The 59th presidential election in the USA will take place on November 3, 2020: Donald Trump versus Joe Biden. The complex US elections often cause confusion among non-Americans. What are the most important things about the US election?

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The US Electoral System

The US electoral system appears complicated but one can understand when the basic principles are laid out. Here are the basics outlined below

  • Eligibility to vote: Americans 18 years of age and older who reside in a US state may vote. Residents of American suburbs such as Puerto Rico are excluded.
  • Eleven states prohibit ex-prisoners from voting. No state except Maine and Vermont recognizes the right to vote for current inmates.
  • In addition, many states require a registration for voting, which – depending on the state – is differently complicated. As a result, it is difficult for parts of the population to vote. General participation is roughly 50 percent.
  • If US citizens living overseas, they can request election papers for the state in which they last lived. However, this process takes several weeks.
  • Candidacy: Presidential candidates must be at least 35 years old and have been resident in the United States for 14 years without a break. Of course, they are also required to be US citizens.
  • In addition, the American president can only be re-elected once. Trump cannot run again in 2024 if he wins this year.
  • Super Tuesday: On March 3, 2020, many large states held their primary elections. The result is trend-setting . The winner has a great chance of winning the nomination convention and a presidential nomination.
  • Nomination Congress: At the Nomination Congress in the summer, the Democrats and Republicans nominated the candidate with the most delegates as their official presidential candidate.
  • Indirect election: on election day, citizens do not vote directly. You designate an “Electoral College” made up of 538 voters who vote. This year election day will take place on November 3rd.
  • Each state sends a number of voters that depends on the population of the state. California sends 55, Idaho only 4.
  • In 48 of 50 states, the decision for whom the electorate will vote is made according to the all-or-nothing principle: if more than half of the electorate in a state vote for a candidate, the latter receives all of that state’s votes – the winner takes it all.
  • This also means that the candidate who collectively collects the most votes does not necessarily become president – this was last the case in 2016.
  • SwingStates: SwingStates state in which the presidential candidates have a similarly high chance of winning. As a result, they are particularly fierce. The counterpart is Texas, for example, where the Republicans traditionally dominate.
  • Absolute majority: the Monday after the second Wednesday in December, the electorate cast their vote for a presidential candidate If a candidate receives 270 of the 538 voters, he wins the race for the presidency.
  • In the following days, a check will be carried out to ensure that all votes are valid and that the election has therefore been lawful.
  • Stalemate situation: If no candidate achieves an absolute majority, the 12th Amendment of the Constitution applies:
  • The House of Representatives elects the President from among the three candidates with the most electoral votes.
  • Inauguration: On January 20, the elected president will be officially sworn into his or her office. The lengthy selection process is over.

US elections 2020: The candidates Biden and Trump

The nomination party congresses have determined the final candidates from both camps: While the Republicans are running the incumbent President Donald Trump, whose candidacy has never been jeopardized, the Democrats have chosen Joe Biden.

  • Biden, born in 1942 (Vice President from 2009 to 2017) has already participated in primary elections twice – each time without success.
  • The fame he has gained from this plays into his cards. As the fifth youngest senator in US history and a former vice president, he also has qualifications that demonstrate his ability to govern.
  • However, in the course of the election campaign, his critics repeatedly emphasize his involvement in politically explosive events. For example, Trump has accused Biden of having played a crucial role in the Ukraine affair.
  • Donald Trump facts and curiosities: net worth, family, Twitter and hair and information on the personal lives of First Lady Melania Trump and daughters Ivanka and Tiffany.
  • The TV duels between the candidates were September 29, October 15 and October 22
  • You can find out everything you need to know about the 2020 US election in the news ticker from FOCUS Online.