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FAQ

What is the Presidency?

The President is the head of the executive branch of the federal government of the United States. He is both the head of state and the head of government, as well as the military commander-in-chief and chief diplomat. He presides over the executive branch of the government, a vast organization numbering about four million people, including one million active-duty military personnel.

united states presidents

united states presidents

Who is eligible to become a President?

To be President, one has to:

  • be a natural-born citizen of the United States
  • be at least 35 years old
  • have lived in the US for at least 14 years

How is a President chosen?

The President is elected for a fixed term of four years and may serve a maximum of two terms.

Elections are always held on the first Tuesday after the first Monday in November to coincide with Congressional elections.

The President is not elected directly by the voters but by an Electoral College representing each state on the basis of a combination of the number of members in the Senate and the number of members in the House of Representatives. The states with the largest number of votes are California (55), Texas (38) and New York (29). The states with the smallest number of votes – there are six of them – have only three votes. The District of Columbia, which has no voting representation in Congress, has three Electoral College votes. In effect, therefore, the Presidential election is not one election but 51.

This system of election means that a candidate can win the largest number of votes nationwide but fail to win the largest number of votes in the Electoral College and therefore fail to become President.

What is the House of Representatives?

The House of Representatives is the lower chamber in the bicameral legislature known collectively as Congress. The founders of the United States intended the House to be the politically dominant entity in the federal system and, in the late 18th and early 19th centuries, the House served as the primary forum for political debate. However, subsequently the Senate has been the dominant body.

Who is eligible to become a member of the House?

To be a member of the House, one has to:

  • be at least 25 years old
  • have been a US citizen for at least seven years
  • live in the state which one represents

Who is eligible to become a member of the Senate?

To be a member of the Senate, one has to:

  • be at least 30 years old
  • have been a US citizen for at least nine years
  • live in the state which one represents

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