How U.S. Elections Work

Elections are straightforward by the end: you see the candidates, and you vote for the candidate you want in office. But the process to select and narrow down candidates can be complex — and take months or years. Learn how U.S. elections work from start to finish.

Election and Voting Law Explained

The U.S. Election Process: Before the Vote

The U.S. Election Process: At the Polls

The U.S. Election Process: After the Vote

About's Voting Resources

The voting articles across this site are meant to help you understand how voting works in the U.S. and be better informed come Election Day. Learn more about us.  

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Learn about the history of the electoral college — including why it was started, and whether it still works today — in our interview with election law expert David Schultz.