The Campaign and Voting Process

Felice Gerwitz

Who are these people running for office in our country, our state or even our county? How did they get there and why is it all so complicated? Voting is a process that happens over and over again every two to four years. As citizens, we take our freedom to vote very seriously, which is why we stay informed. The process of getting on the ballot is very long; however for the sake of this discussion, here is a brief overview of the candidates and how we, as a citizen vote.

Here is the process for candidates who run for President or Vice President:

  1. A candidate who must be an American citizen (born in the United States) runs for office. To run for office, a candidate must follow the requirements laid out in Articles I and II of the US Constitution.
  2. A candidate must be at least thirty-five-years-old to run for President or Vice President, at least thirty-years-old to run for Senator and at least twenty-years-old to run for Representative.
  3. Candidates run on a party platform, either Democrat, Republican, Independent, (and other lesser known parties such as the “Green Party”).
  4. Each state has a set of rules on running for office.
  5. The candidate runs a campaign, and this consists of public speaking, going door-to-door in some instances to meet people in person, private dinners and fundraisers, advertising, and debates with the other candidates.
  6. Voting varies from state-to-state. In some states they use the “primary method” and in others, they use “caucuses.” A primary is when a person goes to a neighborhood polling place to vote for the candidate by ballot. A caucus is very different. It is a neighborhood event that requires several hours of debate to decide on a candidate by mutual vote.
  7. The candidates with the most votes are placed on a Primary Election ballot that is voted upon by the US citizens. The final counts are processed, and the final candidates are presented from each major and minor party and placed on the General Election.

Here is a brief overview of the voting process:

  1. US citizens 18 or older, sign up to a “party affiliation”–this means to vote as either Democrat, Republican or Independent. You only do this one time unless you change party affiliation. Each state has different rules and regulations for signing up to vote, so it is important to do this early and before the deadline.
  2. US citizens listen to the views of the candidates running for office.
  3. US citizens vote in the precinct they are assigned, which depends on their residence. When ready to vote they must show their identification card, which consists of a government-issued driving license or ID.
  4. US citizens vote in the primary races, depending on their party affiliation. In open primaries, you can vote either party in closed primaries you can only vote for your party affiliation.

Now that you understand more about the voting process be sure to encourage everyone you know to get out and vote. This year the Supreme Court Justices will be directly impacted by the person we elect as President. The Supreme Court is crucial to all United States citizens. We do have hope, and I’m sure we agree, we all want America to be a great and strong nation again. So get out and vote!

Felice Gerwitz is an educator turned homeschool mom and has served the community by writing and publishing, through her company, Media Angels® Inc., and her podcast network, turning three this year: Felice hosts a weekly podcast at

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