Congressional Research Service Reports - 19 Matching Results

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The Electoral College: How It Works in Contemporary Presidential Elections

Description: This report focuses on the institutions and procedures associated with the contemporary electoral college system. It opens by noting four rarely occurring electoral college eventualities that took place in connection with the 2016 presidential election. These included the election of a President and Vice President who received fewer popular votes than their major opponents; the actions of seven "faithless electors," who voted for candidates other than those to whom they were pledged; the split allocation of electoral votes in Maine, which uses the district system to choose its electors; and challenges to electoral votes in the joint session of Congress at which they are counted. The report also examines the constitutional origins of the electoral college system and identifies the additional components and processes that are the product of federal and state law, party requirements, and political tradition, explaining their role in presidential elections. It provides a timeline for operation of the electoral college system for the 2020 presidential election, a brief examination of alternative reform measures, including constitutional amendment proposals and non-governmental initiatives, such as the National Popular Vote initiative1 (NPV), and closes with concluding observations on the state of the electoral college system and prospects for change.
Date: May 15, 2017
Creator: Neale, Thomas H.
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

Kenya: Current Conditions and the Challenges Ahead

Description: This report discusses the current political conditions of Kenya, which has long been an important ally of the United States. The report focuses particularly on the December 2007 elections, which many international observers have declared as rigged and deeply flawed. The report also discusses violence that erupted once election results were announced, as well as U.S. efforts to urge Kenya toward election reforms.
Date: October 15, 2009
Creator: Dagne, Ted
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

Greece Update

Description: This report discusses current issues regarding Greece's recent elections, economy, and foreign policies.
Date: October 15, 2009
Creator: Migdalovitz, Carol
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

Kenya: Current Conditions and the Challenges Ahead

Description: This report discusses the current political conditions of Kenya, which has long been an important ally of the United States. The report focuses particularly on the December 2007 elections, which many international observers have declared as rigged and deeply flawed. The report also discusses violence that erupted once election results were announced, as well as U.S. efforts to urge Kenya toward election reforms.
Date: April 15, 2011
Creator: Dagne, Ted
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

Côte d'Ivoire's Post-Election Crisis

Description: This report discusses the contested November 28, 2010, presidential election runoff election in Côte d'Ivoire. Laurent Gbagbo and his rival, former Prime Minister Alassane Ouattara, both continue to claim to have won the runoff and to exercise exclusive national executive authority, and to attempt to consolidate their control over state institutions. An increase in armed conflicts in late February 2011, among other indicators, signals the possible outbreak of a renewed civil war. This report discusses these events, as well as U.S. and international efforts to support a peaceful transition in Côte d'Ivoire, which has remained largely divided since the civil war that began in 2002.
Date: March 15, 2011
Creator: Cook, Nicolas
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

Egypt: 2005 Presidential and Parliamentary Elections

Description: In 2005, Egypt conducted two sets of elections that illustrate both the opportunities and challenges for U.S. democracy promotion policy in the Middle East. On September 7, 2005, Egypt conducted its first multi-candidate presidential election, resulting in the reelection of President Hosni Mubarak with 88% of the vote. Although some have credited Egypt for holding a competitive election, many have criticized the outcome and alleged fraud. Parliamentary elections in Egypt resulted in the ruling NDP party securing an overwhelming majority of seats but also saw independent candidates affiliated with the outlawed Muslim Brotherhood winning nearly 20% of seats, a dramatic gain from previous elections.
Date: January 15, 2006
Creator: Sharp, Jeremy M.
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

Iraq: Elections, Government, and Constitution

Description: Elections in 2005 for a transition government (January 30, 2005), a permanent constitution (October 15), and a permanent (four year) government (December 15) were concluded despite insurgent violence, progressively attracting Sunni participation. On May 20, a unity government was formed as U.S. officials had been urging, but it is not clear that the new government will be able to reduce ongoing violence.
Date: June 15, 2006
Creator: Katzman, Kenneth
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

The Electoral College: Reform Proposals in the 108th Congress

Description: American voters elect the President and Vice President of the United States under a complex arrangement of constitutional provisions, federal and state laws, and political party practices known as the electoral college system. Despite occasional close elections, this system has delivered uncontested results in 46 of 50 elections since adoption of the 12th Amendment, effective in 1804. Throughout this period, nevertheless, it has been the subject of persistent criticism and many reform proposals. Related measures fall into two basic categories: those that would eliminate the electoral college and substitute direct popular election of the President and Vice President, and those that would retain the existing system in some form and correct perceived defects.
Date: April 15, 2003
Creator: Neale, Thomas H
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

Campaign Finance: Constitutional and Legal Issues of Soft Money

Description: Prior to enactment of the Bipartisan Campaign Reform Act of 2002 (BCRA), P.L. 107-155, the term “soft money” generally referred to unregulated funds, perceived as resulting from loopholes in the Federal Election Campaign Act (FECA), 2 U.S.C. §§ 431 et seq. Generally, the intent of BCRA, (effective Nov. 6, 2002), which amends FECA, is to restrict the raising and spending of soft money. This Issue Brief discusses constitutional and legal issues surrounding two major types of soft money that BCRA regulates: political party soft money and soft money used for issue advocacy communications. Corporate and labor union soft money, which FECA exempts from regulation and is not addressed by BCRA, is also discussed.
Date: April 15, 2003
Creator: Whitaker, L. Paige
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

Campaign Financing

Description: This is one report in the series of reports that discuss the campaign finance practices and related issues. Concerns over financing federal elections have become a seemingly perennial aspect of our political system, centered on the enduring issues of high campaign costs and reliance on interest groups for needed campaign funds. The report talks about the today’s paramount issues such as perceived loopholes in current law and the longstanding issues: overall costs, funding sources, and competition.
Date: December 15, 2003
Creator: Cantor, Joseph E.
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

Campaign Finance Reform: A Legal Analysis of Issue and Express Advocacy

Description: Issue advocacy communications have become increasingly popular over the federal election cycles. Often these advertisements could be interpreted to favor or disfavor certain candidates, while also serving to inform the public about a policy issue. However, unlike communications that expressly advocate the election or defeat of a clearly identified candidate, the Supreme Court has ruled that issue ads are constitutionally protected First Amendment speech and cannot be regulated in any manner. According to most lower court rulings, only speech containing express words of advocacy of election or defeat, also known as “express advocacy” or “magic words” can be regulated as election-related communications and therefore be subject to the requirements of the Federal Election Campaign Act (FECA). Unlike express advocacy communications, therefore, issue ads may be paid for with funds unregulated by federal law, i.e., soft money
Date: March 15, 2002
Creator: Whitaker, L. Paige
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

Campaign Finance Reform: A Legal Analysis of Issue and Express Advocacy

Description: Issue advocacy communications have become increasingly popular over the federal election cycles. Often these advertisements could be interpreted to favor or disfavor certain candidates, while also serving to inform the public about a policy issue. However, unlike communications that expressly advocate the election or defeat of a clearly identified candidate, the Supreme Court has ruled that issue ads are constitutionally protected First Amendment speech and cannot be regulated.
Date: May 15, 1998
Creator: Whitaker, L. Paige
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department