Elections

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In 1845, the United States Congress selected the first Tuesday after the first Monday in November as the universal election day for federal elections; the motivations behind this choice are related to technological limitations on elections that made immediate vote tallying and communication difficult. Having election days on Tuesdays also avoids potential interference in voting ability for religious people who recognize a sabbath day on which they may be restricted from traveling to a polling location or performing work-like duties such as voting.

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  • How Long Does a Member of the House of Representatives Serve For?

    Q: How Long Does a Member of the House of Representatives Serve For?

    A: Members of the House of Representatives serve 2-year terms. These terms come up for reelection in even calendar years.
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  • How Many Terms Can the Vice President Serve?

    Q: How Many Terms Can the Vice President Serve?

    A: The vice president of the United States is not subject to any term limits. Unlike the president, the vice president can serve in the role indefinitely.
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  • Why Is Voting so Important?

    Q: Why Is Voting so Important?

    A: Voting is one of the surest ways for citizens to establish influence over elected officials. Because politicians are concerned primarily with the most vocal elements of their constituencies, groups of people who do not vote tend to receive less attention. This ultimately translates into less power for non-voters to affect the formation of public policy in accordance with their own private interests.
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  • How Old Do You Have to Be to Run for Congress?

    Q: How Old Do You Have to Be to Run for Congress?

    A: In the United States as of 2014, candidates for Congress must be 25 years old to run for a seat in the House of Representatives and 30 years old to run for a seat in the Senate. Other countries have other age minimums for their respective legislative bodies.
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  • Why Were Women Not Allowed to Vote?

    Q: Why Were Women Not Allowed to Vote?

    A: There were multiple arguments against women's suffrage. Common themes were that a woman's delicate constitution made her unfit for the evils of politics, that she was too occupied with domestic duties to ponder political debate, and that she was too stupid or weak to bear the responsibilities of voting.
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  • What Month Does the Presidential Inauguration Take Place?

    Q: What Month Does the Presidential Inauguration Take Place?

    A: The presidential inauguration takes place during the month of January. More specifically, the inauguration takes place on January 20. If that date happens to be a Sunday, then the ceremony is held the following day.
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  • Why Does the United States Hold Elections on Tuesdays?

    Q: Why Does the United States Hold Elections on Tuesdays?

    A: In 1845, the United States Congress selected the first Tuesday after the first Monday in November as the universal election day for federal elections; the motivations behind this choice are related to technological limitations on elections that made immediate vote tallying and communication difficult. Having election days on Tuesdays also avoids potential interference in voting ability for religious people who recognize a sabbath day on which they may be restricted from traveling to a polling location or performing work-like duties such as voting.
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  • How Does the Media Influence Politics?

    Q: How Does the Media Influence Politics?

    A: The media influences politics by helping to shape public opinion. The United States has a democratic government, meaning that the people vote to elect leaders and change laws based on the majority. When these voters rely on the mass media to assist them in developing an opinion for determining a vote, the media influences politics.
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  • What Age Group Is Most Likely to Vote?

    Q: What Age Group Is Most Likely to Vote?

    A: Citizens aged 65 and older are most likely to vote in elections. According to US News, nearly 61 percent of citizens over the age of 65 voted in the November 2010 election.
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  • Who Ran Against Bill Clinton for President?

    Q: Who Ran Against Bill Clinton for President?

    A: William Jefferson Clinton ran against George H.W. Bush and Ross Perot in the 1992 United States presidential elections, and Bob Dole and Ross Perot were his opponents in the 1996 elections. In the 1992 election, Bush was the incumbent Republican president and Perot ran as an independent. Clinton, a Democrat, won with 43 percent of the votes.
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  • What Is the Purpose of the Electoral College?

    Q: What Is the Purpose of the Electoral College?

    A: The Electoral College is a process that creates a buffer between a president's election through Congress and the vote of the American people. It was established by the nation's Founding Fathers.
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  • When Do We Vote for the Next President?

    Q: When Do We Vote for the Next President?

    A: The next presidential election date for legal U.S. residents is Tuesday, Nov. 3, 2020. The election date always falls on the Tuesday after the first Monday of November every four years. The last election was held on Nov. 8, 2016.
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  • Who Did Ronald Reagan Run Against for His Presidential Campaigns?

    Q: Who Did Ronald Reagan Run Against for His Presidential Campaigns?

    A: When seeking the United States presidency, Ronald Reagan ran against then-President Jimmy Carter in 1980 and Walter Mondale in 1984. He won with 489 of the 538 electoral votes, becoming the 40th U.S. president. Reagan was re-elected in 1984 with 525 of the 538 electoral votes.
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  • Why Did Andrew Jackson Lose the Election of 1824?

    Q: Why Did Andrew Jackson Lose the Election of 1824?

    A: Andrew Jackson lost the election of 1824 because, though he received a majority of the popular and electoral votes, his margin was not great enough for a win, and the constitution directed that the election had to be decided by Congress. Henry Clay, one of the candidates, gave his support to John Quincy Adams, another candidate, and Adams won the Congressional vote.
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  • Which Part of the Legislature Approves Presidential Appointments?

    Q: Which Part of the Legislature Approves Presidential Appointments?

    A: In the United States, the Senate is the branch of the legislature that approves presidential appointments. Clause 2 of Section 2 of Article 2 of the U.S. Constitution guarantees the Senate's power to give "Advice and Consent" to presidential appointments.
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  • Q: How Do You Find Information on Texas Elections?

    A: The Texas Secretary of State website presents a great deal of information relating to Texas elections. Questions regarding elections can also be directed to the TSOS by phone.
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  • Q: What Is a Winner-Take-All Election?

    A: A winner-take-all election is when the political candidate who receives the most number of votes wins the election. It is the predominant method of voting in the United States.
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  • How Many Times Can a Senator Be Re-Elected?

    Q: How Many Times Can a Senator Be Re-Elected?

    A: Senators can be re-elected indefinitely, as there is no limit for the number of terms that a senator can serve in the United States government. Senators are up for re-election every six years.
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  • Q: What Was the Central Issue of the 1866 Congressional Elections?

    A: The central issue of the 1866 congressional elections was President Johnson's reconstruction policy. The policy heavily favored the south and was extremely lax about the treatment of newly freed slaves. Republican members of Congress disagreed with the policy and refused to recognize it.
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  • Q: Where Can You Obtain Sample Ballots in Bexar County, Texas?

    A: To obtain a sample ballot in Bexar County, Texas, visit the county’s website, and select Elections Department. The department allows voters to obtain their sample ballots and find their polling places online. Use either your address or voter registration information to obtain the sample ballot. The department also has an example of a sample ballot available on its website.
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  • Q: What Are Some Common Reasons Citizens Vote?

    A: People vote due to a sense that their actions influence other citizens, out of a sense of civic duty and as a reaction to the results of previous elections. One individual’s vote objectively has no effect on the outcome of an election, and psychologists have frequently studied voting motivations.
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