This US election, the agenda is to ‘Make America Great Again’. But who will be the flag-bearer of the great nation, only time will tell.
America, which is known to be one of the greatest economies in the world, this year will see a head-on challenge between sitting Republican US President Donald Trump and Democratic veteran and ex Vice President, Joe Biden. But this year, there’s a third wheel attached to the agenda too — COVID-19.
US, which is the front-runner in novel Coronavirus infections with at least 9 million confirmed cases and 234,567 deaths, is fighting a battle of its own. It is for history to see who comes winning and how.
There are 538 electoral votes. 535 from the states and three from the Columbia district. America does not elect a President by nationwide popular vote. Each state sends a certain number of ‘electors’ to the Electoral College, which meets after the polls END to formalize the result.
States usually allocate its electors to the winner of their own popular vote, except for Nebraska and Maine. The duo sends two electoral votes to the statewide winner and allocates one for the winner in each of their congressional districts.
America usually votes in-person on election day, early in-person or absentee, generally known as vote-by-mail. COVID-19 restrictions on huge gatherings have forced polling officials to prioritize resources so that Americans can cast their votes safely.
Mail-in voting has always been there in every US state even before the pandemic but this year it has been expanded widely.With social distancing protocols, Americans will follow the mail-in-voting, rather than physical vote process.
United States votes on November 3, 2020, but several Americans have already started casting their ballots to choose their President. Once the President is elected, the process of choosing members of the Congress, governors and local officials is initiated.
Millions of Americans have, however, voted early and many states have already seen record-breaking early turnout. Chances are that 2020 elections will break through certain records in the history of nation.
Postal has been the norm in several parts of US but it has been made more accessible in many states this year because of the ongoing pandemic.
Trump has, for months now, said postal voting is susceptible to tampering and “Democrats have been encouraging it to steal the election”. There is, however, no evidence on this and interestingly Trump too has voted by mail himself.
Trump won the 2016 elections with 107,000 votes coming majorly from Pennsylvania, Michigan and Wisconsin, giving Biden three zones on where he needs to work on for the 2020 polls. If he holds every state his predecessor Hillary Clinton had won, flipping the three states would be more than enough. But Florida and North Carolina are some states where Biden needs to work on to get a comfortable margin.
To add to this, many Republican strongholds are looking to go the Biden way as he is going equally or leading in Arizona, Georgia, and Texas.
Surveys have pointed out that Trump will be able to bag the bigger swing states and bag a few in Minnesota, New Hampshire, and Nevada.
Trump says Americans “deserve” to know who won the vote on election night. Usually, this is when TV channels and news wire agencies call up to know who has won each state and the total electoral college tally.
However this year, there’s a possibility that it could take days to know who has won the elections because of the changes in mail-in ballot rules and also depending on which states are counted in which order.
Most important states have not only expanded mail-in ballots but have also extended the last date for postal ballots to arrive. The Supreme Court of US of late ruled that Pennsylvania can count postal ballots received three days after the polls provided they are postmarked 3 November or earlier. This means that we would not know anything clearly till November 6.
While Trump stated that leaving the President seat will not be a peaceful process if he loses, many people are waiting for the final count and announcement without Trump inviting a controversial start for Joe Biden. However, if Trump continues the tenure, Americans will still hope for a prosperous journey of the country ahead.