US Presidential Election: Everything you should know about the 2020 US election

Ankit Kumar
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us presidential election

Know the whole process and current situation of the US Election


 

Election Day is here as all the voters in all 50 states and the District of Columbia will be voting for electors on 3rd November. The US election is being held while the world and the US are dealing with the coronavirus pandemic. The virus has taken lives of more than 2.36 lakhs people in the country and has affected more than 94 lakhs people.

How the President will be elected?

The federal law and the Constitution of the United States has established the following process to choose a president. The voters do not directly elect their President in the US elections.

The President is selected on the basis of the electoral college. The vote count is done state-by-state and not a straight vote. It is not certain that the candidate who gets more individual votes will win the election. In 2016 elections, Hilary Clinton received 28 lakh more individual votes than Donald Trump, still she lost. This year, Joe Biden has a 6-point national polling lead against the Republican candidate. This equates to 90 lakh votes more than Donald Trump based on the 2016 turnout.

The voters will be voting for the electors who promise to support one of the candidates. Citizens of U.S. territories including Guam, American Samoa and Puerto Rico cannot vote in the presidential election. They can vote only if they are the official resident of one of the states or Washington DC.

Some states avail the services of the vote in person or mail-in absentee ballots before the Election Day. The voting stops when voting stations close so that states can begin counting the ballots before the election. All the states have their own deadline for confirming elections results. Vote count can be delayed in cases of legal action or other issues.

States have the deadline of December 8 to choose their electors who will vote for the Presidential candidates. The Congress (Parliament of US) cannot challenge or question any electors named by the state.

 

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The scenario of this year

Some people fear vote-counting debates and delays from mail-in ballots might not produce a winner in some states by the deadline. Experts think that there could be a conflict in some states such as North Carolina, Wisconsin, Michigan and Pennsylvania. Things could be complicated in these four states as all four are Republic-controlled-legislatures but the Governor is from the Democratic Party. The governor might send a different list or reject the list of legislatures.

Electors will meet on December 14 for the Electoral College to vote for the new President. A total of 538 members are going to take part. More than half which is 270 electoral votes would be needed to elect the new President and the Vice-President. One copy of the Electoral college results will go to the Senate’s President on December 23.

 

Congress to decide

The members of new Congress, who will take office on January 3, 2021 will count the electoral votes three days later and officially confirm the winner of the election. If none of the candidates wins the majority of electors, the House of Representatives will vote to decide the new President. On the other hand, the Senate will vote for the next Vice- President.

 

Presidential succession

The winner will be sworn-in on January 20, the day when the president’s term begins. If Congress fails to choose a winner by then, the speaker of the House will become the Acting President under the presidential succession law.

 

How Coronavirus has affected US Elections this year?

2020 is not an ordinary year, many things are affected due to COVID-19 this year. The presidential campaigns were different as rallies were conducted virtually, debates were rescheduled, conventions were called off, record number of postal ballot were sent, even the Republican candidate got coronavirus infection.

While Donald Trump has hosted many in-person rallies amid the coronavirus amongst thousands of people, Joe Biden has preferred virtual rally and rallies with social distancing protocols in a limited number of attendees.

 

What are both candidates offering?

Donald Trump is continuing with his slogan of “America First” and introduced campaigns like “Keep America Great” and “Promises Made, Promises Kept.” He is likely to pull out of the World Trade Organization and continue the tax cut and deregulation policy thrust from his first term. Joe Biden’s campaign slogans are “Build Back Better” and “Unite for a Better Future. The Democratic Party leader has said that he will remain tough on China, return to WHO and is unlikely to pull out of the World Trade Organization.

There are three possible scenarios of the results. Either Trumps wins a narrow victory, or Joe Biden wins the presidency, but Republicans control the Senate. The third scenario could be that Biden landslides in the election and Democrat party controls both the Senate (Upper house) and House of Representatives (Lower house).

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