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[豆知识] 【整理】2009-04-26&05-02 美国人如何选总统?

提高英语听力能力 找对方法很重要!
[Homework]  Bits of knowledge  20090426

Every four years, Amercians who are 18 or older have a big responsibility, our votes decide who becomes the president of the United States, unfortunately, the US election system isn't that simple. This is electing a US president in plain English.

It is easy to imagine every US citizens's vote being counted together on a election day, but this is not the case, US elections are not decided by the total or popular vote, but individual states, let me explain. It starts with your vote, on a election day, your vote for president and there vice-president, you give one choice, then, all the votes of your state are counted, the candidate with the most state-wide votes become the candidate of your state's support for president. This happens accross the country, until each state has selected their candidate. We end up with most of the 50 states in the district of Columbia voting to support for one candidate each.

But there is a problem, we can't elect our president by just counting our choices of these states, US states are different, consider this: California has about 36 million people, Kansas has less than 3 million, we need a way for California's choice to have more influence on the election because the state has more people, the question becomes, how do we make sure each state has the right amount of influence on the election, well, we need a way to account for the population of each state, as a example, let's consider my home state of North Carolina, like every state, it is divided the other congrational districts that base on polulation, North Carolina has 13 districts, California has 53, and Kansas has four. When it comes to a state's influence on the election, the number of the districts matters most, more population, equals more districts, equals more influence, the influence a state has in a election is measured by the numbers of  electors, this number comes from the number of a district in the state, plus the number of the US senators, which is always two.

North Carolina has 15 electors, well, California has 55, when a candidate wins the vote in the state, they win that state's number of electors, that is why big popular states can be so important to candidates, their electors add up quickly. And a number of electors is what really matters, here is why. If you add the electors of all 50 states in the district of Columbia, there are 538 in total, the candidate's goal on the election day is to win the majority of 538, or 270 electors, once the candidate wins enough states to reach the 270 majority, they have won the election and become the president elected. Ya......


So, let's recap, your vote helps your state choose a single candidate, that candidate receive all the electors from your state, the candidate who can won enough states to reach 270 total electors wins the national election and become the president elect.  Then on the following January 28th, the president elect is swearing in as the next president of the United States, and it all start with your votes, make it count.
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