Presidential Election

Presidential candidates arc selected by their respective party's national conventions in the summer of each election year. The delegates attending that convention arc associated with a particular candidate and are normally chosen either at State conventions of party members (the caucus system) or at State primary elections held in the months preceding presidential elections. In a closed primary only registered party members can vote, while in an open primary any voter can participate (obviously voting in only one party's primary election).

The President is elected on the first Tuesday after the first Monday . in November of a leap year and takes office at noon on January 20.

The President is not elected directly, but by an Electoral College. The electors who actually choose the President are now completety pledged in advance to one person and their .names have almost entirely disappeared from the ballot papers to be replaced by the names of the candidates themselves. The candidates who win the most votes within a; State receive all its Electoral College votes (equal to the number of senators and representatives from that State), no matter how small the majority  Each US State is free to determine its own electoral laws, subject to certain limitations imposed by the Constitution, national legislation and the Supreme Court, This has enabled many states, particularly in the South, to prevent blacks and different minorities from voting by such means as poll taxes and literacy tests. After the 1965 Voting Act (giving federal government officials the job of registering voters in States where literacy tests are used) and the abolition of poll taxes (24th Amendment), black voters are now proportionally only 10% fewer than white voters.

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