Weird things you probably didn't know about the American elections

How do astronauts vote?
The three requirements to be a candidate
AOC 2024?
The oldest president
The youngest president
Presidential candidates born in Hawaii and Panama Canal
Why on Tuesdays?
Why in November?
6% of the population entitled to vote
Opening the voting booth for all
Voting Rights Act
Women's vote
The shortest speech: 135 words
The longest speech: 8,445 words
Four presidents killed
Four presidents died for health reasons
Vote for 'None of these candidates'
How do astronauts vote?

Astronauts, despite being in space, can also vote. In 1997 the state of Texas passed a law, at the request of NASA, to allow astronauts to vote by e-mail. The ballot is sent to the Johnson Space Center Mission Control Center and received by the Texas County Clerk's Office.

The three requirements to be a candidate

The US Constitution establishes three requirements to be a candidate for President:

1: to be a US citizen,
2: to be over 35 years old and
3: to have resided in the United States for a minimum of 14 years.

AOC 2024?

The requirements may seem minor, but they have at least prevented Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, 31 years old, from running for president in 2020. If she wished to do so in 2024, she could just make it by a minimum margin of days. AOC turns 35 on October 13, 2024, while the elections would be held on Tuesday 4 November.

 

Everything about AOC, the upcoming Democratic talent

The oldest president

Donald Trump, 70, has been the oldest president ever to enter the White House. Whether he wins again at 74, or Joe Biden, at 77, both would once again break the record of oldest president to enter the office.

The youngest president

For his part, the youngest president in the history of the United States has been John Fitzgerald Kennedy. He began his work in the Oval Office at age 43. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez theoretically has three opportunities to break JFK's record: she would be 35 in 2024, 39 in 2028, and 43 in 2032. Either way, she would set the record of being the first female president of the country - if Kamala Harris doesn't beat her to the punch.

 

Kamala Harris, the Democratic VP candidate: who is she?

 

Presidential candidates born in Hawaii and Panama Canal

The only two candidates for the US presidency who were born outside the US mainland were, curiously, rivals in 2008. Barack Obama was born in Hawaii, while John McCain was born at a naval base in the Panama Canal.

Why on Tuesdays?

The reason why elections in the United States are held on Tuesdays dates back to 1845. At that time, agriculture was the country's economic engine and Tuesday was the only day off of the week. Saturday was a work day, Sunday was church day, and Wednesday was market day.

Why in November?

As far as November is concerned, this too is related to agricultural timelines. Elections are always held on the first Tuesday after the first Monday in November. Note that this is not the same as the first Tuesday in November. The month chosen is November because by then the harvest is already over and farmers could travel to the polling stations on Monday.

6% of the population entitled to vote

The importance that farmers gave to voting, even spending a day to travel to the booth, lies in the fact that until the middle of the 19th century hardly anyone could vote. Only landowners and business owners had that right. The population with effective voting rights was reduced to 6% according to some historians.

Opening the voting booth for all

It was not until 1870 that the right of all races to vote without discrimination, regardless of social or economic status, was included in the US Constitution's 15th Amendment. And it was not until 1924 that Native Americans began to be allowed to vote, although some states banned it in their legislation until 1940 and even had a multitude of impediments until the 1960s.

Voting Rights Act

The same problem existed for African-American citizens, whose vote was hindered for decades and had to be further protected with the 1965 Voting Rights Act. The president enacting this historic law was Lyndon Johnson, and the leading civil rights activist of the time was Martin Luther King.

Women's vote

As far as women's voting is concerned, it came to the United States in 1920 with the 19th Amendment.

The shortest speech: 135 words

Since 1793, no president has been as brief as George Washington in his speech. It was his second term in office and he used only 135 words for his inauguration in Philadelphia.

The longest speech: 8,445 words

For his part, the longest speech of a POTUS (President of United States) is in the hands of William Henry Harrison. At age 68 and in the middle of a snowstorm, he gave a speech of 8,445 words that took him more than two hours. His audacity caused him to catch pneumonia, which cost him his life just 32 days after taking office. It was the longest speech but the shortest term in the history of the nation.

Four presidents killed

The United States witnessed the death of eight presidents in office. Four of them were assassinated: Abraham Lincoln (1865), James Garfield (1882), William McKinley (1901 -in the picture-) and John Fitzgerald Kennedy (1963).

Four presidents died for health reasons

Four other US presidents have died from health reasons. William Henry Harrison (pneumonia in 1841), Zachary Taylor (gastrointestinal illness in 1850), Warren G. Harding (heart attack in 1923) and Franklin Delano Roosevelt (cerebral hemorrhage in 1945 - in the picture).

Vote for 'None of these candidates'

It's possible to go to the voting booth and pick 'None of these candidates' in Nevada. Since 1976, the state has allowed this option for voters who are disillusioned with the alternatives.

 

These are the Swing States that may determine the 2020 elections.

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