Science Fair Project Encyclopedia
Direct election is a term describing a system of choosing political officeholders in which the voters directly cast ballots for the person that they desire to see elected. Either the person with the highest vote total is declared to be elected, or in some instances if the highest vote-getter does not receive a majority of all votes cast, a runoff is held between those two candidates receiving the most votes.
Most elections in most Western countries are conducted in this fashion. By far the most important example of this process not being the case is the election for President of the United States, which is an indirect election. In Presidential elections U.S. voters are in effect not voting for the candidates themselves but rather a slate of candidates for electors who then vote for President. This Electoral College is in fact who choses the President, as demostrated rather spectacularly in the 2000 election. Despite the outcome being a win for George W. Bush, who received a smaller number of popular votes than Al Gore, there has not been an overwhelming movement to adopt a system of direct election for President of the United States.
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