Elections in the United States
Elections in the United States are held for government officials at the federal and local levels. At the federal level, the nation's head of state, the President, is elected indirectly by the people of each state, through an Electoral College. Today, these electors always vote with the popular vote of their state. All members of the federal legislature, the Congress, are directly elected by the people of each state. There are many elected offices at state level, each state having at least an elective Governor and legislature. There are elected offices at the local level, in counties, towns, townships and villages. According to a study by political scientist Jennifer Lawless, there were 519,682 elected officials in the United States as of 2012. While the United States Constitution does set parameters for the election of federal officials, state law, not federal, regulates most aspects of elections in the U. S. including primaries, the eligibility of voters, the running of each state's electoral college, as well as the running of state and local elections.
All elections—federal and local—are administered by the individual states. The restriction and extension of voting rights to different groups has been a contested process throughout United States history; the federal government has been involved in attempts to increase voter turnout, by measures such as the National Voter Registration Act of 1993. The financing of elections has long been controversial, because private sources make up substantial amounts of campaign contributions in federal elections. Voluntary public funding for candidates willing to accept spending limits was introduced in 1974 for presidential primaries and elections; the Federal Elections Commission, created in 1975 by an amendment to the Federal Election Campaign Act, has the responsibility to disclose campaign finance information, to enforce the provisions of the law such as the limits and prohibitions on contributions, to oversee the public funding of U. S. presidential elections. The most common method used in U. S. elections is the first-past-the-post system, where the highest polling candidate wins the election.
Some may use a two-round system, where if no candidate receives a required number of votes there is a runoff between the two candidates with the most votes. Since 2002, several cities have adopted instant-runoff voting in their elections. Voters rank the candidates in order of preference rather than voting for a single candidate. If a candidate secures more than half of votes cast, that candidate wins. Otherwise, the candidate with the fewest votes is eliminated. Ballots assigned to the eliminated candidate are recounted and assigned to those of the remaining candidates who rank next in order of preference on each ballot; this process continues. In 2016, Maine became the first state to adopt instant-runoff voting statewide for its elections, although due to state constitutional provisions, the system is only used for federal elections and state primaries; the eligibility of an individual for voting is set out in the constitution and regulated at state level. The constitution states that suffrage cannot be denied on grounds of race or color, sex, or age for citizens eighteen years or older.
Beyond these basic qualifications, it is the responsibility of state legislatures to regulate voter eligibility. Some states ban convicted criminals felons, from voting for a fixed period of time or indefinitely; the number of American adults who are or permanently ineligible to vote due to felony convictions is estimated to be 5.3 million. Some states have legacy constitutional statements barring declared incompetent from voting. While the federal government has jurisdiction over federal elections, most election laws are decided at the state level. All U. S. states. Traditionally, voters had to register at state offices to vote, but in the mid-1990s efforts were made by the federal government to make registering easier, in an attempt to increase turnout; the National Voter Registration Act of 1993 required state governments that receive certain types of federal funding to make the voter registration process easier by providing uniform registration services through drivers' license registration centers, disability centers, schools and mail-in registration.
Other states allow citizens same-day registration on Election Day. In many states, citizens registering to vote may declare an affiliation with a political party; this declaration of affiliation does not cost money, does not make the citizen a dues-paying member of a party. A party cannot prevent a voter from declaring his or her affiliation with them, but it can refuse requests for full membership. In some states, only voters affiliated with a party may vote in that party's primary elections. Declaring a party affiliation is never required; some states, including Georgia, Minnesota, Virginia and Washington, practice non-partisan registration. Voters unable or unwilling to vote at polling stations on Election Day can vote via absentee ballots. Absentee ballots are most sent and received via the United States Postal Service. Despite their name, absentee ballots are requested and submitted in person. About half of all states and U. S. territories allow "no excuse absentee," where no reason is required to request an absentee ballot.
Others require a valid reason, such as infirmity or tra
United States Secretary of State
The Secretary of State is a senior official of the federal government of the United States of America, as head of the United States Department of State, is principally concerned with foreign policy and is considered to be the U. S. government's equivalent of a Minister for Foreign Affairs. The Secretary of State is nominated by the President of the United States and, following a confirmation hearing before the Senate Committee on Foreign Relations, is confirmed by the United States Senate; the Secretary of State, along with the Secretary of the Treasury, Secretary of Defense, Attorney General, are regarded as the four most important Cabinet members because of the importance of their respective departments. Secretary of State is a Level I position in the Executive Schedule and thus earns the salary prescribed for that level; the current Secretary of State is Mike Pompeo, who served as Director of the Central Intelligence Agency. Pompeo replaced Rex Tillerson whom President Trump dismissed on March 13, 2018.
