It’s an Election Year

This year is an “election year”, meaning that there will be ordinary (regular) elections for local government.

I’m sure many of you have started seeing things in the news after the election and candidates.

From January until the first Tuesday of November (Election Day) the news outlets will be discussing something about the presidential election.

In every presidential election, the Democrats and Republicans have one candidate that represents their party. Many people want to become president, but each party selects one candidate.

Candidates are Selected Through Primaries and Caucuses

People who want to become president announce their interest in becoming president. These people campaign by doing speeches and rallies in preparation for the primary election or caucus in each state. A primary election is when the party members vote for the best candidate to represent them in the general (presidential) election. In a caucus, political party members select the best candidate through a sequence of discussions and votes. Depending on the state where they live, citizens can vote in a primary or a caucus. You have to be a registered Democrat or Republican to vote in a caucus or primary.


Preparing for the General Election

After the primaries and caucuses, the Democrats and Republicans will each have one presidential candidate. Next, the presidential candidate needs to select a “running mate,” the person who will run (compete) with them for the vice president position. The presidential and vice-presidential candidates run together.


The General Election (The Presidential Election)

Citizens do not directly vote for the president. In the U.S., there is a system called the Electoral College. In the Electoral College, each state gets a number of electors based on its representation in Congress. Each elector casts one vote (their vote for the presidential candidate). The presidential candidate that gets more than half (270 out of 538) votes wins the presidential election.


Please answer the questions using the information above.

What comes first primaries and caucuses or the general election?

Does each state have a primary and a caucus?

If the presidential candidate wins, their running mate will become the ____________________.

The ____________________ is the system that is used to elect the president.