US Elections: How Americans elect President ?


The 2020 United States presidential election is scheduled for Tuesday, November 3, 2020. It will be the 59th quadrennial presidential election. With 13 days to go until this election, 

Let’s understand How does US election voting work?

The presidential election vote is a simple choice between candidates from the Democratic Party and the Republican Party. 

Any prospective presidential candidate must meet three criteria: 

  • They must be a US citizen from birth; 
  • at least 35 years old; 
  • and have lived in the US for at least 14 years.

The two main political parties hold primaries and caucuses across the country during an election year to select who they want to represent them on the ballot. 

The Democratic and Republican candidates are then formally selected and announced during their parties’ summer conventions. 

Americans will cast their vote for “electors”, not the candidates themselves. The electors are state officials or senior party figures, but they are not usually named on the ballot. 

Each elector casts one vote following the general election for one of the two candidates. The newly elected President and Vice-President will then be inaugurated on January 20, 2021.

How does the electoral college work?

All 50 US states and Washington DC have a set number of “electors” in the electoral college – roughly proportionate to the size of each state. 

Each state gets at least three electoral votes because the amount is equal to its total number of Senators and Representatives in the US Congress. 

  • California, the largest state, has 55 electoral votes, 
  • Texas, the next largest, gets 38. 
  • New York and Florida have 29 each.

What are swing states?

The key for either party to win the presidential election is to target specific battleground states. They hold the key to winning the election.

This year North Carolina, Florida, Michigan, Wisconsin, and Arizona could all be decisive in the election’s outcome.

What happens on Election Day? 

On November 3, voters who have not sent a mail-in ballot will head to the polls. The colossal task of counting votes begins later that day.

Some news networks and pollsters will publish projected results late on Nov 3, though these results are provisional while mail-in ballots are counted.

How many electoral votes are needed to win?

To win the presidency, Mr Trump or Mr Biden must get more than 50 per cent of the Electoral College vote. There are 538 possible electoral votes, which means 270 are required to win.


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