Know the United States Elections

Know the United States ElectionsThe United States is a super-powerful country for us in Indonesia. Various things that come from Uncle Sam's country, would be very interesting to us. One of the things that is also an important point of interest of the Indonesian people to America is the political world. All sorts of American policy has always been a hot topic of conversation not only in Indonesia but also throughout the world. Now, the American people are preparing to vote in the presidential election to be held on 6 November.

Here I will explain briefly and clearly about the General Elections in the United States, based on college experiences over the last two months in Colorado and moderated US Election Outsearch at @America Jakarta. May be useful.


The United States is a country that adopts a two-party system. Two major parties have always won the presidential election since 1852, the Democrats and Republicans. These two big parties always present candidates for President and vice president for the people of the United States. Actually there are still some small parties that exist, but they are not able to rival the two giant parties, both in terms of ideology, support and financial.

There are striking differences between Democrats and Republicans in terms of ideology. If the Democrat party equals equal opportunity and equality for every American citizen, the Republicans glorify freedom of expression and the individual without any intervention, including the government.


United States citizens must be at least 18 years old to be able to vote in the election. To be able to choose they can register themselves via online by filling in the voter form. For beginner voters, who are usually still in college, all universities in the United States also open enrollment for students who want to vote in the general election. The 2008 election shows that the novice voter, aged 18-24, is the main vote for President Barack Obama in winning his first presidential election.

Americans abroad can still vote because the United States government will send ballot (ballot) to the address of its citizens are outside the United States. Once filled, the ballotters should be immediately sent back to the United States. One difference with the election in Indonesia is that the citizens of the United States can vote without having to wait for the election day, held on Tuesday the second week of November in the election year.


Elections in the United States are conducted four (4) years. Each President can maximally lead for two periods, or a total of eight (8) years. One of the absolute conditions for the candidate for the President of the United States is that he must be a US citizen born in Uncle Sam's country as well. So that covers the possibility for every US citizen born outside the United States.

Presidential elections take two stages; Preliminary Elections and Presidential Elections.A. Election Introduction

Preliminary elections take place from January to June in the election year. This stage aims to determine one candidate for President of the party, either Republicans or Democrats. Preliminary elections are followed by a number of candidates for President of the same party to compete for the position of the Presidential candidate from the party.

Candidates will campaign in all 50 states, they make advertisements and argue with each other to showcase their capabilities as candidates worthy of representing the party and fighting with candidates from other parties. The candidates will be elected directly by the party sympathizers in each state. And the candidates with the highest votes will be crowned as Presidential candidates in the National Convention held between August-September.

B. Presidential Elections

After being officially crowned in the party's National Convention, two presidential candidates alongside vice-presidential candidates began to intensify campaigns on television, newspapers and social media to attract voters. In addition, they will also conduct an open debate, broadcast live on National television. Debate is done four (4) times; 3 for Presidential candidate and 1 for candidate vice President. The importance of the voter vote, which is mostly students, is demonstrated by campaigns and debates conducted at universities throughout the United States.

Presidential elections are held on Tuesday in the second week of November, or between November 4-8. And for the elected President will be inaugurated on January 20 in the following year.


Although elected directly by the people, elections in the United States have a different system from what is in Indonesia. In Indonesia, the presidential candidate pair who has garnered the most votes will be directly crowned as the winner of the election, but in the United States there is still Electoral College that plays the role of winning candidate pairs.

Electoral College is a sound counting system. Each state has a different number of electoral colleges, based on the size of the state's population. For example, California has 55 college electoral colleges, followed by Texas (34) and New York (29). The total number of electoral colleges is 538, and a candidate must reach a minimum of 270 the number of electoral colleges to win the election.

How can a pair of Presidential and Vice Presidential candidates get a vote in electoral college? Here's the illustration. Suppose that in the 2008 election Obama won 1,000,000 votes in the state of California and his opponent, McCain gets 950,000 votes, Obama will automatically get 55 electoral college votes from California. And the number of electoral collegelah votes counted to be the winner of the election is not the number of voters. So, a pair of Presidential and Vice Presidential candidates do not need to win in the majority of states to win the election, they win enough in 11 states with the largest number of electoral colleges, such as California (55 votes), Texas (38), New York (29), Florida (29), Illinois (20), Pennsylvania (20), Ohio (18), Michigan (16), Georgia (16). North Carolina (15), New Jersey (14), the total number of electoral colleges of the 11 states is 270 and that is enough to lock victory in the US presidential election regardless of the results in the remaining 39 states.

The picture above is the electoral college demography of the 2008 Presidential Election.Thus the brief introduction of the United States Elections. thanks.

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