Tillerson's last day at the State Department was March 31, 2018. Pompeo was confirmed by the Senate on April 26, 2018 and was sworn in that day; the stated duties of the Secretary of State are as follows: "Supervises the United States Foreign Service" and "administers the Department of State" Advises the President on matters relating to U. S. foreign policy including the appointment of diplomatic representatives to other nations and on the acceptance, recall, or dismissal of representatives from other nations "Negotiates, interprets, or terminates treaties and agreements" and "conducts negotiations relating to U. S. foreign affairs" "Personally participates in or directs U. S. representatives to international conferences and agencies" Provides information and services to U. S. citizens living or traveling abroad such as providing credentials in the form of passports Ensure the protection of the U. S. government to U. S. citizens and interests in foreign countries "Supervises the administration of the U.
S. immigration policy abroad" Communicates issues relating the U. S. foreign policy to Congress and to U. S. citizens "Promotes beneficial economic intercourse between the U. S. and other countries"The original duties of the Secretary of State include some domestic duties such as: Receipt, publication and preservation of the laws of the United States Preparation and recording of the commissions of Presidential appointees Preparation and authentication of copies of records and authentication of copies under the Department's seal Custody of the Great Seal of the United States Custody of the records of former Secretary of the Continental Congress except for those of the Treasury and War departmentsMost of the domestic functions of the Department of State have been transferred to other agencies. Those that remain include storage and use of the Great Seal of the United States, performance of protocol functions for the White House, the drafting of certain proclamations; the Secretary negotiates with the individual States over the extradition of fugitives to foreign countries.
Under Federal Law, the resignation of a president or of a vice president is only valid if declared in writing, in an instrument delivered to the office of the secretary of state. Accordingly, the resignations in disgrace of President Nixon and of Vice-President Spiro Agnew, domestic issues, were formalized in instruments delivered to the Secretary of State; as the highest-ranking member of the cabinet, the secretary of state is the third-highest official of the executive branch of the Federal Government of the United States, after the president and vice president, is fourth in line to succeed the presidency, coming after the vice president, the Speaker of the House of Representatives, the President pro tempore of the Senate. Six secretaries of state have gone on to be elected president. Others, including Henry Clay, William Seward, James Blaine, William Jennings Bryan, John Kerry, Hillary Clinton have been unsuccessful presidential candidates, either before or after their term of office as Secretary of State.
The nature of the position means. The record for most countries visited in a secretary's tenure is 112 by Hillary Clinton. Second is Madeleine Albright with 96; the record for most air miles traveled in a secretary's tenure is 1,417,576 miles by John Kerry. Second is Condoleezza Rice's 1,059,247 miles, third is Clinton's 956,733 miles. Official website
United States Civil Service Commission
The United States Civil Service Commission was a government agency of the federal government of the United States and was created to select employees of federal government on merit rather than relationships. In 1979, it was dissolved as part of the Civil Service Reform Act of 1978. On March 3, 1871, President Ulysses S. Grant signed into law the first U. S. civil service reform legislation, passed by Congress. The act created the United States Civil Service Commission, implemented by President Grant and funded for two years by Congress lasting until 1874. However, Congress who relied on patronage the Senate, did not renew funding of the Civil Service Commission. President Grant's successor, President Rutherford B. Hayes requested a renewal of funding but none was granted. President Hayes' successor, James A. Garfield, advocated Civil Service reform, his efforts against the spoils system known as patronage, were cut short after he was assassinated by Charles J. Guiteau. President Garfield's successor, President Chester A. Arthur, took up the cause of Civil Service reform and was able to lobby Congress to pass the Pendleton Civil Service Reform Act in 1883.
