Here in the UK, for some parts of the country, there is a vote to be cast on Thursday 5th May.
Voters in 41 police force areas in England & Wales, excluding London, will elect a Police and Crime Commissioner.  Turn out in the last PCC elections – in November 2012- was poor, at an average of 15.1%.
To find out more about the elections happening across the UK, visit the following links: 
- National Assembly for Wales
- Northern Ireland Assembly
- Scottish Parliament
- Police and Crime Commissioners
- Local government elections in England
- Mayor of London and London Assembly
UK Election and Voting Facts
- The English general election, 1695 was the first to be held under the terms of the Triennial Act of 1694, which required parliament to be dissolved and fresh elections called at least every three years [3a]
- The first British general election, held in 1708, came after the Acts of Union united the parliaments of England and Scotland [3b]
- Universal suffrage, on an equal basis for men and women over the age of 21, was established in 1929
- Before 1918, general elections did not occur on a single day and polling was spread over several weeks.[3c]
- In 2011, the Fixed-term Parliaments Act 2011 was passed. Elections are now every 5 years, barring parliamentary vote. Before this, the election could be called at any point the Prime Minister wished
- At the last general election in 2015, the average voter turn-out in the UK was 66.1% [3d]
The EU Referendum
Please note, this blog does not affiliate to any political agenda, nor seek to persuade the reader to any particular political view.
“A referendum is being held on Thursday, 23 June to decide whether Britain should leave or remain in the European Union.” [4a]
Ahead of the referendum David Cameron secured an agreement with other European Union leaders to change the terms of Britain’s membership. He says the deal, which will take effect immediately if the UK votes to remain in the EU, gives Britain “special” status within the 28 nation club, and will help sort out some of the things British people say they don’t like about the EU, such as high levels of immigration and giving up the ability to run our own affairs.[4a]
The British public appears to be fairly evenly split with just over a month and a half to go before the referendum.
The government wants to stay in the EU and offers these reasons, among many others:
The UK has secured a special status in a reformed EU:
- we will not join the euro
- we will keep our own border controls
- the UK will not be part of further European political integration
- there will be tough new restrictions on access to our welfare system for new EU migrants
- we have a commitment to reduce EU red tape
There are also a lot of interested parties who feel it would be better to leave, and they summarise the following as reasons to go:
- we can make stronger trade deals with other nations
- we can spend UK resources presently through EU membership in the UK to the advantage of our citizens
- we can control our national borders.
- we can deregulate the EU’s costly mass of laws
- we can make major savings for British consumers
For more information on both the parties, click on the links below.
* There are many other websites other than those used here for research purposes.
Voting in the US
“The election of the President and Vice President of the United States is an indirect vote in which citizens cast ballots for a set of members of the U.S. Electoral College. These electors then cast direct votes for the President and Vice President.” 
The voting system in the US works slightly differently from the United Kingdom, when it comes to electing a new President – see the diagram above for more information.
You will all know that candidates have been campaigning around the United States, and that regularly, since February 1 this year, each state has voted as to who they would like to be put forward as the presidential candidate for their political party. This involves two separate processes – caucus and primary. 
A caucus is a local meeting, in a school hall or community centre, and is financed by the political party. Party members will discuss and debate the candidates and express their support for a particular candidate. The first caucus happened in Iowa on February 1st, and the events are run differently by each party. Only 13 states in the 2016 election, are holding caucuses:
Alaska – Colorado – Hawaii – Iowa – Kansas – Louisiana – Maine – Minnesota – Nebraska -Nevada – North Dakota – Washington – Wyoming
Texas is holding a mixture of Semi-Open Primary and Closed Caucuses and New Mexico is using a closed caucus for democrats and a primary for republicans.
The Republican party, in the Iowa 2016 caucus held a secret ballot, whilst the Democratic party physically grouped themselves together for their preferred candidate and a head count was taken.
Technically a caucus does not equal a vote for a presidential candidate, rather a vote for who they want to represent them at the next level, such as county, congressional district and then state.
Primaries are held at a polling station and the individual select their preferred candidate in a ballot. The total number of votes per candidate is apportioned accordingly.
The caucuses and primaries provide the candidates for selection at each party’s convention. The party’s delegates then officially nominate a candidate to run on the party’s behalf.
The general election in November is an indirect election, where voters cast ballots for a slate of members of the Electoral College; these electors in turn directly elect the President and Vice President.
The Presidential Election – The Facts
- The 2016 Presidential Election is being held on Tuesday 8th November
- This will be the 58th quadrennial election
- An American president can only serve two terms – 8 years – in office
- An elected President must be aged over 35 years of age, be a natural-born US citizen and have been resident in the US for at least 14 years
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Written by Debbie Rowe, Typist for Fingertips Typing Services