THE 2020 US presidential election is fast approaching.
But when is it? Here is everything you need to know.
President Trump will face Democratic nominee Joe Biden
When is the US Election?
The US presidential election is on Tuesday, November 3, 2020.
In America, election votes take place every four years, and this will be the 59th election since the first in 1788.
As always, it has been a drawn-out affair, with the primaries and caucuses stretched out over the first half of the year.
The winner of the election will then be inaugurated on Wednesday, January 20, 2021.
When can people vote?
Voting has already started in some states.
Friday September 18 saw early voting open in Minnesota, South Dakota, Virginia and Wyoming.
Here is when voting opened, or will open, in every state:
September 18: Minnesota, South Dakota, Virginia, Wyoming
September 19: New Jersey
September 21: Vermont
September 22: Missouri
September 24: Illinois, Michigan
October 5: Connecticut
October 5: California, Iowa, Maine, Nebraska
October 6: Indiana, Ohio
October 7: Arizona
October 9: Montana
October 10: New Hampshire
October 12: Georgia
October 13: Kentucky, Texas
October 14: Kansas, Rhode Island, Tennessee
October 15: North Carolina
October 16: Washington
October 17: Massachusetts, Nevada, New Mexico
October 19: Alaska, Arkansas, Colorado, Idaho, North Dakota
October 20: Hawaii, Louisiana, Utah, Wisconsin
October 21: West Virginia
October 24: Florida, Mississippi, New York
October 26: Maryland
October 27: District of Colombia
October 29: Oklahoma
How is the winner decided?
The winner and next US president will not necessarily be the candidate who wins the most votes across the US – as Hillary Clinton found out in 2016.
Instead, candidates compete to win electoral college votes.
Each US state gets a certain number of electoral college votes based on its population and there are a total of 538 up for grabs – therefore the winner needs 270 or more.
US citizens are therefore voting in a state-level contest as opposed to a national one.
All but two states in the US – Maine and Nebraska – have a winner-takes-all rule, so whoever wins the highest number of votes is awarded all of the state’s electoral college votes.
Biden is facing Donald Trump in the 2020 presidential electionCredit: AP:Associated Press
When will we find out the result?
In 2016, Donald Trump took to the stage in New York at around 3am to give his victory speech.
However, officials are warning that we may have to wait longer this year for the result because of the expected surge in postal ballots.
The last time the result wasn’t clear within a few hours was in 2000, when the winner wasn’t confirmed until a Supreme Court ruling was made a month later.
When are the key debates?
The vice presidential debate followed on Wednesday 7 October.
Vice President Mike Pence and Senator Kamala Harris battled it out over their lecterns.
The second presidential debate between Trump and Biden was eight days later, on Thursday October 15.
They will go now head-to-head for a third and final time tonight, Thursday October 22 – just 12 days before the election.
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