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Tags Current Affairs

US Presidential elections

Date: 04 November 2020 Tags: Miscellaneous

Issue

The US has voted for the Presidential elections that will determine the fate of incumbent Donald Trump and his challenger Joe Biden.

 

Background

Unlike Indian or other elections, US elections works on electoral college system where each state has a specified number of electoral college votes and that will be transferred to the winner of highest votes in the state.

 

Details

  • The electoral college system effectively creates 51 mini elections – one for each of the 50 US states and another for the nation’s capital, Washington DC.

  • In 48 of the states and DC, the candidate that receives the most votes in the election gets that state’s allocation of electors.

  • The bigger states, like California, Texas, and Florida have large numbers of electors (55, 38, and 29 respectively) while smaller states like Wyoming, Delaware, and Alaska get just three.

  • There are a total of 538 electors across the country and a candidate needs an absolute majority of 270 or more to become president.

  • If no candidate has the required 270 electoral college votes, then a contingent election takes place. This means the House of Representatives, the lower chamber of the Unites States Congress, votes for the president.

  • Representatives are given one vote per state. They can choose from the three candidates who received the most electoral votes – an absolute majority of 26 is required to become president.

  • The upper chamber of congress, the Senate, votes for the vice-president, with only the top two candidates at the election eligible. Each individual senator is given one vote and again, an absolute majority of 51 is required. 

  • No president can serve more than two full terms. In the event a vice-president takes on the role mid-term, they can technically seek a third spell – provided the total amount of time they act as president is no more than 10 years.

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