The U.S. Constitution’s Requirements for a Presidential Candidate:
- At least 35 years old
- A natural born citizen of the United States
- A resident of the United States for 14 years
Step 1: Primaries and Caucuses
There are many people who want to be president. Each of these people have their own ideas about how our government should work. People with similar ideas belong to the same political party. This is where primaries and caucuses come in. Candidates from each political party campaign throughout the country to win the favor of their party members.
- Caucus: In a caucus, party members select the best candidate through a series of discussions and votes.
- Primary: In a primary, party members vote for the best candidate that will represent them in the general election.
Step 2: National Conventions
Each party holds a national convention to finalize the selection of one presidential nominee. At each convention, the presidential candidate chooses a running-mate (vice presidential candidate).
Step 3: General Election
The presidential candidates campaign throughout the country in an attempt to win the support of the general population.
People in every state across the country vote for one president and one vice president. When people cast their vote, they are actually voting for a group of people known as electors.
Step 4: Electoral College
In the Electoral College system, each state gets a certain number of electors based on its total number of representatives in Congress.
Each elector casts one electoral vote following the general election; there are a total of 538 electoral votes. The candidate that gets more than half (270) wins the election.
The president-elect and vice president-elect take the oath of office and are inaugurated in January.
- Caucus: A meeting of the local members of a political party to select delegates to the national party convention. A caucus is a substitute for a primary election.
- Delegate: A person authorized to represent others as an elected representative to a political party conference.
- Elector: A member of the electoral college.
- Electoral College: The voters of each state, and the District of Columbia, vote for electors to be the authorized constitutional members in a presidential election.
- Natural Born Citizen: Someone born with U.S. citizenship includes any child born “in” the United States, the children of United States citizens born abroad, and those born abroad of one citizen parent.
- Primary: An election where voters select candidates for an upcoming general election. Winning candidates will have delegates sent to the national party convention as their party’s U.S. presidential nominee.
Community members can also direct questions to the U.S. Army Garrison Stuttgart Voting Assistance Office at DSN: 431-2865; or email firstname.lastname@example.org.