•How are House seats reapportioned among the States after each census?
•How can we describe a typical congressional election and congressional district?
•What are the formal and informal qualifications for serving in the House?
Size and Terms
•The exact size of the House of Representatives, currently at 435 members, is determined by Congress.
•The Constitution provides that the total number of seats in the House shall be apportioned (distributed) among the States on the basis of their respective populations.
Members of the House of Representatives serve two-year terms.
Although there have been recent movements to limit terms, there are no limits set on the number of terms a representative may serve.
Article I of the Constitution directs Congress to reapportion—redistribute—the seats in the House after each decennial census
As the United States grew in population, the number of representatives in the House also grew.
The Reapportionment Act of 1929 set the “permanent” size of the House at 435 members, and provided for “automatic reapportionment.”
•Congressional elections are held on the Tuesday following the first Monday in November of each even-numbered year.
•Off-year elections are those congressional elections held between presidential elections.
•Under the single-member district arrangement, the voter’s in each district elect one of the State’s representatives.
•The general-ticket system, no longer in use, provided that all of a State’s seats were filled at-large.
•Districts that have unusual shapes or even defy description have sometimes been gerrymandered.
•Gerrymandering refers to the act of drawing congressional districts to the advantage of the political party that controls the State legislature.
Qualifications for the House Members
•The Constitution says that a member of the House
(1) must be at least 25 years of age,
(2) must have been a citizen of the United States for at least seven years, and
(3) must have been an inhabitant of the State from which he or she is elected.
•The realities of politics also require some informal qualifications, such as party identification, name familiarity, gender, ethnic characteristics, and political experience.
True or False When gerrymandered elections are conducted, all voters in a State choose from the same pool of candidates.
Which qualification for House members is NOT in the Constitution?
a. must be at least 25 years old
b. must have been a citizen for at least seven years
c. must live in the district being represented
d. must live in the State from which chosen
When must congressional elections be held?
a. the first Tuesday of every November.
b. the second day of January in odd years.
c. the Tuesday after the first Monday in November of each even-numbered year.
d. the Monday after the first Tuesday in November of each odd-numbered year.
Answers: F / C / C