Monday, November 5, 2012

U.S Election 101

By Gabriel Ortigoza, Ph.D

 United States' presidential election happens every four years. Americans vote by mail or by personally going to the precints. This year's election is scheduled on Tuesday, November 6, 2012.
There are six candidates vying for presidency. The most famous candidates are the incumbent president Barrack Obama of the Democratic Party and Mitt Romney of the Republican Party. Please go with me as I navigate you through the process of electing a U. S. president. It starts with registerered voters casting their votes.
Any candidate who gets majority of votes wins the election in that state. However, U.S. election is not as simple as popularity contest where a candidate who get majority of the votes is the sure winner. U.S. presidential election is a little bit more complicated than popularity contest.
 There are 50 states in the U.S. and each state is assigned electoral votes. There are a total of 538 electoral votes. These electoral votes are combination of the total number of congressional representatives of each state plus two U.S. senators coming from that state plus three electoral votes from Washington D.C. There are a total of 100 U.S. senators.
The magic number to win the election is 270. U.S. territories like Puerto Rico, Virgin Islands, Guam and Mariana Islands are not included in the presidential election.
However, U. S. citizen around the world and those servicemen deployed overseas and in the space can send their votes via mail or e-mail. Let me give you an example. California, my home state, has 53 congressional districts represented by a congressman per district and has two U.S. senators. Based on that number we have to add the total numbers of congressmen and the U.S. senators from that state to get the number of electors.
California therefore has 55 electoral votes which is the highest number of votes among all states in the U.S. California has 38 million population. One million of which are Filipino-Americans. Texas, the largest state in terms of land area, has 39 electoral votes.
 Winning 26 out of 50 states is not a guarrantee to win the election. A candidate must have at least 270 electoral votes to get the most envied post on earth. Whoever wins the presidential election shall be sworn in on January 20th the following year. Good luck to all and God bless America. (

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