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Election 2020

Election 2020

The Presidency

Some basic facts

Qualifications: The United States Constitution requires the president to meet just three qualifications: The president must be at least 35 years old; must have lived 14 years in the United States; and must be a natural born citizen. 

Inauguration: The inauguration is held at noon on January 20th after the election. It was moved from March 4 following ratification of the 12th Amendment. If January 20th falls on a Sunday, the swearing-in may take place privately with a public ceremony held on the 21st.

Term:  The president is elected to a term of four years. The 22nd Amendment to the Constitution limits presidents to two elected terms. It was ratified in 1951, six years after Franklin Roosevelt died early in his fourth term. He was the only president to serve more than two terms.

Income: The president's annual salary is $400,000 In addition, a president receives a $50,000 annual expense allowance, along with stipends for travel, staff, and White House maintenance. Upon leaving office, presidents become eligible for a pension, payable in monthly installments equal to the annual rate of basic pay of the head of an executive department ($219,200 in 2020). See the Former President's Act for more perks.

Succession: Should a president die, or resign, or be forced from office, or suffer a disability, the office is assumed by the vice president. If the vice president is unable to take on the job, it is assumed by the Speaker of the House, followed by President Pro Tempore of the Senate, Secretary of State and Cabinet officers, in order of their rank.


The road to the White House

Step 1: Primaries and Caucuses

There are many people who want to be president. Each of these people have their own ideas about how our government should work.  People with similar ideas belong to the same political party. This is where primaries and caucuses come in. Candidates from each political party campaign throughout the country to win the favor of their party members.

  • Caucus: In a caucus, party members select the best candidate through a series of discussions and votes.
  • Primary: In a primary, party members vote for the best candidate that will represent them in the general election.

Step 2: National Conventions

Each party holds a national convention to finalize the selection of one presidential nominee. At each convention, the presidential candidate chooses a running-mate (vice presidential candidate).

Step 3: General Election

The presidential candidates campaign throughout the country in an attempt to win the support of the general population.

People in every state across the country vote for one president and one vice president. When people cast their vote, they are actually voting for a group of people known as electors.

Step 4: Electoral College

In the Electoral College system, each state gets a certain number of electors based on its total number of representatives in Congress.

Each elector casts one electoral vote following the general election; there are a total of 538 electoral votes. The candidate that gets more than half (270) wins the election.

The president-elect and vice president-elect take the oath of office and are inaugurated in January.


How to become President of the United States infographic. See description below.Source:

The role of the Electoral College in an election