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All you need to know about US election

The main parties

In the US, there are only two parties considered by most voters - the Democrats (the liberal party) and the Republicans (the conservative party).

Others, like the Libertarian, Green and Independent parties occasionally put forth a nominee.

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All you need to know about US election

All you need to know about US election

https://www.bbc.com/news/world-us-canada-51070020

bbc.com

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Key Ideas

The main parties

In the US, there are only two parties considered by most voters - the Democrats (the liberal party) and the Republicans (the conservative party).

Others, like the Libertarian, Green and Independent parties occasionally put forth a nominee.

The present

At present, presidential hopefuls are battling for their party's nomination in caucuses and primary elections across the country.

State governments run primary elections the same way as a general election.

If a candidate wins a primary election, they win either all or a proportion of the state's delegates. These delegates will then vote for them at the party convention, where the presidential nominee is named.

Caucuses

A handful of states have caucuses instead of primaries. The parties run caucuses in precincts across the state.

Caucuses give parties more flexibility in determining the rules. In Democratic caucuses, votes are determined by standing in groups around a room.

Presidential campaigns 2020

  • Four states voted in February.
  • Most states and territories hold their primary elections or caucuses on 3 March (Super Tuesday.)
  • We'll see primaries and caucuses across the country from February until June.
  • US candidates can campaign for as long as they wish, so presidential campaigns typically last about 18 months from start to finish.
  • The Democratic National Convention, where the party will name its nominees for president and vice-president, will be held from 13 July to 16 July.
  • The Republican National Convention happens between 24 August and 27 August.
  • After that, four debates will take place with President Trump or Vice-President Mike Pence along with their Democratic challengers.

Winning the general election

  • The sheer number of votes received by each candidate will not determine the winning of the 3 November general election.
  • It goes down to the Electoral College - officials or "electors" who vote on behalf of the states for president. Each state is worth several electors proportionate to its representation in Congress. This system gives greater weight to smaller states.
  • Once a new winner is announced, there will be a brief transition period that will allow a new president to select cabinet members and make plans. Inauguration takes place on 20 January.

Swing, red and blue states

  • Red states are Republican bastions such as Idaho, Alaska, and many southern states.
  • Blue states are Democrat-dominated states such as California, Illinois, and much of the New England region of the northeast coast.
  • Swing states are states that can change hands depending on the candidate.

Casting ballots

  • Most states offer early voting, allowing registered voters to cast their ballots ahead of Election Day (3 November).
  • Voters who are unable to go to a polling place may use a mail-in absentee voting.
  • On Election Day, voters have to go in-person to an official polling place.
  • There is no online voting.

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1800: Jefferson and Adams

1800: Jefferson and Adams

The outcome was so bizarre, the United States had to amend the Constitution.

  • The election of 1800 saw Thomas Jefferson tie with his Democratic-Republican "running mate" Aaron Burr. Both...

1824: 'Corrupt bargain'

  • Andrew Jackson won the popular vote by less than 39,000 ballots and took 99 Electoral College votes. John Quincy Adams secured 84, William Crawford won 41, and Henry Clay had 37.
  • Clay, with the least votes, got the boot, and his supporters shifted their support to Adams, who would go on to win the majority of the House vote.

After his inauguration, Adams selected Clay as his secretary of state. Jackson accused Adams and Clay of a "corrupt bargain."

1860: Nation divided

The 1860 election was notable because it ripped the long-dominant Party (and nation) in half.

  • The Democrats were unable at their 1860 convention to establish an official party line on slavery.
  • At a second convention that year, the Democrats nominated Stephen Douglas, but many Southerners in the party selected Breckinridge as their man. Both would claim to be the official Democratic candidate.
  • Lincoln snared 40% of the popular vote but took most of the North in the Electoral College.
  • Douglas was second in the popular vote but took only Missouri.
  • Breckenridge took most of the South.
  • Bell's middle of the road policies earned him the middle of the road.

In 1861, delegates from South Carolina, and six of the Southern states formed the Confederate States of America and selected Jefferson Davis as their president.

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2020: An Election Year

2020 was supposed to be an election year in the United States before it got upended by the Pandemic. Currently, seven states have postponed the presidential primaries and there is uncert...

Voting by Mail

While postponing of elections is one option, there is a way that people can vote from home, using paper ballots and snail mail, or dropping the ballots at the municipal office.

The State of Ohio has already converted the democratic primary into 100 percent mail-in ballots. Absentee ballots, sick voters and logistical issues of physical votes can make the process slower than electronic voting or paper ballots.

Paper Ballots

..are safer and easier to sanitize, as compared to touch screens, as any public accessible touch surface is a potential super spreader. Voters with physical disabilities, who cannot use paper ballots or mail it, can be made to use the touch screen machines after it is cleaned thoroughly.

Paper ballots are immune to electronic hacks and can be recounted in case of discrepancies.

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Debates have a major impact

Debates have a major impact

There’s a reason why we place such importance on debates: They show us things about candidates that other venues do not, but they may also overwhelm everything else we know about the candidate.

1960 — Kennedy v. Nixon

The first televised presidential debate in U.S. history may be the most consequential.

Political mythology holds that Americans who listened to the debate on the radio thought Nixon was better, while those who watched it on television thought Kennedy was better.

1976 — Carter v. Ford

A moment that may have impacted the final result was when Ford stumbled over a question during their second debate regarding Poland, which he insisted was not under "Soviet domination." It was, and Ford had to retract his statement, contributing to the view that he was in over his head.

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