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Presidential Election Politics Explained

Fia Torrey
2024 is a big year for voting. Above is a ballot box where many people cast their votes.

With the presidential election rapidly approaching and primary elections already beginning in some states, it is easy to be unsure about how the presidential election works and who is on the ballot in 2024. 

In the United States, we elect our President based on the Electoral College system in which each state is granted a set of electoral votes based on the number of senators and representatives the state has. Each state’s electors will vote for a presidential candidate and whoever receives the most votes in the state receives all the electoral votes for that state. To win the election, the presidential candidate must win a minimum of 270 electoral votes, which makes up just over 50% of the total 538 electoral votes across the country.

While the general election decides who actually becomes the president, primary elections are used to decide which candidates get to represent their political party on the ballot. The primaries do not have one uniform way of voting, but rather vary state to state. In Iowa for example, voters congregate to discuss and debate their preferred candidates before designating who they want to see on the ballot for the general election. This is called a caucus. In most other states, including California, we see a more traditional way of voting where voters go to their local polling place and cast their ballot.

For the upcoming 2024 presidential election, three candidates remain in the race. President Joe Biden is the incumbent president, meaning that he is currently in office while simultaneously running for reelection. He is unopposed when it comes to other Democrats, unlike his two Republican competitors, Donald Trump and Nikki Haley. Trump, who served as president from 2017-2020, has been leading the Republican polls in the primaries and appeals to a more conservative and farther right group of voters than Haley does. It is not expected for Haley to be in the race much longer as she lost the Nevada primary despite her main competator, Trump, not being on the ballot.

While there are national elections every other year in the U.S., San Marcos hold elections annually to decide who will represents the study body in ASB and to elect class officers. When explaining why voting in school elections is so important, San Marcos Junior Class Vice President, Talia Cummings,  said that ASB members and class officers “are representing the your school” and “if you want [San Marcos] to be enjoyable, you’ve got to vote for who you want to vote for.” 


To learn how to register or pre-register to vote read our “Voting Registration Made Easy” article. 

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About the Contributor
Fia Torrey, Staff Writer
Fia a senior at San Marcos High School and is taking journalism for the first time this semester. She has played on the golf team since her freshman year and some of her favorite subjects include English, History, and Government. In her free time, she enjoys reading, cooking, watching movies, and going to museums.
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