When is the US elections 2020 and can Trump postpone it?
The elections will be held on Tuesday, 3 November.
Donald Trump Delayed floatedIn a tweet indicating that changes to the rules are making it easier for us voters, postal ballots in many states may lead to “rigged elections.”
Trump has argued that despite using it himself in the past, mail voting is more vulnerable to fraud. Most election experts have questioned whether the mail vote could lead to widespread fraud, as Trump claims, but indicated that the expected rise in mail voting could cause problems.
The election date is not written in the US Constitution, so a delay is technically possible, but the constitution sets a date for the inauguration of the newly elected president in January.
However, the authority to change the election date rests with the US Congress, and the Democrats hold a majority in one room, the House of Representatives, making it extremely unlikely to agree to a postponement.
The US election in a nutshell
American presidential elections always take place on the Tuesday after the first Monday in November.
Americans vote for people called “voters” in their state who support the candidate who wants to become president – this process is called the Electoral College.
The more people live in a state, the more electors that state has. So California, for example, with a population of 38.8 million, has 55 votes – while Delaware (population 936,000), has only three.
There are currently 538 voters In total, it corresponds to 435 lawmakers (men and women in Congress) and 100 senators, plus three additional electors from the District of Columbia. The constitution prohibits any federal official, elected or appointed, from being a voter.
The candidate with the largest number of electors wins all of the state’s Electoral College votes and the first candidate who wins sufficient number of states for 270 electoral votes is elected as President.
How does the electoral college work?
All 50 US states and Washington, DC have a set number of “electors” in the electoral college – roughly proportional to the size of each state.
Each state gets at least three electoral votes because the sum equals the total number of senators and representatives in the US Congress. Washington, DC also received three Electoral College votes, which means that a total of 538 electors make up the Electoral College.
All but two states – Maine and Nebraska – use a winner-takes-all system, so if you win the most votes in a state, you get the total number of Electoral College votes.
To become president, any of the candidates would need to win a majority of 538 voters – or 270 voters.
While the Constitution does not require voters to follow the popular vote, many US states have laws that oblige them to do so. These laws were challenged by voters who voted for someone else at times, but in July, the US Supreme Court ruled that voters must follow the popular vote in states that passed such a law.
The electoral college system usually reflects the popular vote – presidents have won the electoral vote while losing the popular vote only five times in US history. The most recent case was in 2016, when Donald Trump won the Electoral College, but his Democratic opponent Hillary Clinton won the popular vote.