be banned in all states of the United States. It could not accept southern states like Texas. As a result, they started fighting.
You can easily move from one state to another. But to change the name from the voter list, you have to burn wood. Must be a citizen of one state to another.
No state can introduce its own currency system. If a state needs to build roads or railways, it has to tell the federal government. All in all, the states have it all. Only sovereignty and the monetary system are shared with the federal government.
The Commander-in-Chief of the entire US Army is the US President. If the Governor of a state wants, he can eliminate any extremist group in that state with the army. But if he orders the army to invade a neighboring state or neighboring country like Mexico, the military will not listen to him.
We now come to the US election. There are several political parties, but for the convenience of negotiation, the two main political parties are the ones to hold accountable.
The two largest political parties are the Republicans and the Democrats.
The Republican (GOP) party has the Conservative ideology. Wikipedia says,
“Free market capitalism, free enterprise, business, a strong national defense, deregulation, restrictions to labor unions, socially conservative policies and traditional values, usually with Christian overtones are all fundamental features of the Republican Party.
That is convenient for the capitalists. Nowadays, when you think of the Republican Party, you see the faces of opportunistic millionaire businessmen like Mitt Romney or Donald Trump, warlords like Bush, Dick Cheney, Lindsay Graham, John McCain, or Ted Cruz. The Republican Party is much closer to Israel. Conservative propaganda news channels like Fox News are now their media tools.
But this party has achieved well in the past. Which they are proud of.
Abraham Lincoln was the first Republican President. The party played a key role in the American fight against slavery.
The symbol of the Republican Party is the elephant. The Republican Party has 30.7 million members.
On the other hand, the symbol of the Democrat party is the donkey. The Democrats have 40 million members. Bill Clinton, Hillary Clinton, Barack Obama are Democrats.
Liberalism, social and economic equality, support for labor unions, moves towards universal health care and equal opportunity, consumer protection, and environmental protection are the Democrats’ principles.
In other words, you will like to hear their policies. It may seem that this party is not an advantage for the capitalists—convenience for the general public. At least on paper. In other words, it is natural to support most people, especially the lower class and middle-class Democrats. And the Democrats have enough supporters.
US Film Director Michael Moore said that if all US voters went to the polls on election day, Republicans would never have won against Democrats.
For example, in the 2012 US general election, the turnout was 56%. In regular elections, 50-60% of the electorate comes to vote. It’s actually low on US standards.
So, the US presidential election is completed in two steps.
- One, the primary election.
- Two, the general election.
What is the primary election?
Let’s face it, you and I are both Republicans. Both want to fight the Republican nominee against the Democrat nominee in the general election.
So the fight in the primary election will be between you and me. It is not your intention to win the primary election in the United States.
Your goal will be to win the hearts and minds of members and supporters of the Republican Party. If you lose me and get nominated by the Republican Party, you will represent the Republican Party in the General Election, and I will then work in your support. Not only me, but our whole team will also be in your support.
So winning a primary election is a relatively difficult task for an individual. If you win the primary, then the matter becomes team versus team.
Then your team is completely obliged to give you backup.
The primary is before the election. The general election is later. But we will discuss the general election first. I will discuss the primary election in the end.
Suppose the primary election is over. You got the nomination from the Republican Party. And Hillary Clinton has won the primary from the Democrat party.
So the fight is now the Democratic version of the Republican. That means you vs. Hillary. You two are the faces of two teams.
So to win the general election, it takes you 270 out of 538 electoral colleges. That is one more than half.
What is the Electoral College?
Straight answer — man. Member of your party.
Your party will run an electoral college in every state. When people vote on the ballot paper, they will vote for this Electoral College.
For example, see the map above.
The number of electoral colleges varies from state to state. For example, in California, each party will appoint 55 electoral colleges at the time of voting. These are party workers, members, or people loyal to the party.
When a California man goes to the polls and votes for Barack Obama, he is basically voting for the 55 electoral colleges of Barack Obama’s “Democrat Party.”
Imagine for a second you were transposed into the karmic driven world of 55 Electoral Colleges.
