The US presidential election is taking place at a time when the global Coronavirus pandemic has engulfed the United States and claimed more than 200,000 lives, forcing an extraordinary number of Americans to vote by mail.
While according to the statistics that have come out in the last few days, a large number of people have preferred to cast their votes directly in the pre-vote.
According to the Pew Research Center, most of the voting will be completed before November 3, but is the process as simple as counting votes and announcing the winner?
As of October 28, six days before the election, 70 million Americans out of 150 million voters had cast their ballots, a historic turnout and could be the largest turnout in a century, according to the US Election Project.
Democrats have a two-to-one lead in the pre-vote, but Republicans have narrowed that margin indirect voting in recent weeks, according to the latest figures.
How are presidential candidates selected?
According to the US Constitution, a presidential candidate must meet three basic requirements.
The candidate must be a US citizen, at least 35 years old and have lived in the United States for 14 years.
Despite these basic conditions for the presidency of the United States, no woman has yet been elected to the presidency and Barack Obama is the only president in the history of the country who is of African American descent.
Democrats and Republicans are the two main parties in the United States, also known as the Grand Old Party (GOP). Before these parties finalize their candidates, all possible candidates must compete at the state level within the party.
In these contests, each candidate aims to gather more delegates before the party’s national convention. The convention not only gives both parties a chance to highlight their talented candidates but also hints at the emergence of new politicians.
An example of this is the 2004 Democratic National Convention in which a young man named Barack Obama, a senator at the time, delivered a keynote address, but his keynote address paved the way for him to run for president four years later.
The popular vote does not decide a candidate’s victory
According to the law, Election Day is the first Tuesday in November for elections. Surprisingly, the candidate who got the most votes in the last election did not win and this is the stage when the concept of Electoral College becomes important.
It should be noted that the electoral college is a process and it does not mean real college at all.
Another important aspect of elections is that no candidate can become president without a majority of votes, but must win the electoral vote, with each state allocating electoral votes based on the proportion of its population. If a candidate wins in a particular state, he or she is expected to win all the electoral votes in that state.
There are a total of 538 electoral votes for the US presidential election and a candidate needs 270 electoral votes to win.
According to the BBC, to put it simply, when the American people vote in an election, they do not vote directly for the president, but for a group of people who later I elect the president and vice president.
The simple meaning of the word ‘college’ here is a group of people with a common goal, the Electoral College meets every 4 years one day after the election to continue the work.
According to Washington’s leading Liberal Think Tank Center for American Progress, Hillary Clinton won a majority in the 2016 National Popularity vote, but Trump won the presidency for the next five years with 30 states and 304 electoral college votes.
On the other hand, for a candidate to win in a state does not mean that the elected officials are bound to vote for him. According to the National Conference State Legislatures, there is no federal law or constitutional provision regarding elected persons under which they are obliged to vote for the candidate of the party which elected them.
Some states are more important
Most US states can be divided from a political point of view, with some Democrats or Republicans having a ‘swing’ of voting and these states are called swing states or fierce contests, but recent history and polls It is not clear whether these states are blue or red, so these states can be called decisive in the presidential race.
Candidates usually spend money in these few key states and focus on campaigning for a decisive vote.
There are six major states in the United States that can lead to success or failure, depending on where they are headed, with Michigan, Wisconsin, Pennsylvania, Florida, North Carolina and Arizona in the 2020 presidential race. There are states and the total number of electoral votes in these 6 states is 101.
An NPR report in September stated that the Biden campaign and its affiliates were spending 90% of their money in those states.
The post-election phase
As soon as the polling is over, the difficult counting process begins, which is completed by the Senate. Once the vote count is complete and the states elect their representatives, these representatives can cast their vote for the President.
The new Congress is sworn in at the start of the new year in January, after which the counting of electoral votes begins to formally announce the winning candidate.
However, if a candidate fails to get a majority, the key to the decision goes to the House of Representatives, while the Senate votes for the Vice President.
There is a question mark over the entire US system, as Trump has announced that he will not make a peaceful transfer of power if he loses the November election, saying the matter will go to the Supreme Court, where he will vote by mail-in. Concerns will be raised about the epidemic that has become so popular.
Whatever the final outcome, the United States and the world will have to wait longer than November 3 to see what happens.