Commentators CNN has compiled the most popular search queries related to the presidential elections in the US, and has prepared a selection of answers. How to construct and electoral system of America? What has already changed and will change in 2020? Here’s what you should know about this.
When the elections begin in the US?
The short answer: under U.S. law, election day is always the Tuesday after the first Monday in November. In 2020 on 3 November.
Clarifying response: the elections will begin a few weeks before November 3. Many people in the USA vote early or by mail, and in connection with pandemic COVID-19 this year more people will vote remotely than ever.
Full response: the elections have been going on for several months. Presidential election begins with the fact that the main political parties, the Republicans and Democrats choose their candidates (Donald trump and Joe Biden this year). The primary elections that determine the candidates, was launched in early 2020 and was completed by the summer.
Important to know: there are many other important electoral processes taking place simultaneously with the presidential race. Voters will choose all 435 members of the U.S. house of representatives, who have been in power for 2 years. Voters in several States will also vote for senators, who serve 6 years. The party, which controls the two houses of Congress, holds a lot of power in Washington, so these elections are important from the point of view of what can be achieved when the newly elected (or reelected) President.
When the elections end in the US?
Short answer: November 3 — although the latter will vote for Alaska natives, after midnight Eastern time.
Clarifying response: when all the votes are counted.
Full response: given the use of remote voting by mail this year, figuring out who won the popular vote, may take more than one day. Can always be a big gap of votes, which immediately catches the eye. But none of the parties does not accept defeat until it is absolutely sure that he had lost (after the 2000 election al Gore got more votes, but fewer electoral votes than George Bush has several times demanded a manual recount before the Supreme court decided to admit defeat Mountain).
Elections can be delayed for several days or even weeks, as States wait until there is a ballot, and conduct the necessary calculations before confirming your results. In the same year 2000, more than a month it was not clear who won.
Why is election day in the USA scheduled for November Tuesday?
It is not spelled out in the Constitution, but it is a question of law. Congress set the date in 1845.
Can elections be postponed or changed?
This question is particularly interesting in connection with the pandemic. As the election day set by law for the adoption or change of date will require an act of Congress and the assent of the President. It’s not like there was such possibility.
Who can vote?
The simple answer is that the 26th Amendment set the age for voting from 18 years old and U.S. citizens over that age can vote.
But that’s not all. Voters do not elect the President directly. It makes the electoral College, which includes representatives of the electors from each state who vote according to the results of the popular vote. Thus, ordinary citizens go to the polls to decide who in their staffs will receive votes cast by members of the electoral College.
Rules are different in every state and can even vary within States.
It is noteworthy that in recent years, new state laws sought to complicate the vote. The defenders of the laws expressed concern about fraud, even though studies show that voter fraud is extremely rare. They made demands to show ID in some places, tried to “clean up” the voter lists. Opponents complained that these restrictions are a form of voter suppression.
Prisoners can vote in Vermont and Maine, but not in others. Attempt to allow prisoners the vote in Florida was approved by the voters in 2016, but then stalled the Republicans that control state government.
Add to that the stain of slavery and repression that did not allow blacks to vote people first, due to the fact that they were slaves, and then for inspections literacy and taxes on the ballot. Also add the fact that women in all States of the United States could not vote until 1920.
Plus there are areas. Puerto Ricans are US citizens, but the territory is not the vote of the electoral College — why was there people do not have the right to vote in the November presidential election, although they can vote in the primaries in the party.
What’s in the newsletter?
Short answer: most Americans vote for the President and Congress, but in November the ballot will also include elections in the States and in the field, so they will vary in different cities and States.
Complete answer: anyone who votes in the American state can vote for President. But the ballots will be different depending on the state. Biden and trump will be indicated in polls everywhere, but there are other options of smaller parties, which vary depending on the rules of the state.
Everyone who votes in the American state, also will vote for a member of Congress, with some exceptions. The residents of Washington, D.C., elected to Congress only a non-voting delegate. Residents of Puerto Rico also elected to Congress only delegate without voting rights.
In every US state two senators, regardless of whether their population is tiny, as in Wyoming, or large as in California. But the senators six-year term of service, so that only about a third of them vote in any given year.
