2020 Election Day

   

Election Day in the United States is the day set by law for the general elections of public officials. It occurs on the Tuesday right after the first Monday in November (this does not necessarily mean the “first Tuesday” in a month because the first day of a month can be a Tuesday). The earliest possible date is November 2, and the latest possible date is November 8. The 2012 election was held on November 6, 2012.

For federal offices (President, Vice President, and United States Congress), Election Day occurs only in even-numbered years. Presidential elections are held every four years, in years divisible by four, in which electors for President and Vice President are chosen according to the method determined by each state. Elections to the United States House of Representatives and the United States Senate are held every two years; all Representatives serve two-year terms and are up for election every two years, while Senators serve six-year terms, staggered so that one-third of Senators are elected in any given general election. General elections in which presidential candidates are not on the ballot are referred to as midterm elections. Terms for those elected begin in January the following year; the President and Vice President are inaugurated (“sworn in”) on Inauguration Day, which is usually on January 20.

Many state and local government offices are also elected on Election Day as a matter of convenience and cost saving, although a handful of states hold elections for state offices (such as governor) during odd-numbered “off years”, or during other even-numbered “midterm years”.

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