The earth’s most influential nation will have a new leader come January 2017. That will happen after an expensive and drawn out campaign. But how are things done?
Picking a president in the US and many other countries is a big responsibility. That is so since the president is the head of government and at the same time the Commander-in-Chief of the military.
Can anyone be US President?
For you to qualify as a US presidential candidate for the US Election, you must be a “naturally born” US citizen, have live in US for 14 years and have an age of 35 years and above.
That sounds simple but the reality of the matter is that since 1933, the US president has always been a senator, governor or a distinguished military general. And that happens before you can even be nominated by your party or given the attention of the national media.
Just taking the 2016 elections, the initial stage had 10 governors or former governors. Some other 10 were senators. As at now, most of them have dropped out.
During the election, one candidate will be chosen to act as a representative of the Democratic and Republican parties.
Who will be chosen to be the party flag bearer?
Various elections will be conducted in each state and territories that are oversee, starting in February. These help select the official presidential candidate for each party.
The winner of the series of state elections is confirmed by the party’s delegates. These are members of the party that have the power to vote against or for the candidate during the party conventions that are held in July.
If a candidate wins more state candidates, more delegates will be pledged so as to give him/her their support.
This election, President Obama cannot run since he has completed a two term in office. That leaves the two parties to battle out in competitive primaries.
The Democratic candidate requires 2,383 delegates to be the majority while the Republican candidate must secure 1,237 delegates.
Important dates from now to the US election
1st February- The very first state elections were held in Lowa. We cannot refer to the Lowa case a votes cast but rather a caucus. That is, considering the vote by looking at the people present rather than a ballot.
8th February- South Carolina and New Hampshire conducted their votes. That means that they had numerous visits from the presidential candidates.
1st March- This will be referred to as Super Tuesday since various states will choose their presidential nominees. The primaries that will be conducted on 15th March for sates such as North Carolina, Ohio and Florida are vital considering that several delegates are up for grabs.
End of April- several states have cast the votes and from the numerous campaigns, it is vivid whom each party has chosen to be the flag bearer. That is however not official till July when there is party conventions.
If you are still following then you know that the real elections are yet to start.
That will occur once summer is over when the two candidates conduct journeys all over the country to woe voters.
Three presidential debates are held on TV after which…
Tuesday 8th November- The votes are finally cast.
In the next article, we shall have a look at how the vote in November work. Therefore, stay tuned to get more informed.