Article II, Section 1, Clause 2 of the United States Constitution, along with the Twelfth and Twentieth Amendments govern the election of the U.S. President. The procedure is also regulated by Federal and State laws. Under Federal Law, the presidential electors (the members of the Electoral College) must be "appointed, in each State, on the Tuesday next after the first Monday in November, in every fourth year". Thus, all States appoint their electors on the same date, in November, once every four years. However, the manner of appointment of the electors is determined by the law of each State.
Currently, in every State, an election by the people is the method employed for the choice of the members of the Electoral College; however, any State remains free to change its manner of appointing its slate of members of the Electoral College, so that the law of a State could, for instance, prescribe election by the state Legislature, or even choice by the State's governor, as the manner of appointment of the electors representing the State. In spite of that theoretical possibility, a popular election in each State is the established method of selection of the members of the Electoral College, and given that all the statewide elections happen on the same date, the simultaneous elections resemble a national general election.
On the Monday after the second Wednesday in December, the electors of each State meet in their respective state capitals (and the electors of the District of Columbia meet in the Federal Capital) and in those meetings the electors cast their votes for President and Vice-President of the United States.
At the conclusion of their Meetings, the electors of each State and of the District of Columbia then execute "Certificate of Vote" (in several original copies), declaring the vote count in each Meeting. To each Certificate of Vote, a Certificate of Ascertainment is annexed. Each State's (and the District of Columbia's) Certificate of Ascertainment is the official document (usually signed by the Governor of the State and/or by the State's secretary of State) that declares the names of the electors, certifying their appointment as members of the Electoral College. Given that in all States the electors are currently chosen by popular election, the certificate of ascertainment also declares the results of the popular vote that decided the appointment of the electors. The electors in each State and of the District of Columbia then send the certificates of vote, with the enclosed certificates of ascertainment, to the President of the Senate of the United States.
The electoral votes are counted in a joint session of Congress in early January (on January 6 as required by 3 U.S. Code, Chapter 1 or an alternative date set by statute) and if the ballots are accepted without objections, the candidate winning at least 270 electoral votes (a majority of the total number of votes) is announced the President-elect by the incumbent Vice President, in his or her capacity as President of the Senate.
Read more about this topic: President-elect Of The United States
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Famous quotes containing the word criteria:
“We should have learnt by now that laws and court decisions can only point the way. They can establish criteria of right and wrong. And they can provide a basis for rooting out the evils of bigotry and racism. But they cannot wipe away centuries of oppression and injusticehowever much we might desire it.”
—Hubert H. Humphrey (19111978)