The President of the United States is not elected directly. US citizens vote in their home state, with the state assigning its votes in the Electoral College to the winner of the state's election. Each state's electoral vote is equivalent to its Congressional delegation: the total number of seats in the House of Representatives assigned to it by the most recent census, plus two for the two Senate seats every state has. Most states give their entire delegations to the top vote-getter (winner take all) but some attempt to divide their votes in proportion to the totals of each candidate (proportional voting). US citizens living in territories (and not maintaining residency in any state) do not participate in presidential elections. This was once true for the District of Columbia as well, but the District was assigned three electoral voters by the 23rd Amendment to the Constitution in 1961.
Federal statute calls for elections of the President and Vice President on the first Tuesday after the first Monday of every fourth year beginning in 1788 (although a number of states have adopted early voting). Initially, Article II of the United States Constitution designated that the the candidate who received the second highest number of votes in the Electoral College served as Vice President, but since he was usually a political enemy of the President, this was soon found to be undesirable. The 12th Amendment changed that process in 1804. Now the President and Vice President are elected together on a single ticket.
The Electoral College votes on the Monday following the second Wednesday of December in an election year. Electors are often not bound to respect the results of their state's election, and some have been known to cast their votes against their states' wishes, though in practice electors are chosen for their extreme loyalty to a candidate. However, many states have laws in place to punish faithless electors with criminal penalties, and several have laws which invalidate faithless votes automatically. In any state, a faithless elector would face severe disciplinary measures from the party which had nominated him or her, and as electors are generally people who are very active in partisan politics, this threat is usually sufficient to dissuade faithless voting.
If no candidate secures a majority in the electoral college, the House of Representatives chooses the winner from among the top three vote-getters. The Senate chooses the Vice President in an independent election, so in this situation a President may serve with a Vice President other than his running mate. The 1824 election marks the only time the House was called upon to make the decision.
Since the date is set, the elections will be held at that time for as long as federal law is functioning regardless of changed political circumstances. Thus, in writing alternate history, a Presidential election may have dramatically different results in the alternate timeline than in OTL. For instance, in the Worldwar franchise, the 1964 election produced a landslide Republican victory, whereas the historical 1964 election produced a landslide Democratic victory. However, both took place on November 3, 1964, with the Electoral College voting on December 14 of that same year.
The elections in this category are primarily those depicted directly as part of a given Turtledove story. Elections that took place prior to the beginning of a work should only be included here if they still took place after the Point of Divergence of a given timeline, and Turtledove provided the year the election took place, the identities of the major candidates, and information about the issues that decided the course of the election. See, e.g., United States Presidential Election, 1880 (Southern Victory), which took place after the POD of 1862, but took place immediately before the beginning of How Few Remain, which starts in April 1881. However, Turtledove identifies the two major candidates (James G. Blaine and Samuel J. Tilden), the issues involved (inequality of U.S. and C.S. positions), and how the outcome was decided (U.S. discontent with the status quo), making the article viable.
Pages in category "United States Presidential Elections"
The following 20 pages are in this category, out of 20 total.