President Donald Trump and his Democratic challenger Joe Biden wrapped up their campaigns and the stage is set for the US presidential election 2020 on Tuesday amid the coronavirus pandemic. Biden has been leading in both national and state polls, and is widely favoured to win. But no poll has predicted that Trump will definitely lose. Also, no conclusion can be made on the basis on polls as all forecasters were wrong in 2016 when they predicted a Hillary Clinton win.
The first ballots have been cast in New Hampshire and the world awaits the results of the US presidential elections.
Here’s everything you need to know about the US election day and how counting works:
When will the votes be counted?
There is no federal body in the United States that runs the election or tallies the results like the Election Commission in India. Each state in the US runs the election according to its own rules. Before counting of the votes, there is a stage called processing in which checking of signatures of voters, verifying documentation, and even scanning of the ballots takes place.
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Also, each state has its own date for starting in-person or mail-in voting, submission and processing as well as tabulating the ballots. Nearly 100 million Americans have already exercised their franchise in the presidential election using early voting and mail-in ballots while another 60 million are likely to vote in person on November 3. Therefore, processing of all these votes is bound to take time and thereby delay the results.
So, how and when will we know about the winner?
The count will officially be finalised in weeks but on Election night major TV networks “call” the election in favour of one of the candidates which is a projection that is based on the exit polls, interviews with voters and voting trends. The candidate who is projected to have lost concedes the election. But this year due to the huge volumes of mail-in ballots, there is no clarity on when a clear winner will emerge.
What have Trump, Joe Biden said about the polling process?
Trump has repeatedly accused the Democratic party of voter fraud and has vehemently expressed his apprehensions about the mail-in ballot process. He has also refused to commit that he would accept the result of the elections if he loses in various televised interviews. Joe Biden and the Democrat party have expressed their fears about voter intimidation and suppression but have unequivocally been in favour of the mail-in ballot process.