WASHINGTON – After a tense and fierce election campaign, Americans head to the polls on Tuesday to elect the president, members of Congress and hundreds of local officials.
Tens of millions of voters will decide whether to keep incumbent Republican President Donald Trump for another four years or replace him with the Democratic candidate, former Vice President Joe Baden.
Amid the coronavirus pandemic in the United States, more than 97 million people voted early. This is more than two-thirds of the total number of voters in the 2016 elections (about 139 million).
By some estimates, a record number of voters – 150 million or more – will take part in the elections this year.
The timing of absentee ballots is determined by state law, and in some cases it may be after Tuesday. Taking this into account, the election results can be determined only in a few days.
Authorities and traders in several cities, including New York and Washington in the White House neighborhoods, have covered display cases with plywood panels to prevent potential damage and looting in the event of post-election violence.
Americans are choosing between two candidates who are over 70. By the day of the inauguration on January 20, Biden will be 78, and Trump – 74. In any case, the winner will be the oldest American leader.
In addition, voters will decide who will hold all 435 seats in the House of Representatives and 35 out of 100 seats in the Senate.
The presidential election ends a tumultuous and warlike campaign.
In the final days of the campaign, the president called the vote “a choice between the American Dream and a socialist nightmare … a choice between Trump’s super-recovery and Biden’s depression.”
Trump said Biden, if elected, would follow the policy proposals of more progressive Democrats who advocate government control over the US health care system and promote a Green New Deal to control climate change.
Biden has often criticized Trump’s actions in the face of the pandemic.
At one rally, Biden said that because of the pandemic “millions of people were left without work, on the edge.”
“There is no light at the end of the tunnel, and Donald Trump has surrendered. Donald Trump threw away the white flag, left our families and capitulated to the virus, ”said the Democratic candidate.
The president in the United States is not directly elected. The outcome of the elections is, in fact, determined based on the results of voting in individual states and the capital of the country, Washington.
The winner is required to obtain a majority of 270 votes in an electoral college of 538.