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YALI’s guide to the hows and whys of the 2016 U.S. elections
November 1, 2016

Family sittingin front of TV with a flag about voting
(State Dept./Doug Thompson)

Millions of onlookers around the world will be joining Americans the night of November 8-9 to be among the first to learn who the winners and losers of the 2016 elections are. We have compiled some useful articles, videos and interactives to help explain the process and what to expect next.

Click on these links to learn:

  • Why is voter fraud unlikely?
  • Who is responsible for the conduct of U.S. elections?
  • Are there international election observers?
  • Do Americans need identification documents to vote?
  • Why are national elections always on a Tuesday in November? Why will December 19, 2016 be the real U.S. election day?
  • Why has the U.S. presidential campaign season lasted longer than one year? This interactive will guide you through the lengthy process.
  • Why are people more interested in presidential election results from “swing states” like Ohio or Florida than bigger states like California or Texas? Try this interactive to test what factors could make the difference in a swing state.
  • Why is the presidential result determined by the “Electoral College” instead of who simply got the most votes? Using this interactive, you can see the many ways to achieve the 270 electoral votes needed to win.
  • How does public opinion polling affect elections? Learn also how social media plays a role and use this online tool that shows who is trending on Facebook.
  • What else are Americans voting for besides their next president?
  • Why do voters expect election losers to make a speech acknowledging their defeat?
  • What does a “peaceful transition of power” look like in the United States?

Confused by some of the terminology? Here is a handy reference explaining some of the words you might be hearing on the news. There is also plenty more content here if you are interested, including free graphics, videos and articles you can read and share with your friends on social media.