Some States will choose governors this year, and others not. In most ballots will also be some combination of state and local representatives. In some States there are initiatives for the vote, they’re asking its residents all sorts of questions, and some people are invited to vote for local initiatives. Again, they are all different.
Contact your local government or the Secretary of state for the sample newsletter.
How to elect U.S. senators?
They are elected by popular vote in the state. But this is not proceeding as originally envisaged by the Constitution. Senators chosen before the state legislative Assembly. The creators of this rule was trying to protect senators from public opinion. But it was awfully corrupt practices and it took more than 100 years of efforts to change the Constitution in 1913 with the 17th amendment, which obliged the people to choose their senators.
As elected members of the house of representatives of the United States?
They are elected by popular vote at the polls for congressional elections. But it is worth noting that not all sites are uniformly distributed. The census, which is conducted every 10 years (including 2020), determines how many sections gets each state.
Political parties have long been trying to use the advantages of their plots in the United States, often thereby strengthening their majority in the United States and supporting gerrymandering. This process of arbitrary demarcation of constituencies with the aim of changing the balance of political forces in and on-site elections, was the subject of numerous court cases. Other States tried to make it more fair, taking a nonpartisan or bipartisan Commission to change the boundaries of the districts.
There is also a paradoxical differences related to population and the States. The only polling station for the elections to Congress in Wyoming has less than 600,000 people. District in California or Texas will have more than 700,000 people.
After the census of 2020 will be a “redistribution”, and some States may lose or gain seats in the House depending on changes in population.
How elect a US President?
But this is more difficult.
Each state holds its own election, but all of them include in their ballots the Republicans and Democrats. Therefore, although there are no technical rules about what the election is held between these two parties, it really is. Parties choose their candidates at the primaries, usually starting in January of the same year, when General elections will be held. From there begins the timeline.
All States hold their General elections on the first Tuesday after the first Monday in November. Then determine the electors — the people who will vote in the electoral College, depending on the winner in national elections.
States electors meet in state capitals on the first Monday after the second Wednesday of December in 2020 it will be 14 December and vote for President and Vice President.
Then they send the results to Capitol hill on December 23.
All the electoral votes from each state ultimately awarded to the winner of this state, with the exception of Maine and Nebraska where two electoral votes go to the winner of the state, and the remaining voices representing the County Convention go to the winner of this constituency for elections to the Congress.
The vote of the electoral College are counted publicly in the Congress, January 6, acting Vice-President.
Then there are two weeks to settlement of disputes, and on January 20 the new President takes office.
Is voting in elections on the popular vote?
NO! And that is how trump became President, although in 2016, Hillary Clinton voted more people. Same thing with George Bush against al Gore and several other presidents in history. The system, which today benefits small and less populated States, was created before most of the US population could vote. This gave the States in the South a partial recognition of their enslaved population to determine the scope of representation, but gave voting rights only to certain white men.
Today American voters to vote for President, but they still elect electors who ultimately elect the President. The number of electors was set to 538 since 1964, and winning requires 270 votes. Each state gets number of electors equal to its representation in Congress (House of representatives plus two senators). Thus, Wyoming would receive the three electors, while California, the most populous state, will receive a 55.
When they announced the election results?
Officials engaged in the election, usually you start to count and report results after the closing of polling stations in their area. You will see that these results will begin to leak out in the media pretty quickly. Or you’ll hear about one of the candidates, the losing. If there isn’t enough information, you may need more time to figure out the results.
As a rule, Americans on election day already know who won the presidential race. But, as already mentioned, this time counting of votes may take considerably more time, as more and more people vote by mail or in absentia. But the formal selection process of the President lasts for months, and technically, the winner is not declared, at least until 6 January.
Can an election end in a draw?
No, the President would eventually be elected. But in this way may be several obstacles. If, after the date of the election none of the candidates receive 270 votes (or both for 269 votes), the House of representatives elects the President, each state delegation gets a vote. So it will be as long as one of the candidates receives a majority.
History lovers should read about the election of 1824 when the House of representatives did President John Quincy Adams, although Andrew Jackson was more popular and received more votes from the start of the race.
When the winner takes office?
At noon Wednesday 20 January 2021. Mark your calendar.