Talking points: Road to the White House

Step 1: The ballot

Appearing on the ballot for president in a primary election requires signatures and support. A prospective candidate must also fill out several forms. The petition proves that people would vote for them if given the opportunity. In states with caucuses instead of primary elections, a prospective candidate would simply have to make sure voters know who they are and would caucus for them. Don’t know what a caucus is? More on that later.

Step 2: Campaigning

From smear campaigns to playing nice, all candidates have a different way of winning an election. Ted Cruz’s campaign recently sent out an emai

Hillary Clinton campaigns in Minn. for the 2008 Democratic primaries.
Photo labeled for commercial and noncommercial reuse under Creative Commons licensing
Hillary Clinton campaigns in Minn. for the 2008 Democratic primaries.

l to voters that suggested fellow candidate Ben Carson dropped out and that Carson’s would-be voters should vote for Cruz instead. The email sparked anger from Trump and controversy over the dishonesty present in politics.

Step 3: Caucusing

A caucus is an alternative to a primary election. In a caucus, voters from the same area gather together to cast their vote. Democrats stand in groups based on who they are voting for and, in some states, must declare their choice in front of their neighbors. Votes are later made official with ballots. For Republicans in a caucus, the process is a little simpler. A person voting within the Republican party can always cast their vote secretly.

Step 4: Primary elections

An alternative to a caucus, a primary election results in a state’s citizens selecting a single nominee from both major parties. A standard voting procedure applies in a primary election. Some states hold both caucuses and primary elections. The final nominees will go onto the…

Step 5: General election

At this point, a single Democratic, Republican and third party nominee are in the running for the presidency. This is the final election.

Step 6: Inauguration

The elected candidate stands outside the United States Capitol building to be sworn into the presidency. The ceremony typically falls on January 20. The electee places a hand on a Bible and swears to do their best to lead the nation. Typically, a different Bible is used for each elected candidate. According to the New York Times, Chief Justice John Roberts swore in President Barack Obama with two Bibles, one previously belonging to Martin Luther King Jr. and one used to swear in Abraham Lincoln.

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