How The President of the United States Is Elected

1. Only a natural-born citizen is eligible to serve as President of the United States. He or she must be at least 35 years old and must have been a 14 year resident in the United States prior to running for office. Currently the United States has never had a female President or Vice President. As of the year 2001, the United States has had 43 presidents since 1789; this number includes the current President-Elect George W. Bush set for office the 20th of January.
2. The campaigning usually begins the year before a Presidential election, but gets in to full swing after Labor Day the year of the election. The candidates travel throughout the country often speaking several times a day sometimes to greet crowds and consult with various party leaders to gain support. Campaigns whip up enthusiasm among supports and and help bring voters to the polls.

The national conventions are held in the summer before a Presidential election. Delegates from all the states, the District of Columbia, and the United States possessions choose the party candidate for President by majority vote, normally through state-to-state primaries elections.

3. The Presidential election is held on the Tuesday after the first Monday of November in years divisable by four. Voters do not vote directly for the President, but instead select Presidential Electors. Voters choose a body of electors who run in the name of the Presidential and Vice Presidential candidates of their party and are pledged to cast their state's electoral voltes for these candidates. The outcome is usually known immediately after the popular votes are counted, but the election is not officially settled until the electorial votes are cast and counted in early January following the election year.

If no candidate receives the majority of electorial votes, the House of Representatives chooses the President from the three with the highest number of electoral votes. The ballotting is by state, each state having one vote.

4. The electors meet in their state capitals on the first Monday after the second Wednesday in December following their election. Sealed certificates of the electoral vote of each state are then sent to Washington D.C.
5. On the sixth day of January the votes of the electors of all the states are opened in the presence of both Houses of Congress. After the votes are counted, the result of the election of the President and Vice President is officially announced.
6. The President of the United States is inaugurated on the 20th of January of the year following the election. The ceremony occurs on the steps of the capitol. The oath of office is administered by the current Chief of Justice of the United States.
Other facts: The President is the chief executive officer of the United States national government. He is both head of state and head of government. This is similar to having powers of the a king and a prime minister, in comparison to other republics. His salary was about *$200,000 a year with $50,000 a year for expenses; both taxable. Presidents may obtain not more than $100,000, non-taxable, for travel and entertainment expenses. (A President receives a lifetime pension of $60,000, plus free mailing priviledges, free office space, and up to $90,000 a year for office help. His widow receives $20,000 a year for office help). *Our new President George Bush will receive $400,000 a year, due to a bill passed while President Clinton was in office.

The President of the United States then serves a four year term as defined by the Constitution of the United States (Article II, Sec. 1). He or she may then compaign and run again. If elected again, they will serve another four years. A President can serve only two terms. They do not have to be consecutive, as in the case of the 22nd & 24th President Grover Cleveland, but usually have been. However, Franklin D. Roosevelt served four terms, but died before fourth term was up. The 22nd Amendment of the Constitution, adopted in 1951, provides than no one can be elected President more than twice.

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2001 Alan C. Freeman