The Pendleton law was passed in part due to public outcry over the assassination of President Garfield. The Pendleton Act renewed funding for the Civil Service Commission and established a three-man commission to run Civil Service whose commissioners were chosen by President Arthur; the Civil Service Commission administered the civil service of the United States federal government. The Pendleton law required certain applicants to take the civil service exam in order to be given certain jobs. President Arthur and succeeding Presidents continued to expand the authority of the Civil Service Commission and federal departments that the Civil Service was covered; the Civil Service Commission, in addition to reducing patronage alleviated the burdensome task of the President of the United States in appointing federal office seekers. Under the Commission Model, policy making and administrative powers were given to semi-independent commission rather than to the president. Reformers believed that a commission formed outside of the president’s chain of command would ensure that civil servants would be selected on the basis of merit system and the career service would operate in a political neutrality fashion.
Civil Service Commissions consisted of three to seven individuals appointed by the chief executive on a bipartisan basis and for limited terms. Commissioners were responsible for direct administration of personnel system, including rule-making authority, administration of merit examinations, enforcement of merit rules. On April 27, 1953, President Eisenhower issued Executive Order 10450, which banned gay men and lesbians from working for any agency of the federal government, including the United States Civil Service Commission, it was not until 1973 that a federal judge ruled that a person’s sexual orientation alone could not be the sole reason for termination from federal employment, not until 1975 that the United States Civil Service Commission announced that they would consider applications by gays and lesbians on a case by case basis. Effective January 1, 1978, functions of the commission were split between the Office of Personnel Management and the Merit Systems Protection Board under the provisions of Reorganization Plan No. 2 of 1978 and the Civil Service Reform Act of 1978.
In addition, other functions were placed under jurisdiction of the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission, the Federal Labor Relations Authority and the Office of Special Counsel. United States civil service
History of the United States Republican Party
The Republican Party referred to as the GOP, is one of the world's oldest extant political parties. The party values reflect classical conservatism and corporate liberty rights, it is the second oldest existing political party in the United States after its primary rival, the Democratic Party. The party emerged in 1854 to combat the Kansas–Nebraska Act, an act that dissolved the terms of the Missouri Compromise and allowed slave or free status to be decided in the territories by popular sovereignty; the early Republican Party had no presence in the Southern United States, but by 1858 it had enlisted former Whigs and former Free Soil Democrats to form majorities in nearly every Northern state. With its election of Abraham Lincoln in 1860 and its success in guiding the Union to victory in the American Civil War and abolishing slavery, the party came to dominate the national political scene until 1932; the Republican Party at its beginning consisted of African-American and White Northern Protestants, small business owners, factory workers, farmers.
It was pro-business, supporting banks, the gold standard and high tariffs to protect factory workers and grow industry faster. Under William McKinley and Theodore Roosevelt, it emphasized an expansive foreign policy; the GOP lost its majorities during the Great Depression. Instead, the Democrats under Franklin D. Roosevelt formed a winning New Deal coalition, dominant from 1932 through 1964; that coalition collapsed in the mid-1960s because of white Southern Democrats' disaffection with the passage of the Civil Rights Act of 1964. Republicans won five of the six presidential elections from 1968 to 1988, with Ronald Reagan as the party's iconic conservative hero. From 1992 to 2016, the Republican candidate has been elected to the White House in three of the seven presidential elections. Two of these saw George W. Bush and Donald Trump losing the popular vote, but winning the Electoral College. A similar situation in which Republicans won the Electoral College, but lost the popular vote were the 1876 and 1888 elections.
The Republican Party expanded its base throughout the South after 1968 due to its strength among conservative white evangelical Protestants and traditionalist Roman Catholics. As white Democrats in the South lost dominance of the Democratic Party once American courts declared the Democratic white primary elections unconstitutional, the region began taking on the two-party apparatus which characterized most of the nation; the Republican Party's transforming leader by 1980 was Reagan, whose conservative policies called for reduced government spending and regulation, lower taxes and a strong anti-Soviet Union foreign policy. Reagan's influence upon the party persists as nearly every Republican Party speaker still reveres him; as such, social scientists Theodore Caplow et al. argue: "The Republican party, moved from right-center toward the center in the 1940s and 1950s moved right again in the 1970s and 1980s". The Republican Party grew out of opposition to the Kansas–Nebraska Act, signed into law by President Franklin Pierce in 1854.
