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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!

HW:



Every four years, Americans who are 18 or older have a big responsibility. Our votes decide who becomes the president of the US. 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 citizen's vote being counted together on Election Day. But this is not the case. US elections are not decided by the total of popular vote, but individual states.



Let me explain.



It starts with your vote. On Election Day, you’ll vote for president and their vice president. You get one choice. Then all the votes in your state are counted. The candidate with the most state-wide votes becomes the candidate your state supports for president. This happens across the country until each state has elected their candidate.



We end up with most of the 50 states and the District of Columbia voting to support one candidate each. But there's a problem, we can't elect president by just counting up the 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 comes, how do you 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 an example, let's consider my home state of North Carolina. Like every state, it is divided into a congressional districts that are based on population. North Carolina has 13 districts, California has 53 and Kansas has 4. When it comes to a state’s influence on the election, the number of districts matters
most. More population equals more districts equals more influence.



The influence a state has in the election is measured by the number of “electors”.



This number comes from the number of districts in a state plus the number of US senators, which is always two. North Carolina has 15 electors while California has 55.



When a candidate wins the voting in a state they win their states' number of electors. That's why big populous states can be so important to candidates- their electors add up quickly. And number of electors is what really matters.



Here's why.



If you add up the electors of all 50 states and the District of Columbia, there are 538 in total. The candidates’ goal on Election Day is to win the majority of 538, or 270 electors. Once a candidate wins another states to reach the 270 majority, they have won the election and become the president-elect. Yea!



So let's recap. Your vote helps your state choose a single candidate. That candidate receives all the electors from your state. The candidate who can win another states to reach 270 total electors wins the national election and becomes the president-elect.




Then, on the following January 20th, the president-elect is sworn in as the next president of the US.



And it all starts with your vote, make it count.

Words and expressions:
Populous: densely populated 人口稠密
Recap: a summary at the end that repeats the substance of a longer discussion v.n.扼要重述
Sworn in: promise solemnly; take an oath
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