Heiko Holste

Der Weg ins Weiße Haus Recht und Praxis der Wahl des Präsidenten der Vereinigten Staaten von Amerika

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Archiv des öffentlichen Rechts (AöR)

Jahrgang 137 () / Heft 3, S. 401-440 (40)

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The U.S. Constitution states that the president is elected indirectly by an electoral college, but in practice the popular vote has overshadowed this election for a long time. State law mostly governs the popular vote instead of federal law and these often differ from state to state. That makes it difficult to get a comprehensive overview of U.S. election law, which can sometimes be a great burden for presidential candidates and their campaigns. In addition, state lawmakers make frequent changes to election laws, which are often driven by partisan interests. In 2012, the partisan conflict on new rules for voter identification attracted media attention: Republicans argue stricter rules will prevent voter fraud, Democrats claim that this will create unnecessary obstacles that will prevent people from voting. Because of the indirect election, the one-person-one-vote-principle is not fully in place. Consequentially, somebody can – like G. W. Bush in 2000 – become president even if an opponent gets more popular votes. But there is little hope for a constitutional amendment and therefore several states support the National Popular Vote Plan. If fully implemented, this plan will ensure that the candidate who gets the most popular votes will also be elected as president by the electoral college.

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