If Barack Obama gets more votes than his opponent in California, he will win. In fact, the main victory will be his team. He will get 55 points. His opponent will get zero points.
Again, if he gets more votes than his opponent in Texas, he will get 34 points.
In this way, one will win in one state and get points. If you lose, you will get nothing. (Some state exceptions)
So if someone gets 260 points out of 538 points in the whole of America, then he will become the President of the United States.
Now the question is, Why are the points of each state different?
55 in California, 34 in Texas. Again the map shows, why 29 in Florida?
The answer is population. Regardless of the population of each state, a minimum of three points must be paid. This number is then determined according to the population every 10 consecutive years. For example, in 2004, Florida had 26 electoral colleges. It’s 29 now. That means the population in Florida has grown.
The matter is quite complicated. The straightforward ratio is not used here. It is important to keep in mind that small states do not lose weight in elections.
For example, if the American population is 328.2 million, then every single electoral college or one point (1 point=?), we consider the convenience of negotiation represents about six hundred thousand Americans. (Divides 328.2 million by 538)
That means there should be one electoral college for every 6 lakh Americans.
But that is not the case because electoral colleges are not defined as the whole of America. Determined state by state.
For example, the population of Montana State is 1 million. The population of Wyoming State is 5 lakh 78 thousand. But the electoral votes of the two states are equal, three per state.
In other words, by winning the smallest state Wyoming in the general election, you are getting 3 points. On the other hand, with the support of 1 million voters in your rival, Montana, you are losing those three points!
If so, is the value of Montana voters’ votes more than half the value of Wyoming State voters’ votes? The answer is Yes!
You may find the matter unfair. But that is not the case at all. This system was done so that the value of a small state to the President of the United States was not less than that of a large state. Notice, when we divide the population of the whole of America, that is, 328.2 million Americans, in 538 days, the quotient is 600,000.
As such, 2 points for Montana and 1 point for Wyoming State were to be taken into account considering the population. But that did not happen. Three points have been set for the two states.
That is to say, the value of the vote of the people of the big states is less, and the value of the vote of the people of the small states is more. In populous states like Texas or Florida, the value of the people’s vote is much lower.
The value of a man’s vote in Wyoming State is equal to the value of the vote of four people in California.
That’s why I said at the beginning of the writing, with the support of 12% of the people in the whole of America, theoretically, you can be President. How?
If you win the states that I marked in blue on the map above, you will get 270 electoral votes, that is, 270 points. There are 39 states in sky mark and Washington DC.
Looking at your map, it may seem that you have won over a large part of the whole of America. That is not a lie. After all, you have won 39 out of 50 states. Plus, Washington DC also won.
But the funny thing is, only 22% of Americans live in the sky marked area above! That means you are the President of the United States with less than 22% of American support.
When no one can stop you from going to the White House. However, your opponent has won in states where 8% of Americans live. But even if he is ahead in the popular vote, you will be the President of the United States. He is not because you have won more electoral colleges.
This is a mathematical calculation. That means you can go to the White House with the support of 22% of the people.
I am making the calculation more complicated. Suppose you don’t get a single vote in the green part of the map above. That means 6% of your opponent’s green part of the US got all the votes.
On the other hand, the sky parts, where 22% of Americans live, got the majority vote. But not all. In other words, in a state where there are 100 voters, they have won by getting 51 votes. Your opponent got 49 votes. That’s how you won those 39 states through fierce competition.
That means you got only 12% -14% of the total American vote. And your opponent got 6% -8% of the people’s vote.
But even after that, you have 39 states + Washington DC = 270 electoral colleges. That means you are the President of America!
What? Isn’t that weird?
However, this kind of incident is possible on paper, but it is highly unlikely in reality. The chances are a lot like finding the existence of a different planetary life in the universe. Possible on paper, but not so far. Didn’t happenned yet.
Republican candidate George W. Bush was behind Democrat Al Gore in the 2000 presidential election. But Bush became President of the United States because he won more electoral colleges.
