WASHINGTON (AP) — Is it attainable the election might be up within the air and we can’t have a president on Inauguration Day: Jan. 20, 2021?

Even when the election is messy and contested in courtroom, the nation could have a president on Inauguration Day. The Structure and federal legislation guarantee it. This is what occurs after voters go to the polls on Nov. 3:

First, states have greater than a month to depend ballots, together with the anticipated surge of mail-in ballots, and conduct recounts if vital. However states’ electoral votes should be solid on Dec. 14.

Courts might be conscious of that in refereeing any disputes. In the course of the 2000 election, the U.S. Supreme Courtroom in the end ended Florida’s vote recount, saying time had run out earlier than electors have been set to satisfy.

When the electors meet, the candidate who will get not less than 270 of the 538 electoral votes wins. However what occurs if election points nonetheless forestall a winner from being named? The Structure has a solution.

The 12th Modification says that in that case, the Home of Representatives elects the president and the Senate elects the vp. The brand new Congress that enters in January is the one tasked with finishing up the so-called “contingent election.” The president has solely been chosen this manner as soon as, in 1825. The winner was John Quincy Adams.

In a contingent election, Home members have to decide on among the many three folks with probably the most electoral votes. Every state delegation will get one vote, and 26 votes are required to win. Within the Senate, the selection is between the highest two electoral vote-getters and every senator will get a vote, with 51 votes required to win.

What if that fails and the Home hasn’t elected a president by Inauguration Day? Then the 20th Modification takes over. It says the vice president-elect acts as president till a president is picked. And if there is no vp chosen by Inauguration Day?

Effectively, then the Presidential Succession Act applies.

It says that the speaker of the Home of Representatives, the Senate president or a Cupboard officer, in that order, would act as president till there is a president or vp.


Imaginative and prescient 2020 is a brand new sequence from the AP devoted to answering generally requested questions from our viewers in regards to the 2020 U.S. presidential election.