The USA started voting for president on Tuesday, here is how their voting system works. Presidents in USA are not voted directly by the people. Rather, what happens is that people in each State (province) publicly vote like a normal election. Then votes in each state are totaled and the one who gets the most votes becomes the winner of the State.
Then, they look at how many members of parliament that particular state has. Is it 3, 5, 15, 29, or 50? There are a total of 538 members of parliament in the USA. Just like in your country, the number per province (state) is not the same. Bigger States have more MPs than smaller States. The biggest is California with 55 MPs…the smallest have 3 MPs each. These are: Alaska, Wyoming, South Dakota, North Dakota, District of Columbia, Montana, Delaware, and Vermont.
So what happens is, each state (province) chooses people to vote for the president according to the number of MPs it has in the USA parliament. These people are called electors and they form a body called the Electoral College. These people are different from the MPs from that state. These 538 people from across the USA will meet in December to vote for the president. They will come with letters (electoral certificates) from their various States saying who their State voted for; the one who won the State. Like say Trump wins Florida. Florida has 29 MPs, therefore, 29 electoral votes. So the 29 will carry a letter saying, “We the people of Florida vote Trump for president and Mike Pence for vice president.” And then each one of them will sign at the bottom against their name in the elections to be held in December.
This means when a candidate wins the election in a state on Tuesday, it means he automatically wins all the votes of the electoral college in that state. There are laws that stop say the 29 people from Florida to change their mind and vote for somebody else other than Trump (in our example). Of course some people still don’t obey, and vote for other people, but it is insignificant.
Half of 538 is 269. So anybody who gets 270 electoral votes will be president. If they each get 269, then parliament will meet and choose the president. The USA parliament is called Congress and is divided in two parts: the Senate and the House of Representatives. The number of Senators from each state is the same: 2, because every state is considered equal. Since there are 50 states, there are 100 senators. The number of House of Representatives varies depending on size of the state. House of Representatives come from constituencies. Constituencies are called Electoral Districts in USA. The bigger the state, the more number of constituencies. The smaller the state, the smaller the number of constituencies. So those small states with just 3 electoral votes like Wyoming means 2 senators and 1 constituency representative. In other words, the entire state is one constituency. So as you watch the election, have 270 in mind. The first to reach 270 is the next president of the USA