Bush received 48.9% of the vote in the United States. Al Gore received 48.4% of the vote. In other words, the general public voted more for Al Gore. But Bush won more electoral colleges. So, Bush became President.
In addition, such incidents occurred in 1888, and in 1876. In other words, there is a precedent of becoming the US President even after falling behind in the popular vote.
Let’s see what the US ballot paper looks like. See a sample below. Now notice, this is the ballot of the 2012 US General Election.
In it, under the name of Barack Obama or Mitt Romney, who is standing for the presidency, it is written in small ink, electors for President
That is, when you vote for Barack Obama, you are, in fact, voting for the nominee electoral colleges of Barack Obama’s Democrats in your state, not the individual Barack Obama.
Voting will count at the end of voting. By the way, in the state where you live, there are 100 voters. Two Electoral Colleges.
Now counting the votes, it is seen that Barack Obama got 51 votes out of 100 and Mitt Romney got 49 votes. In other words, Barack Obama won in your state.
So he won two Democratic Electoral Colleges in your state. They will vote for Barack Obama again later.
There is a slight twist here.
By the way, Electoral College did not vote for its own party Barack Obama but voted against the party’s Mitt Romney!
For example, the 55 Democratic Electoral Colleges in California, all of which were supposed to vote for Barack Obama, voted against their own party and against the verdict of the electorate. In that case, Obama got 54 electoral votes instead of 55. They are called faithless electors or “Faithless Electors.” So far, 165 such cases have been recorded. However, there is no precedent for such dishonesty to change the result of the election.
Electoral colleges are basically loyal workers or members of the party. So it is not expected that they will vote for the opposition candidate by disregarding the voters’ verdict and the confidence of their own party by excluding the candidate of their own party.
However, this option has been kept. Because some of the Electoral may have doubts, the candidate of his own party is not good. Opposing team candidates are good. However, excluding those complications, let’s consider what is normal. That is why I asked the Electoral Colleges to count as points for the convenience of calculation.
See the image below to understand how the political system of the entire United States works.
Seeing voters in a red circle. They elect the House of Representatives and Senators by direct vote for the federal government (note the green arrows) as well as the state legislature and Governor by direct vote for their own state government. But the President and vice president are elected by the Electoral College… (538 people) who later vote for the President.
The President appoints the Supreme Court. (blue arrow)
Congress approves it (purple arrow)
The President has the power to veto a law passed by Congress (red arrow).
The President controls the army (armed force) as well as the cabinet and executive offices.
This is an overall look line.
A senator is elected for 7 years. Another Congressman was elected for two years.
For example, when Americans voted in 2018, it will be a lot like looking at their ballot paper. This is the Minnesota State ballot in 2012.
As you can see, a lot of people have to vote in three columns. The first column (left) has the Federal Office. That means the President, vice president, senators, congressmen will vote here. They will all go to Washington DC and will be part of the federal government. Congressmen and senators will represent your area. There are 2 senators for each state. And according to the population, there are Congressmen. As a result, 100 senators and 435 congressmen were elected by direct vote from across the United States.
The second column is the State Office. That means you will vote for your own state’s governor, the parliamentary representatives of your own state. Number three, the column on the right is county office; it’s also a matter of your state. Select the counties in your state where you live. Each state is divided into several forks.
Below is the US Capitol building in Washington DC. The House of Representatives of the federal government, i.e., Congressmen and Senators, sit here. This is where the swearing-in of the US President takes place. This is where the law is passed.
And below is the White House, the US President’s Office and residence.
Look at the picture below again,
California State Capitol Building, Sacramento
It is the Capitol Building of the California State Government, located in Sacramento, the state California’s capital. Here, the California state government’s governor and representatives sit only to legislate for the California state government.
Thus, all states have such state capital buildings.
So this is the US General Election.
So you will fight the general election. Good thing. But before that, you have to win the nomination of your own team.
This is called the primary election. As I wrote this, the world is engrossed in the US primary election. I myself have recently written about the primary election on Facebook.
So, what is the primary selection?
It is a more complex process.
The picture below shows the Republican presidential nominees in the 2016 US presidential election.
