The entire world has been waiting for days to find out the result of the historic 2020 US election after votes for Donald Trump and Joe Biden were cast on November 3.
Democrat Joe Biden maintained a constant lead in the polls, but Donald Trump remained neck and neck with Biden in states that had not yet announced their outcome.
A record-smashing 150 million people turned up to cast their votes on Tuesday – the highest turnout in over a century.
But who have the Americans elected as their new president, and will the result be contested?
Who is the new US president?
Joe Biden has been elected as the new US president after days of excruciatingly close votes.
Biden, who sat on 264 electoral college votes for days, finally gained 20 votes from Pennsylvania – enough to secure a majority of 270.
Donald Trump will complete his term as President in the White House until noon of January 20, 2021, when Biden will be inaugurated in a ceremony.
Joe Biden is the oldest ever President-elect, at 77 years old – a record previously held by Donald Trump, who was the age of 70 years, 220 days, on Inauguration Day.
This means that Kamala Harris is the Vice President – and is officially the first woman, first Black person, and first South Asian American person to hold this position.
What are Joe Biden’s key policies?
You can read more about Joe Biden’s plans and policies on his website.
Will the US election result be contested?
Donald Trump may very well try to contest the result, as he has threatened to do in the past.
Mr Trump has made many unfounded allegations of voter fraud, accusing Democrats of trying to ‘steal’ the election, and has said he will
Mr Trump told the New York Times he thinks the election result ‘will end up in the Supreme Court’ as he believes that postal voting has led to voting fraud – although these claims are unfounded.
He may take the result to the Supreme Court, but this would be an unprecedented situation and it is unclear whether or not the Supreme Court would even examine his claims.
If the Supreme Court decide that any kind of foul play has occurred then they may decide to hold a re-election – but this has never happened before and is likely to occur without solid evidence.
By December 8, states must make final decisions in any controversies over the appointment of their electors. This means, if they do indeed think any fraud took place, then they have to announce it by then.
On December 14, the electors meet in their respective states and vote for President and Vice President on separate ballots.
The electors record their votes on six Certificates of Vote, which are paired with the six remaining Certificates of Ascertainment. The electors sign, seal, and certify six sets of electoral votes.
A set of electoral votes consists of one Certificate of Ascertainment and one Certificate of Vote.
This is when Joe Biden will officially be named as President.
If an elector chooses to vote against who they pledged to vote, for example if a Democratic elector votes against Joe Biden, then this is called a faithless elector.
Faithlessness is illegal in thirty three states, and the District of Columbia.
However, this is unlikely to occur this year.
Altogether, 23,529 electors have taken part in the Electoral College as of the 2016 election; only 165 electors have cast votes for someone other than their party’s nominee. Of that group, 71 did so because the nominee had died.
MORE : ‘US is capable of escorting trespassers from White House’, Biden spokesman says
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US election 2020
Follow our US election live blog for the latest news and updates on the 2020 election.
Who is currently leading and what happens if neither candidate gets 270 votes? Find out here:
- What happens if the US election is a draw?
- US election results map live: Who is currently in the lead?
- When will the US election result be announced?
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