The Act opened Kansas Territory and Nebraska Territory to slavery and future admission as slave states, thus implicitly repealing the prohibition on slavery in territory north of 36° 30′ latitude, part of the Missouri Compromise. This change was viewed by anti-slavery Northerners as an aggressive, expansionist maneuver by the slave-owning South. Opponents of the Act began forming a new party; the Party began as a coalition of anti-slavery Conscience Whigs such as Zachariah Chandler and Free Soil Democrats such as Salmon P. Chase; the first anti-Nebraska local meeting where "Republican" was suggested as a name for a new anti-slavery party was held in a Ripon, Wisconsin schoolhouse on March 20, 1854. The first statewide convention that formed a platform and nominated candidates under the Republican name was held near Jackson, Michigan on July 6, 1854. At that convention, the party opposed the expansion of slavery into new territories and selected a statewide slate of candidates; the Midwest took the lead in forming state Republican Party tickets.
New England Yankees, who dominated that region and much of upstate New York and the upper Midwest, were the strongest supporters of the new party. This was true for the pietistic Congregationalists and Presbyterians among them and, during the war, many Methodists and Scandinavian Lutherans; the Quakers were a small, tight-knit group, Republican. By contrast, the liturgical churches rejected the moralism of the Republican Party; the new Republican Party envisioned modernizing the United States, emphasizing expanded banking, more railroads and factories, giving free western land to farmers as opposed to letting slave owners buy up the best properties. It vigorously argued that free market labor was superior to slavery and was the foundation of civic virtue and true republicanism. Without using the term "containment", the Republican Party in the mid-1850s proposed a system of containing slavery. Historian James Oakes explains the strategy: The federal government would surround the south with free states, free territories, free waters, building what they called a'cordon of freedom' around slavery, hemming it in until the system's own internal
Indianapolis shortened to Indy, is the state capital and most populous city of the U. S. state of Indiana and the seat of Marion County. According to 2017 estimates from the U. S. Census Bureau, the consolidated population of Indianapolis and Marion County was 872,680; the "balance" population, which excludes semi-autonomous municipalities in Marion County, was 863,002. It is the 16th most populous city in the U. S; the Indianapolis metropolitan area is the 34th most populous metropolitan statistical area in the U. S. with 2,028,614 residents. Its combined statistical area ranks 27th, with a population of 2,411,086. Indianapolis covers 368 square miles, making it the 16th largest city by land area in the U. S. Indigenous peoples inhabited the area dating to 2000 BC. In 1818, the Delaware relinquished their tribal lands in the Treaty of St. Mary's. In 1821, Indianapolis was founded as a planned city for the new seat of Indiana's state government; the city was platted by Alexander Ralston and Elias Pym Fordham on a 1 square mile grid next to the White River.
Completion of the National and Michigan roads and arrival of rail solidified the city's position as a manufacturing and transportation hub. Two of the city's nicknames reflect its historical ties to transportation—the "Crossroads of America" and "Railroad City". Since the 1970 city-county consolidation, known as Unigov, local government administration operates under the direction of an elected 25-member city-county council headed by the mayor. Indianapolis anchors the 27th largest economic region in the U. S. based on the sectors of finance and insurance, manufacturing and business services and health care and wholesale trade. The city has notable niche markets in auto racing; the Fortune 500 companies of Anthem, Eli Lilly and Company and Simon Property Group are headquartered in Indianapolis. The city has hosted international multi-sport events, such as the 1987 Pan American Games and 2001 World Police and Fire Games, but is best known for annually hosting the world's largest single-day sporting event, the Indianapolis 500.
Indianapolis is home to two major league sports clubs, the Indiana Pacers of the National Basketball Association and the Indianapolis Colts of the National Football League. It is home to a number of educational institutions, such as the University of Indianapolis, Butler University, Marian University, Indiana University – Purdue University Indianapolis; the city's robust philanthropic community has supported several cultural assets, including the world's largest children's museum, one of the nation's largest funded zoos, historic buildings and sites, public art. The city is home to the largest collection of monuments dedicated to veterans and war casualties in the U. S. outside of Washington, D. C; the name Indianapolis is derived from the state's name and polis, the Greek word for city. Jeremiah Sullivan, justice of the Indiana Supreme Court, is credited with coining the name. Other names considered were Concord and Tecumseh. In 1816, the year Indiana gained statehood, the U. S. Congress donated four sections of federal land to establish a permanent seat of state government.
