Home Democracy AMERICA DECIDES –– WILL THE WORLD’S FOREMOST DEMOCRACY LIVE UP TO EXPECTATIONS?

AMERICA DECIDES –– WILL THE WORLD’S FOREMOST DEMOCRACY LIVE UP TO EXPECTATIONS?

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Pix Credit: Reuters America has never been as divided as it is today. This is what the media in that country is chorusing. And that is a big problem for the world. The processes of electing the President of the United States are somehow complex. The first step is for the Federal Electoral Commission to compile and publish certified federal election results. These publications include primary, runoff and general election results for the Senate, the House of Representatives and (when applicable) the President. According to a publication titled:  theconversation.com, The constitution declares that American presidential elections occur on the first Tuesday in November, every four years. Step #2: After Election Day — Once a final tally of voters’ in-person, mail-in and provisional ballots has been concluded, all 50 governors prepare their state’s Certificate of Ascertainment,  a document listing their electors for the competing candidates. Each state completes that process at its own rate. The publication under reference states that: ‘This year, that’s December 14, 2020. In ways that vary state by state, each state’s electors then prepares six Certificates of Vote, which are sent by registered mail to the President of the U.S. Senate and the Archivist of the United States. The remaining four certificates are sent to state officials.’’ On Jan. 6, Congress convenes to count the electoral votes and certify the winner of the election. Because the sitting vice president also serves as president of the Senate, Mike Pence will preside over this count in 2021, just as Vice President Joe Biden did in January 2017  when Donald Trump officially became president-elect. Each state, called upon in alphabetical order, like its votes.   This process is in some respects ceremonial, because by January the media has declared a winner and usually a concession speech has been given. But, officially, it is the moment of truth. At the end of the Senate’s electoral vote count, the vice president announces the results and asks if there are any objections.  In 2001 Democratic House representatives tried for 20 minutes to block  Florida’s highly contested electoral votes for George W. Bush. IN THE EVENT THAT NO WINNER EMERGES:                                                                                        Should no clear winner emerge in the Electoral College, the House of Representatives meets to elect the next president.  The publication cited above recalls a precedent: ‘’This is how John Quincy Adams became president in 1824. ‘’Established almost 250 years ago, this complex process…

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