IT'S FINALLY HERE! The moment we've all been waiting for! After almost two years of campaigning, the presidential election is tomorrow. Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump will face off in one of the most contentious presidential elections in history and one of them will be chosen to succeed Barack Obama. Additionally, many states have important Senate races on the ballot. Two states, California and Nebraska, are determining whether or not to have the death penalty. Nine states are determining whether to legalize marijuana, either for medical or recreational purposes. And finally, as happens every two years, the entire House of Representatives is up for reelection, so each ballot will contain the district race, as well.
In honor of this occasion, this week's theme is elections!
Question 26: We elect a President for how many years?
Article II, Section 1 of the Constitution determined that the President shall have a term of four years.
Question 27: We elect a US Representative for how many years?
Article I, Section 2 of the Constitution states that we shall elect each member of the House of Representatives every second year.
Question 28: We elect a US Senator for how many years?
Article I, Section 3 of the Constitution states that each US Senator shall be chosen by members of the state legislature every 6 years, and the Senate shall be divided in thirds so that 1/3 of the Senate will be up for election every two years. The reason behind this was so that not all Senators, who were considered more prestigious than Representatives in the US House, would have some continuity, and would not all be newly elected at the same time.
This Article was amended by the 17th Amendment, which allowed the people of each state to vote for senators directly, rather than allowing the state legislature to choose them.
Question 29: What are the two major political parties in the United States?
Answer: Democratic and Republican
The United States has always been a two-party system, but those two parties have changed over time.
The modern Democratic Party evolved out of the Democratic-Republican Party of Thomas Jefferson. However, that party has changed significantly over time. It began by favoring small-government and states rights. Now, the Democratic Party's ideals are focused on larger government, with social and economic equality.
The modern Republican Party was founded in the mid 1850's by anti-slavery advocates. Abraham Lincoln was the first Republican president. This party, too, has changed significantly over time. Now, it focuses on small government, free market capitalism, and social conservatism.
Question 30: How old do citizens have to be to vote for President?
Answer: 18 and older
This question was already answered in Question #1 of Week 1 of this blog series. The 26th Amendment changed the voting age from 21 to 18 in all states.
If you're already a citizen, make sure you get out and vote tomorrow! If you're not sure where your polling place is, you can type in your address and find out here.
If you're not yet a citizen, and would like to apply for citizenship so in the next election cycle you can take part in this essential part of our democracy, contact us for a consultation today!
Enter your email below to subscribe to our blog! I'll be back next week with 5 more prep questions from the citizenship test. Have a great week and Happy Election Day!