US election 2020: Timelines of US presidential poll

US election 2020: Timelines of US presidential poll

As the United States prepares for the 2020 presidential election, the two candidates, the Republican's President Donald Trump and the Democrats' Joe Biden, have intensified efforts to sway voters to their sides.

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When exactly is the election taking place and how will it be conducted on the said day? explains in this piece.

US election 2020: Timelines of US presidential poll
Timelines of US presidential election, from voting to swearing-in of winner. Photo credit: Bloomberg
Source: UGC

Election Date

The 2020 US presidential election will take place on Tuesday, November 3.

However, there are possibilities that the date may change as President Trump had earlier suggested a postponement, according to The Telegraph.

Postponing the date is, nevertheless, extremely unlike the power to change the election date lies with the US Congress.

Election Day

According to the US law, the election day is always first Tuesday after the first Monday in November. In 2020, the set day falls on Tuesday, November 3.

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Though this is not in the US Constitution, the date is a matter of law as Congress set it back in 1845.

On the election day, millions of Americans will head to the polls to choose between President Trump and Biden.

The counting of the votes will also take place later on the election day.

However, ahead of the election day, more than 35 million Americans have already voted.

These are votes cast by mail and in-person, according to CNBC.

Polls will open as early as 6am and close at 9pm.

Meanwhile, CNN notes that there are a lot of other important elections going on at the same time as the presidential race.

For instance, Americans will also elect all 435 members of the US House of Representatives, who are in office for two-year terms.

In some states, voters in some states will also vote for US senators, who serve six-year terms.

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Trump vs Biden: How winner of US presidential election will emerge (Explainer)

Results Certification

After counting of votes, each of the states in the US will start certifying their results from Tuesday, November 10.

Every state except California must complete the certification by Tuesday, December 8.

Electoral Votes

On Monday, December 14, electors (from the electoral college) will formally cast their (electoral) votes on send them to Washington.

To win the presidential election, President Trump or Biden has to get more than 50 per cent of the electoral vote. There are 538 possible electoral votes, which means 270 are required to win.

According to CNN, the Electoral College votes are counted aloud in Congress on January 6 by the sitting vice president.

There are then two weeks to settle any last disputes.

You can read more about how the Electoral College works here.

Who can Vote?

The voting age in the United States is set at 18, just like it is in Nigeria. However, there are still some variations in some states.

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For instance, prisoners can vote in Vermont and Maine, but not in other states in the country.

When a New President will be Sworn in

The electoral votes will be officially tallied by the Congress to determine the winner of the election, according to Reuters.

The newly elected president will be sworn in on Wednesday, January 20, 2021. He will assume office at noon on the said day.

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