US election 2020 : All you need to know about the presidential race

Americans are gearing to vote in the U.S  presidential election after only a few days to determine who will be their next president in what may be the most significant elections in the modern era.

The US presidential election seems to be a difficult process for many, as the nominee who receives the most votes nationwide may not be the winner of the presidency.

What many do not comprehend is that the President and Vice President of the United States are not directly elected by the people. Rather, they are chosen by so-called “Electors” through a process called “Electoral College”.

The president of the United States of America has a great influence on how the world reacts to international crises, such as wars, global epidemics and climate change.

So when elections are held there every four years, we see a lot of global interest in the result, but many find it difficult how the relatively complex electoral process proceeds.

What are the main parties?

Unlike several other countries, in the US, there are exclusively two parties considered by most voters – the Democrats (the liberal, left-of-centre party) and the Republicans (the conservative, right-of-centre party).

Other “third-party” competitors sometimes engage , with the Libertarian, Green and Independent parties occasionally putting forth a nominee.

How is voting done and who are eligible to participate?

To vote in presidential election one must be 18 years old, a United States citizen and not a convicted felon. Each state has its own requirements.

In 2016, about 245 million people were eligible to vote in elections, but fewer than 140 million people actually participated.

Most people vote directly at polling stations on Election Day, but alternative midpoints of voting have been on the rise in recent years. In 2016, 21 percent of voters voted by mail.

The process of voting has become a controversial issue this year due to the COVID-19 pandemic, as some politicians are requesting for the use of postal ballot cards on a larger scale, but President Trump states that this may lead to more fraud in the elections despite the lack of evidence of his words.

Is the election just about who is president?

No. All of the concentration will be on Trump v Biden, but voters will also be electing new members of Congress when they fill in their ballots.

Democrats now have control of the House so they will be attending to keep hold of that while also gaining control of the Senate.

If they had a majority in both chambers they would be capable to block or stop President Trump’s plans if he were to be re-elected.

When will we find out the result?

It can take some days for every vote to be counted, but it’s usually pretty apparent who the winner is by the early hours of the following morning.

Officials are already predicting that we may have to wait longer – perhaps days, even weeks – for the result this year because of the expected surge in postal ballots.

The last time the result wasn’t clear within a few hours was in 2000, when the winner wasn’t confirmed until a Supreme Court ruling was made a month later

When does the winner take office?

If Joe Biden wins the election, he wouldn’t directly replace President Trump as there is a set transition period to give the new leader time to appoint cabinet ministers and make plans.

The new president is officially sworn into office on 20 January in a ceremony known as the inauguration, which is held on the steps of the Capitol building in Washington DC.

After the ceremony, the new president makes his way to the White House to begin their four-year term in office.


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