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United States presidential election




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The election of the President and Vice President of the United States is an indirect vote in which citizens cast ballots for a set of members of the U.S. Electoral College. These electors then cast direct votes for the President and Vice President. If both votes result in an absolute majority, the election is over. If a majority of electors do not vote for President, the House of Representatives chooses the President; if a majority of electors do not vote for Vice President, the Senate votes. Presidential elections occur quadrennially on Election Day, which since 1845 has been the Tuesday after the first Monday in November,[1][2] coinciding with the general elections of various other federal, state, and local races. The most recent United States presidential election was held on November 8, 2016.

Eligibility

To be eligible to be president, a candidate must:

  • Be a natural-born citizen of the United States[a][4]
  • Be at least 35 years old[4]
  • Have been a resident of the United States for 14 years[4]

Notes

  1. The authority most often cited for the meaning of "natural born" is William Blackstone. In hisCommentaries on the Laws of England, Volume II, edited by St. George Tucker (one of the Founding Fathers of the United States), published in 1803, Chapter 10:

    Template-specific style sheet:

    As to the qualifications of members to sit at this board: any natural born subject of England is capable of being a member of the privy council; taking the proper oaths for security of the government, and the test for security of the church. But, in order to prevent any persons under foreign attachments from insinuating themselves into this important trust, as happened in the reign of king William in many instances, it is enacted by the act of settlement,l that no person born out of the dominions of the crown of England, unless born of English parents, even though naturalized by parliament, shall be capable of being of the privy council.[3]

References