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House of Representatives

Compare data for parliamentary chambers in the Electoral system module

Parliament name Congress
Structure of parliament Bicameral
Chamber name House of Representatives
Related chamber (for bicameral parliaments) Senate
Electoral Law 1 January 1900
Last amendment: 20/05/1993
Mode of designation directly elected 435
Constituencies 435 single-member constituencies
Each Representative represents roughly the same number of citizens, provided that each State has at least one Representative. Within the constitutional limitation that "the number of Representatives shall not exceed one for every thirty thousand" inhabitants, the Congress itself has the power to determine the size of the House of Representatives.
Voting system Majority: Single member plurality systems ("first past the post") except in the State of Georgia where a run off is held if no candidate receives an absolute majority.
Vacancies arising between general elections are filled through by elections.
Voting is not compulsory.
Voter requirements - age: 18 years
- US citizens who "in each State, shall have the qualifications requisite for electors of the most numerous branch of the State legislature"
- the determination of who may vote falls under the jurisdiction of each State
- absentee registration and voting mandated by federal law for certain groups of citizens (e.g. armed forces and merchant marine personnel, their spouses and dependants, private citizens residing outside the United States and government employees)
- disqualifications: convicted felons, the mentally incompetent (most States)
Eligibility - qualified electors
- age: 25 years
- US citizenship for 7 years
- residence in the State where running
Incompatibilities - any civil office under the authority of the United States
Candidacy requirements - nomination as a result of "nominating", or primary, elections of political parties is the practice in most States; it is regulated by state law
- number of voters whose support is necessary to qualify as a candidate in either a party's primary or in a general election, and the necessity or amount of an accompanying filing fee, vary according to state law

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