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Voting & Election 2016  

Last Updated: Jul 13, 2017 URL: http://mckendree.libguides.com/voting2016 Print Guide RSS Updates

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The American System

        In America, there are three things that one should never talk about in polite company: sex, religion, and politics.

 One of those things is taboo; the other two are guaranteed to start arguments.

          However, every four years, contentious debate sparks across the country as American citizens 18 years old and up prepare to elect the new President. Democrat, Republican, Independent...........party affiliation makes the "Race for the White House" a highly publicized affair. Candidates' every moves are scrutinized. Campaigns that are meant to promote one candidate while disparaging the others occasionally blur the line between negative and slander. Negative attacks are standard procedure, and the majority of the American public eats it up. 

         The last two elections, however, have changed the focus. Presidential candidates are focusing less on negative attacks aimed at each other, and more at appealing to the people - specifically those from underrepresented populations (minorities and Millennials). President Obama led this trend in 2008, when minorities and Millennials came out in droves to support - or vote against - him. These two groups have historically had low voter turnout for a variety of reasons, but are set to become the majority within the coming decades. As such, the last two elections have placed a heightened focus on encouraging underrepresented populations to vote.  The 2016 presidential election campaign has been no different.

         Way back in 2015, seventeen Republicans, six Democrats, and three Third Party politicians announced their candidacies for the 2016 election. Why so many? Well, the United States Constitution has the following requirements for presidential candidates:

         The President must:

  • Be a natural-born citizen of the United States
  • Be at least 35 years old
  • Have been a resident of the United States for 14 years

And that's it. Anyone who meets these qualifications can announce their candidacy for President. And in this election, many have. Since the first official announcement, fourteen Republicans, four Democrats, and one Third Party candidates have dropped out. As always, the focus is now on the candidates from the two major political parties. All of the candidates are:

  • Hillary Clinton, Democrat
  • Bernie Sanders, Democrat
  • Donald Trump, Republican
  • Ted Cruz, Republican
  • John Kasich, Republican
  • Gary Johnson, Libertarian
  • Jill Stein, Green Party

          This Libguide focuses on: the Democrat and Republican candidates; their stances on major issues; registering to vote in Illinois, Missouri, and absentee; how the electoral college works; and what happens after the election in November. The purpose of this guide is to inform users about voting in America before they go to the polls. Voting laws may differ slightly from state to state, but one thing is certain: voting is a Constitutional right for all who are eligible. This guide will give you information on how to do it, even if you are away from home.  

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