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The US president has an enormous affect on individuals’s lives each at dwelling and overseas, so when the subsequent election is held on 3 November, the result will matter to everybody.
The US political system is dominated by simply two events, so the president at all times belongs to one in every of them.
The Republicans are the conservative political celebration within the US and their candidate on this yr’s election is President Donald Trump, who’s hoping to safe one other 4 years in energy.
The Democrats are the liberal political celebration within the US and their candidate is Joe Biden, an skilled politician best-known for serving as Barack Obama’s vp for eight years.
Each males are of their 70s – Mr Trump could be 74 years outdated at the beginning of his second time period, whereas at 78, Mr Biden could be the oldest first-term president in historical past.
How is the winner determined?
Each candidates compete to win electoral school votes.
Every state will get a sure variety of electoral school votes partly based mostly on its inhabitants and there are a complete of 538 up for grabs, so the winner is the candidate that wins 270 or extra.
This implies voters resolve state-level contests fairly than the nationwide one, which is why it’s potential for a candidate to win essentially the most votes nationally – like Hillary Clinton did in 2016 – however nonetheless be defeated by the electoral school.
All however two states have a winner-takes-all rule, so whichever candidate wins the best variety of votes is awarded the entire state’s electoral school votes.
Most states lean closely in direction of one celebration or the opposite, so the main target is often on a dozen or so states the place both of them might win. These are often known as the battleground states.
Who can vote and the way do they do it?
Should you’re a US citizen and also you’re 18 or over, you have to be eligible to vote within the presidential election, which takes place each 4 years.
Nonetheless, numerous states have handed legal guidelines requiring voters to indicate identification paperwork to show who they’re earlier than they will vote.
These legal guidelines are sometimes put into place by Republicans who say they’re wanted to protect in opposition to voter fraud. However Democrats accuse them of utilizing this as a type of voter suppression as it’s usually poorer, minority voters who’re unable to offer ID like a driving licence.
How individuals vote is a contentious situation this yr due to the coronavirus pandemic. Some politicians are calling for wider use of postal ballots, however President Trump has stated – with little or no proof – that this might end in extra voter fraud.
Is the election nearly who’s president?
No. The entire consideration can be on Trump v Biden, however voters may even be selecting new members of Congress once they fill of their ballots.
Democrats have already got management of the Home so they are going to be trying to preserve maintain of that whereas additionally gaining management of the Senate.
If that they had a majority in each chambers they’d be capable to block or delay President Trump’s plans if he had been to be re-elected.
All 435 seats within the Home are up for election this yr, whereas 33 Senate seats are additionally up for grabs.
When will we discover out the outcome?
It might take a number of days for each vote to be counted, but it surely’s often fairly clear who the winner is by the early hours of the next morning.
In 2016, Donald Trump took to the stage in New York at about 3am to provide his victory speech in entrance of a crowd of jubilant supporters.
However don’t set your alarm clocks simply but. Officers are already warning that we could have to attend longer – probably days, even weeks – for the outcome this yr due to the anticipated surge in postal ballots.
The final time the outcome wasn’t clear inside a couple of hours was in 2000, when the winner wasn’t confirmed till a Supreme Court docket ruling was made a month later.
When does the winner take workplace?
If Joe Biden wins the election, he wouldn’t instantly change President Trump as there’s a set transition interval to provide the brand new chief time to nominate cupboard ministers and make plans.
The brand new president is formally sworn into workplace on 20 January in a ceremony often known as the inauguration, which is held on the steps of the Capitol constructing in Washington DC.
After the ceremony, the brand new president makes their technique to the White Home to start their four-year time period in workplace.