Political Elections

The Elections channel includes information on topics related to elections, voting or running for political office. Learn more about presidential debates, the electoral college or the voting system.

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Will a Third-Party Candidate Ever Win the White House?

A majority of Americans feel that neither of the two main parties is doing a great job, but they can't agree on what a third party would look like. And that candidate faces enormous hurdles to make the debating stage.

Could the Electoral College Be Obsolete By the Next U.S. Presidential Election?

American presidents are chosen by the electoral college rather than the popular vote. But a measure to circumvent that is gaining steam. So far, 15 states have signed on, but is it constitutional?

10 Countries Besides the U.S. That Have Electoral Colleges

A handful of other countries have electoral colleges, but they're very different in function and purpose from the one that decides U.S. presidential elections.

How a U.S. Vice Presidential Vacancy Is Filled

If the U.S. vice president must step up and become president, who becomes vice president?

Lyft Will Help You Get to the Polls This November

Now you have no excuse not to vote in the midterms.

Homeless Americans Can Vote, But It Isn’t Easy

Federal law doesn't require Americans to have a fixed address in order to vote, but state and local laws often pile on additional restrictions that make it hard for the homeless to cast a ballot.

Senate Write-in Candidates Rarely Win, But It Has Happened

A handful of write-in candidates have been elected to both the U.S. House and Senate, but it's a difficult way to win office.

Runoffs Decide Elections That Are 'Too Close to Call'

Sometimes elections are just too close to call. That's when voters have to head back to the polls for a runoff.

America's Past Presidents Had Some Really Weird Habits

Guess which president liked to skinny dip and which one liked petroleum jelly rubbed all over his head every morning.

How Ranked-choice Voting Works

Are there alternatives to the winner-take-all voting system? Ranked-choice voting is one, which supporters say would elect more centrist candidates. But critics worry about the downsides.

How 'I Voted!' Stickers Increase U.S. Voter Turnout

Apparently, not just kids can be influenced by a sticker — it works for adults too.

Conspiracy Theories About, Around and From Donald Trump

The latest episode of our Stuff They Don't Want You to Know podcast examines the fringe ideas around the 2016 Republican nominee.

10 Bizarre Moments in Presidential Elections

Think the Trump/Clinton presidential campaign is the strangest? It'll seem par for the course when you see what crazy things have happened in previous elections.

Before Brexit, Have Other Countries Left the EU?

Splits with the European Union have happened before, but that doesn't mean the U.K.'s Brexit will be easy, or even have much in common with past instances.

10 Ways the U.S. Has Kept Citizens From Voting

Whether it's poll taxes, literacy tests, ID laws or limited polling hours, the U.S. has a long-running history of coming up with ways to restrict citizens' voting rights.

Online Voting: It Could Be Easier, But Is It Better?

We buy airline tickets, transfer money and look for dates online. Why can't we vote?

Could Search Rankings Rig the 2016 U.S. Presidential Election?

A controversial recent study argues that the order of Google search results could determine an election's outcome. Could that really happen?

How Independent Voters Work

Decades ago, two political scientists predicted Americans would ultimately move away from establishment, two-party politics. Were they right, and what makes voters go independent in the first place?

Top 10 American Political Dynasties

It took just about as much time for the ink to dry on the Declaration of Independence as it did for American politics to become another type of family business. What are 10 of the most successful political dynasties?

American Politics in Souvenirs and Slogans

Come convention time, you’ll see attendees sporting head-to-toe political regalia. What’s the history of these tiny statement-makers, and which campaign tchotchkes make plain old buttons look dull?

How the Cabinet Works

We always hear about major government figures like the Secretary of State and the Attorney General, but who are these people, and how do they help the president? Meet the ladies and gentlemen of the Cabinet.

10 Pioneering Female Politicians

When it comes to politics, men tend to dominate, with women accounting for only about 10 percent of government leaders internationally. Which female politicians have trail-blazed a path to close that gender gap?

5 Historic Presidential Campaign Collapses

All they had to do was sit back and count the votes. They thought they had the presidential election in the bag -- until they didn't. Here's our list of some of the biggest collapses in presidential campaign history.

How Political Attack Ads Work

The use of political attack ads -- those that focus on rivals' shortfalls rather than preferred candidates' achievements -- has shot up in recent years. These negative ads may leave a bad taste in voters' mouths, but are they effective?

5 Great Presidential Debate Moments

Presidential debates aren't really known for their fireworks, but these off-the-cuff moments definitely made sparks fly.