The American elections is an area that requires special knowledge to understand. National election day is always the first Tuesday after the first Monday in November. There may be several names or questions on the ballot that each voter marks, but the most important names are those of the candidates for the presidency. The road to the presidency is long. Candidates may begin to campaign unofficially as early as 1,5 or 2 years before the election takes place. They usually announce officially that they are running for President at least a year before that November Tuesday. Between Febraury and June of the election year, each political party has to decide on a candidate to represent it. There may be as many as seven or eight people who would like to be that candidate. So the parties hold primary elections in the states, they are also called primaries or caucuses depending on the exact method used. In most states voters who are registered as a members of a party may select their choice for the presidential candidate of that party. The first state to hold such a primary vote is Iowa, the second is New Hampshire. The winners of those primaries, who get special attention from the media, then try to convince the voters of other states to join their supporters. Their opponents try to win whatever primary is next. By early summer there are only a few men left to compete, as those who lost one or more primaries gradually give up. After each state party has chosen its preferred candidate, the national conventions are held. The Democratic and Republican national conventions take place separately in July or August. Each state sends a certain number of party delegates, who then take the final vote on the official candidate for that party. In recent elections, the choice has been clear, because one candidate has already won a majority of primaries and thus delegates, so the conventions have not been exciting news. The winning candidate is officially nominated to run for presidency, he becomes the nominee. The nominee then chooses a vice-presidential running mate (person to campaign with him). The convention votes on his suggestion. Sometimes the selection is really news, such as when Walter Mondale chose the first woman candidate, Geraldin Ferrano in 1984. Running mate are usually picked because they come from another part of the country than the nominee and they attract a different kind of voter. In August or September, the competition between parties really begins. The members of each party generally unite behind their candidate. Although some may not be sure of their vote until the last day. Many voters, however are not registered members of any party and much of the candidates’ efforts are directed toward attracting these votes. The two nominee spend millions of dollars, travel throughout the country and try to appear in the media as often and as favorably as possible. They attack the platform, plans or ideas of the other party and sometimes the parties also participate in verbal ‘mud-throwing’ when they spread negative information about the opposing candidate’s personal life. Usually there are one or more nationally televised debates between the candidates. There are many paid advertisements for or against one nominee or the other too. The conclusion of the campaign is Election Day in November. The United Sattes doesn’t have a true ‘one man one vote’ system. Instead, according to the constitution, the president actually must be chosen the Electoral College. It is a group of electors from all states and the District of Columbia who vote in December, as all the citizens of their state did it in November. In all the states except Maine, the chosen nominee in each state gets all of the elector’s votes for that state. The number of electors from each state, like the representatives in congress is determined by population. Not all the districts are equally well represent in the Electoral College. In close elections it is possible for a candidate to receive the majority of popular votes but lose in the Electoral College. This has happened three times in American history. The last president to win elections without the majority of popular votes was Benjamin Harrison in 1888. The new president takes office on January 20 after the vote of the Electoral College. His term is for four year, and he may serve two terms if he can get re-elected four years later. In addition to the presidential and vice-presidential nominees, some other named or some questions may appear on the ballots. Voters may be asked to choose a Senator, a Representative, candidates for state or local offices or vote for or against a referendum. This year the elections are holding in the USA. There are to representative of the Democrats – Barak Obama and Hillary Clinton. The nominee of the Republican party is McCain. Despite Clinton’s landslide victory in Kentucky, Obama has won the majority of pledged delegates in the race of Democratic nomination. Obama’s top strategist said getting the pledged delegate majority was an important milestone but not the end of the trail. Neither candidate is expected to reach the number of delegates needed to win the Democratic nomination. That mean the race is likely to be settled by national convention. Obama continued to look to the general election, focusing his attacks as he has for the past week on Sen. John McCain, while commending Clinton for her courage, commitment and perseverance. Obama said McCain’s policies don’t represent change. McCains’ camp accused Obama of launching – the tired old political attacks of a typical politician, not the new politics’ he’s promised.