Two years under the Treaty of St. Mary's, the Delaware relinquished title to their tribal lands in central Indiana, agreeing to leave the area by 1821; this tract of land, called the New Purchase, included the site selected for the new state capital in 1820. The availability of new federal lands for purchase in central Indiana attracted settlers, many of them descendants of families from northwestern Europe. Although many of these first European and American settlers were Protestants, a large proportion of the early Irish and German immigrants were Catholics. Few African Americans lived in central Indiana before 1840; the first European Americans to permanently settle in the area that became Indianapolis were either the McCormick or Pogue families. The McCormicks are considered to be the first permanent settlers. Other historians have argued as early as 1822 that John Wesley McCormick, his family, employees became the area's first European American settlers, settling near the White River in February 1820.
On January 11, 1820, the Indiana General Assembly authorized a committee to select a site in central Indiana for the new state capital. The state legislature approved the site, adopting the name Indianapolis on January 6, 1821. In April, Alexander Ralston and Elias Pym Fordham were appointed to survey and design a town plan for the new settlement. Indianapolis became a seat of county government on December 31, 1821, when Marion County, was established. A combined county and town government continued until 1832. Indianapolis became an incorporated city effective March 30, 1847. Samuel Henderson, the city's first mayor, led the new city government, which included a seven-member city council. In 1853, voters approved a new city charter that provided for an elected mayor and a fourteen-member city council; the city charter continued to be revised. Effective January 1, 1825, the seat of state government moved to Indianapolis from Indiana. In addition to state government offices, a U. S. district court was established at Indianapolis in 1825.
Growth occurred with the opening of the National Road through the town in 1827, the first major federally funded highway in the United States. A small segment of the failed Indiana Central
New International Encyclopedia
The New International Encyclopedia was an American encyclopedia first published in 1902 by Dodd and Company. It descended from the International Cyclopaedia and was updated in 1906, 1914 and 1926; the New International Encyclopedia was the successor of the International Cyclopaedia. The International Cyclopaedia was a reprint of Alden's Library of Universal Knowledge, a reprint of the British Chambers's Encyclopaedia; the title was changed to The New International Encyclopedia in 1902, with editors Harry Thurston Peck, Daniel Coit Gilman, Frank Moore Colby. The encyclopedia was popular and reprints were made in 1904, 1905, 1907, 1909 and 1911; the 2nd edition appeared from 1914 to 1917 in 24 volumes. With Peck and Gilman deceased, Colby was joined by Talcott Williams; this edition was set up from new type and revised. It was strong in biography. A third edition was published in 1923, however this was a reprint with the addition of a history of the First World War in volume 24, a reading and study guide.
A two-volume supplement was published in 1925 and was incorporated into the 1927 reprint, which had 25 volumes. A further two volumes supplement in 1930 along with another reprint; the final edition was published in 1935, now under the Wagnalls label. This edition included another updating supplement, authored by Herbert Treadwell Wade; some material from the The New International would be incorporated into future books published by Funk and Wagnall's books such as Funk & Wagnalls Standard Encyclopaedia. The 1926 material was printed in Massachusetts, by Yale University Press. Boston Bookbinding Company of Cambridge produced the covers. Thirteen books enclosing 23 volumes comprise the encyclopedia, which includes a supplement after Volume 23; each book contains about 1600 pages. Like other encyclopedias of the time, The New International had a yearly supplement, The New International Yearbook, beginning in 1908. Like the encyclopedia itself, this publication was sold to Funk and Wagnalls in 1931.
It was edited by Frank Moore Colby until his death in 1925, by Wade. In 1937 Frank Horace Vizetelly became editor; the yearbook outlasted the parent encyclopedia, running to 1966. More than 500 men and women submitted and composed the information contained in the The New International Encyclopedia. Walsh, S. P.. Anglo-American general encyclopedias: a historical bibliography, 1703–1967. New York: Bowker. OCLC 577541. Works related to The New International Encyclopedia at Wikisource
Charles J. Guiteau
Charles Julius Guiteau was an American writer and lawyer, convicted of the assassination of James A. Garfield, the 20th president of the United States. Guiteau falsely believed he had played a major role in Garfield's victory, for which he should be rewarded with a consulship, he was so offended by the Garfield administration's rejections of his applications to serve in Vienna or Paris that he decided to kill Garfield, shot him at the Baltimore and Potomac Railroad Station in Washington, D. C. on July 2, 1881. Garfield died two months from infections related to the wounds. In January 1882, Guiteau was sentenced to death for the crime, was hanged five months later. Guiteau was born in Freeport, the fourth of six children of Jane August and Luther Wilson Guiteau, whose family was of French Huguenot ancestry, he moved with his family to Ulao, Wisconsin, in 1850 and lived there until 1855, when his mother died. Soon after and his father moved back to Freeport, he inherited $1,000 from his grandfather as a young man and went to Ann Arbor, Michigan, in order to attend the University of Michigan.
