Electoral College


The country that everybody’s watching with hawk eyes goes to poll on 8th November, 2016. We give you a low down on what’s in store for you over the next year, so that you can make better sense of that international column in the papers.

The US Election System

The President of the United States is elected indirectly by the people of the country, and holds office for a period of four years.The citizens vote for an electoral college, which in turn elects the President. Each state is allowed to elect a fixed number of representatives to the Electoral College. This number is equal to the number of its representatives in the Congress, the American Legislature.

The political parties (primarily the Republicans and the Democrats), put forth their nominations for the electoral college candidates before the public. These nominations are usually done over the summer. The party also nominates a candidate who will run for President, after the candidates who wish to stand have made their ‘Presidential Convention Speech’ before the members of the party.

The citizens then vote for their candidates to the electoral college. Once the electoral college has been constituted, the people are assured a more or less clear idea of who is to be the next President for, the members of the electoral college, prior to being elected, have promised their vote to a particular party’s Presidential candidate. Depending on whether the Electoral College is predominantly Republican or Democrat, the President is almost unoffically decided even before the electoral college votes in November.

The election day, since 1845, has always been the first Tuesday after the first Monday in November and the term of the new President will begin on the following January 20th, after the elections.

Presidential Candidates, 2016







According to the Constitution of the United States, an individual can hold the office of the President of the United States for only two consecutive terms, which debars Democrat, President Barack Obama from standing for a third term. A number of Republicans and Democrats have already stated whether or not they are running for their party’s 2016 Presidential nomination. Bobby Jindal, the Governor of Louisiana, is the first Indian-American to declare his candidacy for the Republican nomination. Hillary Rodham Clinton, former Secretary of State, has announced that she is running for President on a prospective Democratic Party candidature. Business tycoon and reality television actor, Donald Trump, has also, rather controversially, declared that he will be running for the Republican nomination for President. According to public opinion polls, Trump has garnered high levels of support, with his promise to “make America great again.”

For those of us watching from the outside, the election procedure that is to unfold over the next year looks like it’s going to be an interesting spectacle.

Abhinaya Harigovind
[email protected]