One of them will win the primary election. And he will fight the main battle with the nomination of the party, that is, in the general election. There is no chance for more than one candidate from a party to be nominated in the general election.
So understand, it is relatively more difficult for the above people to win the primary election. Because the fight here is man to man.
But if he wins the primary, the whole team will have to back him up. In the general election, then the fight will be party vs. party.
So how to win the primary election?
I said one thing at the beginning. Democrats have 40 million registered members, while Republicans have about 30 million across the entire United States.
For example, if you live in New York, the question is, are you a registered member of the Republican or Democrat or any other party? Or the general public? If you are the general public, then you are not worth a single penny in the primary election.
Maybe you like Republican nominee Jeb Bush. But if you are not a registered member of the Republican Party, you have no chance to vote in the New York primary election. See the map below.
The states we have marked in blue usually follow the closed primary system. In these places, only registered members of the party vote in primary elections.
This means that if you are a Republican, you will go to the Republican booth on the day of the primary election and vote for the Republican presidential candidate of your choice, whether by ballot or by an electronic machine.
There is a mess here too. By the way, you voted for Jeb Bush. Jeb Bush here but will not get a direct vote. There is also a system in primary elections, just like in Electoral College. That is the Electoral Delegate. Delegates are trusted members of the party or representatives of the state. Same as Electoral College. But there are differences. By the way, 100 Republican registered members voted in a Republican primary in a state. It turned out that Jeb Bush got 70 votes, and Ted Cruz got 30 votes.
So the delegates got the verdict of the party workers. The election is organized here just to understand the pulse of the people, nothing more. Power is in the hands of delegates. This time they will go to the National Convention. Each party organizes this National Convention in a big way. There, the delegates will vote for the final candidate.
Interestingly, your state delegates can vote for the candidate of their choice, ignoring your state’s public opinion (the opinion of the registered members of the party) altogether. No one can stop them. In other words, Republicans prefer Jeb Bush in your state. The delegates came to know about it through the results of the vote. But when they went to the National Convention, they got all the votes from Ted Cruz! In other words, there is an option to ignore the verdict of the people. The matter of primary election is a party arrangement.
If you are an independent candidate, you can go directly to the general election by skipping the primary election. That’s up to you. But if you want to fight a general election nominated by a Democrat or a Republican, you have to win their primary election.
Political parties hold primary elections on their own initiative. Each state has its own set of rules, as I said on the map above. Closed primary elections are held in 12 states marked blue above.
Again, if you live in the red part of the map, then your opinion is important in the primary election, even if it is the general public!
Because in these 14 states, open primary system elections are organized by the big parties. In other words, being a general public and being a member of a political party can vote. By the way, you are the general public. You will either go to the Democrats’ primary and vote for the Republicans. You can’t go to both at the same time and come to vote.
Suppose again; you are a Democrat. Absolutely registered staff or member. If you want, you can vote for the Republican primary without voting for your own party. No problem. However, you can vote only once.
Again, the primary vote is organized by the parties. So can organize on the same day, at the same time, may not again. Primary voting in different states is held at different times. For example, the primary election in New Hampshire is the first. (Caucus in IOWA)
So we learned about Open primary. I learned about the closed primary.
That is, 12 + 14 = 28 states were known. The rest?
The rest have different rules.
For example, Blanket primary systems in California, Louisiana and Washington.
In other words, both parties hold the primary election together on the same day. You will get a separate list of ballot Republicans and Democrats when you go to vote. Give it to whoever likes it among Republicans. At the same time, he will come up with whatever he likes among the Democrats. For example, give it to Hillary and give it to Jeb Bush.
Semi-closed primary systems in Arizona, Colorado, Massachusetts, New Hampshire, North Carolina, Rhode Island and West Virginia.
In other words, like the closed system, the registered members of the party will not be able to vote in the primary of any party other than the primary of their own party. However, if the general public wishes, they can go to anyone of the two and come to vote. That means the general public is kept away in a completely closed system. But the public is added to the semi-closed system. This is what.