Due to inadequate academic preparation, he failed the entrance examinations. Despite cramming in French and algebra at Ann Arbor High School, during which time he received numerous letters from his father concerning his progress, he quit, in June 1860 joined the utopian religious sect the Oneida Community, in Oneida, New York, with which Guiteau's father had close affiliations. According to Brian Resnick of The Atlantic, Guiteau "worshiped" the group's founder, John Humphrey Noyes, once writing that he had "perfect and absolute confidence in him in all things". Despite the "group marriage" aspects of that sect, he was rejected during his five years there, his name was turned into a play on words to create the nickname "Charles Gitout", he left the community twice. After leaving the first time, he went to Hoboken, New Jersey, attempted to start a newspaper based on the Oneida religion called The Daily Theocrat; this failed and he returned to Oneida, only to leave again and file lawsuits against Noyes.
Guiteau's father, wrote letters in support of Noyes, who had considered Guiteau irresponsible and insane. Guiteau worked as a clerk at a Chicago law firm and passed a cursory examination to attain admission to bar, he was not successful as a lawyer, arguing only one case in court, the bulk of his business was in bill collecting. In 1869 he married librarian Annie Bunn, she detailed his dishonest dealings, describing how he would keep disproportionate amounts from his collections and give the money to his clients. In 1872, Guiteau and his wife moved to New York City one step ahead of bill collectors and dissatisfied clients. Guiteau identified with the Democratic Party, he supported Horace Greeley, the Liberal Republican and Democratic candidate for president against incumbent Republican Ulysses S. Grant. Guiteau prepared a disorganized speech in support of Greeley. Greeley was badly defeated, but during the campaign Guiteau became convinced that if Greeley won, he would appoint Guiteau as Minister to Chile.
Guiteau was physically abusive with his wife. He next turned to theology, he published a book on the subject called The Truth, entirely plagiarized from the work of Noyes. By 1875, Guiteau's father was convinced. Conversely, Guiteau himself became convinced that his actions were divinely inspired, that his destiny was to "preach a new Gospel" like Paul the Apostle, he wandered from town to town lecturing to any and all who would listen to his religious ramblings, in December 1877 gave a lecture at the Congregational Church in Washington, D. C. Guiteau spent the first half of 1880 in Boston, which he left owing money and under suspicion of theft. On June 11, 1880, he was a passenger on the SS Stonington when it collided with the SS Narragansett at night in heavy fog; the Stonington was able to return to port, but the Narragansett burned to the waterline and sank, with significant loss of life. Although none of his fellow passengers on the Stonington were injured, the incident left Guiteau believing that he had been spared for a higher purpose.
Guiteau's interest turned again to politics. During the 1880 presidential campaign, the Republican Party was split into factions – the Stalwarts, led by Roscoe Conkling, who supported Ulysses S. Grant for a third term, the Half-Breeds, who supported James G. Blaine. Guiteau decided to support the Stalwarts and wrote a speech in support of Ulysses S. Grant called "Grant against Hancock", which he revised to "Garfield against Hancock" after Garfield won the Republican nomination. Guiteau changed little more than the title and any mention of Grant in the speech itself; the speech was delivered at most twice, printed copies were passed out to members of the Republican National Committee at their summer 1880 meeting in New York, but Guiteau believed himself to be responsible for Garfield's victory that November. He insisted he should be awarded a consulship for his vital assistance, first asking for Vienna deciding that he would rather have the one in Paris. Guiteau's personal requests to Garfield and his cabinet as one of many job seekers who lined up every day to see them in person were continually rejected, as were his numerous letters.
By the early days of Garfield's administration, which commenced in March 1881