The nature of the electoral system in the United States of America
is complex as there are a multitude of elective offices and many elections, not all of which are held at the same time. The president and vice-president, one-third of the Senate, and every member of the House of Representatives
are elected at the same time every four years, and two years later the mid-term elections involve all representatives and one-third of the Senate.
Voters must meet a number of legal requirements or qualifications. Candidates who appear in the ballot must also have qualified under state law. Voting is a basic right guaranteed by the US Constitution, but individual states set many requirements for voting, concerned with residence, the need to register, the holding of primary elections, and the form of the ballot. It was not until 1920 that women were allowed to vote in presidential elections, and not until 1971 that suffrage was extended to 18-year-olds.
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