What Happens After Elections?

After losing the 1960 U.S. presidential election by the thinnest of margins, Vice President Richard Nixon declined to challenge the results. Instead, he performed his constitutional duty as president of the Senate in reporting to that body the election of his opponent, Senator John F. Kennedy. “This is the first time in 100 years that a candidate for the presidency

U.S. Policy Update for Wednesday, 27 April 2016

Today’s topics:    U.S. Elections / White House news / Climate change Capacity-Building Initiative / U.S. $20 bill / DoD’s Dunford on countering Extremism   U.S. Elections 26 April 2016  The rise of the independent voter    The United States has two major political parties: Democratic and Republican. Ask an American voter which one she or he sides with, and the most

Presidential Nominations

System for choosing party candidates has evolved over U.S. history Rules within parties for nominating presidential candidates are not spelled out in the U.S. Constitution. As noted, there were no political parties in existence at the time the Constitution was drafted and ratified in the late 1700s, and the founders of the Republic had no interest in proscribing procedures for

The Role of Political Parties

When the Founders of the American Republic drafted and ratified the U.S. Constitution, they did not envision a role for political parties. Indeed, they sought through various constitutional arrangements — such as separation of powers among the executive, legislatifffve and judicial branches; federalism; and indirect election of the president by an Electoral College (see below) — to insulate the new

How do I submit my registration, ballot request, and absentee ballot?

All states will accept these documents by mail; Royal Mail offers convenient, affordable mailing options to the United States with 5-7 day delivery times.  You may also drop off any of these items at the U.S. Embassy in London in a completed, postage-paid envelope (available under “Downloadable Election Materials” on the FVAP homepage). Some states will also accept documents by

When should I request and submit my absentee ballot?

Each state has its own deadlines for registering to vote, requesting absentee ballots, and sending completed absentee ballots, both for the primary and general election. Using the FVAP state-by-state guidance, you can find your state’s deadlines and the necessary forms for registering to vote and requesting an absentee ballot.

2012 U.S. Elections and “Super PACs”

Like it or not, Americans who seek election to the U.S. presidency or Congress need money — lots of money — to fund months of campaigning, advertisements and other ways to make themselves and their views more visible to voters, as well as to attack their opponents. Recent legal rulings have opened new avenues for political spending by corporations, unions

Financing Campaigns

Federal law dictates how candidates for the federal offices of president, senator and representative — and certain of their political allies — may raise funds, as well as from whom and in what amounts. Federal campaign finance laws are separate from state laws that regulate elections for state and local offices. In the American system, presidential candidates raise hundreds of

Glossary of U.S. Election Terms

Absentee voting Absentee voting allows voters who cannot come to polling places to cast their ballots. A variety of circumstances, including residency abroad, illness, travel or military service, can prevent voters from coming to the polls on Election Day. Absentee ballots permit registered voters to mail in their votes. The Uniformed and Overseas Citizens Absentee Voting Act, a federal law,

Federal Election Commission Regulates Presidential Campaigns

Candidates for president of the United States come from all walks of life. Many are career politicians; others are political activists, wealthy businessmen, or even professional entertainers. Regardless of their backgrounds or incomes, all must appear on each state’s separate ballot and all must abide by rules enforced by the Federal Election Commission (FEC). After registering with each state’s secretary

FAQs on Political Conventions

Why are national political conventions held? The processes of the political national conventions have evolved over more than a century, but the purpose has remained the same: to nominate presidential candidates and lay out goals and party priorities. The first political convention was held in 1831 when the Anti-Mason party met in a Baltimore saloon to choose candidates and write

U.S. Elections: Frequently Asked Questions

TYPES OF ELECTIONS What types of elections are held in the United States? There are two basic types of elections — primary and general. In addition to the primaries and general elections held in even-numbered years, which include political races for the U.S. Congress, some states and local jurisdictions also hold “off-year” elections (both primary and general) in odd-numbered years

Campaign Finance Reform and the 2004 Election (McCain-Feingold)

An Interview with election law expert Jan Baran On December 10, 2003, the U.S. Supreme Court, in a case called McConnell v. Federal Election Committee (2002), upheld the Bipartisan Campaign Reform Act of 2002 (BCRA), in which the U.S. Congress banned unlimited contributions — known as “soft money” — to political campaigns. The act is commonly known as the McCain-Feingold

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