This week on UTalk, Chris in London asks: “How is the U.S. president elected?”
Point of view
"The election of the President of the United States is not a direct, national election, but an indirect vote"
Euronews’ correspondent in Washington D.C., Stefan Grobe, walks us through the process:
“The United States has two main political parties — the Democratic Party and the Republican Party — which nominate their candidates after a series of popular votes, called primaries or caucuses.
Once a winner in each party has emerged, that candidate is officially nominated at national party conventions in the summer — just a few months before Election Day.
The election of the President of the United States is not a direct, national election, but an indirect vote in which citizens cast ballots for a slate of members of the Electoral College in each of the 50 states plus the District of Columbia, the capital Washington, D.C. These electors then elect the occupant of the White House.
Each state is allocated a number of Electoral College electors equal to the number of its senators and representatives in Congress, based on the state’s population.
The biggest state, California, has 55 electoral votes, and the smallest states like Delaware and Alaska have three electoral votes.
Most states have a ‘winner-take-all’ system. That means that on Election Day, the candidate who comes in first gets all electoral votes in one state — a simple majority is enough. The candidate who gets at least 270 electoral votes is elected president.”
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