米国の統治の仕組み – 選挙とその手続き


  • すべての下院議員は、代表する選挙区から2 年ごとに選出される。
  • 上院議員の任期は6 年で、3 分の1 が偶数年の2 年ごとに改選される。上院議員は州全体で行われる選挙で選出され、全州民を代表する。
  • 大統領と副大統領は、4 年ごとに全米で行われる選挙で同時に選出される。


大統領選挙では、連邦議員選挙とは別の手続きで予備選挙が行われる。選挙の年の1 月から、州ごとに予備選挙や党員集会が始まり、6 月まで続く。これらの投票結果によって、各候補が党公認候補を指名する全国党大会で、何人の代議員を獲得するかが決まる。全国党大会は通常7 月か8 月に開催され、各党の大統領指名候補が実際に選出される。

11月の本選挙では、上院議員と下院議員は相対多数制で選出される。相対多数制とは、最多票を獲得した候補者が、過半数に達していなくても当選する制度である。大統領選挙では、各州にその州の下院議員と上院議員の総数に等しい数の選挙人が割り当てられる。コロンビア特別区は州ではないが、3 人の選挙人が配分される。

ひとつの州の一般投票で勝った大統領候補は、通常「勝者総取り(winner-take-all)方式」で、その州に割り当てられた選挙人票を獲得する。各州の選挙結果が認証されたのち、各候補の獲得した選挙人票が集計される。いずれかの候補が選挙人票の過半数(全538 票中の270 票以上)を獲得すれば、その候補が勝者となる。過半数を獲得した候補がいない場合には、各州の議員団が1 票を持つ方法により、下院が大統領を選出する。この場合、一般国民が直接大統領を選出するわけではないため、一般投票で相対多数を獲得した候補者が選挙に負ける可能性もある。



Elections and the Electoral Process

(The following article is taken from the U.S. Department of State publication, How the United States is Governed.)

Federal elections are held in November of even-numbered years. Just as the President, Senators, and Representatives have overlapping constituencies, their terms also overlap.

• All Representatives are elected every two years by the voters of the district they represent.

• Senators serve six-year terms, with one-third of them up for election every even year. Senators are chosen in statewide elections and represent all residents of their states.

• The President and Vice President are elected together every four years in a nationwide election.

The election process begins well in advance of the actual election as individuals declare their candidacies for office. In the congressional election process, if more than one candidate from the same party seeks the office, a primary election is held to determine which candidate will be on the ballot in the general election.

The primary process for presidential elections is different from congressional elections. Beginning in January and lasting through June of the election year, states hold presidential primaries or caucuses. The results of these ballots determine how many delegates will represent each respective candidate at the national party nominating conventions, which are usually held in July or August. These political conventions are where each party's nominee is actually selected.

In the general election in November, Senators and Representatives are elected by plurality vote – the candidate receiving the most votes wins, even if it is not a majority. In presidential elections, each state is allocated a number of electoral votes equal to the sum of U.S. Representatives and Senators for that state. The District of Columbia, though not a state, has three electoral votes.

The presidential candidate who wins the popular vote in a state "wins" that state's electoral votes, usually in a winner-take-all manner. After elections in each state are certified, the electoral votes won by each candidate are counted. If a candidate receives a majority of the electoral votes (at least 270 of the 538 total), he or she is declared the winner. If no candidate wins a majority of electoral votes, the U.S. House of Representatives chooses the winner, with each state delegation having one vote. Because the President is not elected directly by the people, it is possible for a candidate to receive a plurality of the popular vote and yet lose the election.