The caucus system again in IOWA. There is no voting here. Rather the registered members of the party are together. Sit down to talk. Is debated. They then state their respective positions at the end of the argument in favor of different candidates. The delegates assumed that the verdict was in favor of the candidate for whom more people spoke.
The rest, including Texas, are hybrid or mixed primary systems. Political parties can change the primary system at will. At their own convenience.
The bottom line is that no matter how the primary election is held, the primary and caucus continues throughout the United States from February to May-June. Iowa and New Hampshire finish primary first. Again on Super Tuesday, many states host primaries together. Someone does it again later.
All in all, it is a complex process. The final outcome is that delegates from different states get an idea of which candidate the people and party members of their respective states have the most confidence in. But they will give the final vote.
So this time, they will go to the national convention of their party. There will be huge arrangements. There, the delegates will vote for their party’s presidential nominees. They can vote for whomever they want. There will also be super delegates. Super Delegates are the former President elected from that party, the notable person of that party. Great former leader … that is, the heavyweights of that team. Democrats like Bill Clinton, Al Gore,
Or Republican Jeb Bush’s older brother George Bush and father Sr. Bush … Condoleezza Rice, Dick Cheney … these types of people.
They can vote for whomever they want whomever he wishes. It doesn’t matter if he is ahead or behind in the television polls.
In other words, this National Convention is the real thing. The one who wins the votes of the delegates here will get the real nomination.
Then he will contest the general election.
So for so long I have been trying to give a light idea of the US electoral system. There are many complications in the whole matter.
Among those who are considered to be the founding fathers of the United States were famous scientists, politicians, cunning businessmen, and a variety of people.
They have made these systems work by using a lot of brain.
The US system has changed a lot over time. Starting with 13 states, now there are 50 states and Washington DC
The whole political system was created with enough thought.
So that the small states do not suffer from inferiority, so that the big states do not get more priority, so that the small states also have power, these things have been kept as such.
Bill Clinton, who came from small Arkansas, has become the most popular and powerful politician in America. In the same way, anyone from Hawaii can become the President of the United States on his own merits. There is no such thing as someone being born in New York or Washington or Texas or California to be President of the United States. It’s because of the system.
Democracy is not just about majority rule. Check and balance is urgent. Even with the support of 70% of the big states, only 10 states will win. The President can win 39 small states again. That is why American politics is different from many other countries.
In America, Republicans and Democrats, the rule of these two parties go back and forth. The difference in US politics with many other countries is that the parties here are like two institutions. That is why people like Marco Rubio or Barack Obama become part of these institutions and rise to power through talent. When the time comes again, he leaves power. These two groups cannot be controlled by a single person. These two groups do not work on the ideology of a single person.
Even if you are the son of an immigrant like Marco Rubio, you can enter this political system and rise to the top with your talent. It is also possible for the governor of Hawaii or Alaska to argue with the President of the federal government, Barack Obama, to go against his word. To challenge him.
This is the system.
Barack Obama said a beautiful thing at his inauguration. Democracy is not just about voting. Democracy means a process. An institution. A governance structure. The beauty of American democracy is not how one is elected President. Rather the beauty of US democracy is how one leaves power at the end of his term. The transition of power is more important here than Rising to Power.
There have been many changes in American politics over time. And at the end of the day, these systems are made by people. People manage. So no matter how good a system you hand it over to a bunch of bad guys, they won’t take the time to make it worse.
There are several ways in which this can be done. The US Congress has not declared war on any country since World War II. But look at the interesting thing, America has been involved in one war after another since the Second World War. Still fighting today. However, only the US Congress had the authority to declare war on any country. There is.
In fact, everything has a back door. A law passed by Congress can be overturned by the US President with a veto, or he can issue an executive order to bomb a country. He does not need the mandate of the American people.
Any system brings good results if it is in the hands of good people. And evil people can do a thousand wrongs from within a good system.
Now the US election is underway. That’s why I wrote such a big post.
Not for those who already knew. They don’t even need to. There are many people on my Facebook who may not know the issues. My intention was to give them a light idea.
(Please do not copy. If you like it, you can share it. You do not need permission)