When are the presidential elections in the United States?

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On November 3, the country will choose who will run the White House for the next four years. Keys to the duel between Donald Trump and Joe Biden.

The first presidential debate between Donald Trump and Joe Biden, on Tuesday, heated the engines of a campaign that is expected to be aggressive and dizzying, in a particular year marked by the coronavirus pandemic and the consequent collapse of the economy in the United States. Times are shortened for elections that will set the course for the next four years in the White House. Here, some keys.

When are the elections?

According to the US Constitution, presidential elections are always held on the Tuesday following the first Monday in November (which is not the same as the first Tuesday of that month, although it may seem like a trivial statement). This year they will be On November 3.

The rule that establishes the date of federal elections in the US was set in 1845 to fill a legal vacuum that existed on this matter. The fact that they take place on a working day and not on a Sunday, as is usual in much of the world, is for many a disadvantage, because it can reduce participation. Especially because voting is not mandatory, according to the electoral laws in that country.

Early voting

Although the elections are just over a month away, the truth is that many Americans have already started voting, or are about to vote in the coming weeks, because there is an early voting system in the United States. It can be done by mail, or also in person, as it was launched in mid-September in some states, such as Virginia, Minnesota, South Dakota and Wyoming.

Although Trump has questioned the transparency of the postal vote – accusations that according to his detractors have no basis – health authorities have encouraged voting by mail or early in polling places, to avoid crowds on election day, in the face of the crisis due to the pandemic. And many voters have decided to participate now. Anyway, the results will only be known that night, after the polls on the west coast close, the last ones due to the time difference.

The debates

It is a tradition in the United States that in the weeks leading up to the presidential elections a series of debates takes place before the television cameras: three between the presidential candidates and one of the vice candidates. The first was this Tuesday, which faced Trump and Biden hard. The next ones are scheduled for on October 15 in Miami, Florida, and the next on October 22 in Nashville (Tennessee). Debates last 90 minutes in prime time: 9 p.m. Eastern time.

The candidates

Donald Trump, 74, is running for president with the same running mate: Vice President Mike Pence. Biden, 77, has been running 55-year-old Sen. Kamala Harris as a vice candidate.

The pandemic

This year, the campaign was marked by the coronavirus pandemic, which forced the candidates to change the plans and suspend or postpone several massive events.
Trump, however, repeatedly challenged the distancing and prevention measures of the virus in a number of events with thousands of followers in which he never used a mask. Biden, by contrast, has thus far avoided crowds and pursued a lower-key campaign, with few events and little exposure. The management of the Covid-19 crisis, which has already left more than 206,600 dead in the United States and triggered unemployment and a historic collapse of the economy, is at the center of the debate in this campaign.

CB

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