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Electing a U.S. President

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Every four years, Americans who are 18 or older have a big responsibility. Our votes decide who becomes the President of the United States. Unfortunately, the US Election system isn't that simple. This is 'Electing a US President' in plain English. It's easy to imagine every US citizens' vote being counted together on Election Day. But this is not the case. US Elections are not decided by the total or 'popular' vote, but individual states Let me explain: It starts with your vote. On Election Day, you'll vote for President and their vice-president. You get one choice. Then all the votes in your state are counted. The candidate with the most state-wide votes becomes the candidate your state supports for President. This happens accross the country until each state has selected their candidate. We end up with most of the 50 states and the district of Colombia voting to support one candidate each. But there's a problem. We can't elect our President by just counting up the choices of these states?! US States are different. Consider this: California has about 36 million people. Kansas has less than 3 million. We need a way for California's choice to have more influence on the Election because the state has more people. The question becomes: How do we make sure each state has the right amount of influence on the Election? Well, we need a way to account for the population of each state. As an example: Let's consider my home state of North-Carolina. Like every state it is divided up in the congressional districts that are based on population. North-Carolina has 13 districts, California has 53 and Kansas has 4. When it comes to a state's influence on the Election the number of districts matters most. More population equals more districts equals more influence. The influence a state has in the Election is measured by the number of Electors. This number comes from the number of districts in a state plus the number of US senators, which is always 2. North-Carolina has 15 Electors, while California has 55. When a candidate wins the voting in a state, they win that state's number of Electors. That's why big, popular states can be so important to candidates. Their Electors add up quickly and the number of Electors is what really matters. Here's why: If you add up the Electors of all 50 states and the district of Colombia, there are 538 in total. The candidates' goal on Election Day, is to win the majority of 538 or 270 Electors. Once a candidate wins enough states to reach the 270-majority, they have won the Election and become the President-elect. So, let's recap: Your vote helps your state choose a single candidate. That candidate receives all the Electors from your state. The candidate who can win enough states to reach 270 total Electors wins the national Election and becomes the President-elect. Then, on the following January twentieth the President-elect is sworn in as the next President of the United States. And it all starts with your vote. Make it count!

Video Details

Duration: 3 minutes and 43 seconds
Country: United States
Language: English
Views: 134
Posted by: basma on Oct 30, 2012

A video about how Americans elect their President.

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