How long could vote counting go on for? space there any restrictions on what outgoing presidents have the right to do? What wake up if a president-elect is incapacitated before they're sworn in? right here are the answers to her latest inquiries on the 2020 U.S. Election.

You are watching: How long till the election is over


Tyler Bloomfield, Kieran McMurchy · audioeditorfree.com News · Posted: Nov 04, 2020 10:30 pm ET | last Updated: November 6, 2020
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Election workers in Philadelphia process mail-in and absentee ballots for the basic election at the Pennsylvania Convention facility on Tuesday. (Matt Slocum/Associated Press)

From vote counting to presidential hatchet limits, we're tackling what you want to know about the 2020 U.S. Election. Email us your questions to ask
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How long have the right to vote counting go on for?

Predictions for a drawn-out after-effects to the U.S. Election show up to be comes true through the race coming under to poll counts and potential recounts in a couple of key states.

With choice night now looking favor election days, audioeditorfree.com readers, consisting of Suzanne S., request if over there is a constitution cut-off day for all ballots to be counted.

The answer is complicated.

First, it's important to keep in mind that states have their very own cut-off days for accepting and also counting mail-in ballots. Pennsylvania, for example, will certainly still counting mail-in ballots received after (but postmarked by) election day. The will additionally count military and overseas ballots as much as one main after that.

WATCH | just how the votes space counted in Pennsylvania: 


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Vote count should be excellent 'right' and 'accurately,' says Philadelphia city commissioner


1 year ago
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Philadelphia City Commissioner Al Schmidt claims things have adjusted in the counting procedure due to extraordinary levels that mail-in voting and also it's vital to take the time to count the votes accurately. 1:18
the said, the day that states must keep in psychic is Dec. 8., or what's well-known as for sure harbour day, which is 6 days prior to the electoral university votes.


Congress is not an alleged to an obstacle a state's election as long as they have actually finalized their results by the deadline, stated John Fortier, manager of governmental researches at the Bipartisan policy Center, a Washington, D.C.-based think-tank that promotes bipartisanship.

The deadline basically acts together an incentive for claims to have their votes finalized and have your electors appointed by that day.


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Election challengers observe as absentee ballots room processed in Michigan in ~ the main counting board in Detroit on Wednesday. (Carlos Osorio/Associated Press)

Otherwise, it leaves room for Congress to determine the state's winner when they convene to count the electoral college votes on Jan. 6.

As for legal challenges, it's unclear precisely how lengthy those can go ~ above for, but James Gardner, an skilled in election law at the college at Buffalo, said courts will certainly be under press to conclude legit proceedings before the for sure harbour date.

As much as the Trump project is concerned, the is very difficult to suspect what kinds of legal claims it can make, Gardner said. 

"Any irregularity have the right to generate a legal claim," he said. "Maybe no a strong one, but one." 


Are there any kind of restrictions ~ above what outgoing presidents can do?

While we don't yet recognize who the next president will certainly be, Barry L. Want to understand if an outgoing president's powers remain the same before the president-elect is inaugurated.

The prize is yes. 

Nothing changes between election day and also inauguration job on Jan. 20., stated Fortier, who provided that outgoing presidents typically use their powers in "last-minute ways." 


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Barack Obama granted plenty of sentence commutations during his final months together president, concentrating primarily on shortening sentences of those convicted of medicine offences. This photograph shows Obama meeting with president-elect Donald trump card in the Oval Office ~ above Nov. 10, 2016. (Pablo Martinez Monsivais/Associated Press)

They could write brand-new executive order or worry presidential pardons while they still have the chance. 

Conversely, the president-elect does no receive any presidential power till they are officially sworn in.

How plenty of times have the right to someone it is in president?

Ethel F. Want to know if trump loses, would he have the ability to run again?

The price is yes. According to the 22nd Amendment come the U.S. Structure "no human being shall be chosen to the office the the president more than twice."

So, if he isn't re-elected this time, Trump would certainly be default to run again, unlike George W. Bush or Barack Obama, for example.

But what around Franklin D. Roosevelt?



The longest offer Canadian element minster, wilhelm Lyon Mackenzie King, left, who was in office for a complete of 21 years, and the longest serving U.S. President, Franklin D. Roosevelt, who spent 12 year in office, have a conversation in July 1936. (National Archives of Canada)

Roosevelt is the just U.S. President to serve an ext than 2 terms. In fact, he held the office a record 4 times from 1933 until his fatality in 1945.

"He won big in all four of his elections," said Susan Dunn, a professor of humanities at Williams university in Massachusetts. Roosevelt winner his third term as the U.S. Was arising from the good Depression and also on the brink of the second World War. 

"The nation needed him."

Term borders weren't introduced until 1951 once the 22nd Amendment to be ratified.

Could Trump run as vice-president?

Yes. So lengthy as the isn't re-elected in the existing race.

A one-term president is eligible to run as the second name on a party ticket. However not if the wins a second term together president in 2020.

"Because you need to be eligible come be chairman to it is in vice-president," stated Fortier.

There is one rare and unlikely scenario where a two-term president could become president a 3rd time: if that or she to be Speaker that the home or a room member and also the line of succession fell to them.


Here's an additional what-if: If Biden wins and is unable to complete an ext than two years in office, and also Kamala Harris assumes the presidency, she would just be eligible to look for one much more term as president, according to the limits of the 22nd Amendment.

In Canada, however, there space no borders on the size of time a federally elected politician have the right to serve. 

What happens if the president-elect dies prior to being sworn in?

While we're trying out scenarios, let's tackle john G.'s question. He want to know what would take place if the winner ended up being incapacitated or died prior to inauguration day?

There are basically three different answers, each relying on when the president-elect were to die. 

prior to the electoral university vote. After ~ the electoral university vote has actually been counted and also ratified through Congress. Or the small window that time between the electoral college vote and its ratification.

If a candidate were to success the basic election but die before the electoral college votes on Dec. 14., the electors pledged to the candidate would certainly be supposed to vote for a brand-new nominee selected by their national party, stated Fortier.


"The politics party that has the vacancy would satisfy again," he said, "and castle would choose a brand-new candidate."

Fortier claimed the "most apparent thing" would certainly be to relocate up the vice-president-elect. "But the doesn't need to be that way," the said, due to the fact that there room no laws requiring one of two people party to perform so.

In the 2nd scenario, whereby the president-elect dies prior to inauguration day however after congress ratifies the results of the electoral college vote, the normal line of succession would follow and also the vice-president-elect would be sworn in on Jan. 20.

That said, us don't really recognize what would occur in the 3rd scenario.

"It's arguably one of our most confusing," said Fortier.


Congress would have to decide even if it is to counting the votes because that a deceased candidate in a joint session.

If conference counts the ballots as they are, the vice-president-elect would assume the function of the chairman on Jan. 20., and also would later on appoint one more vice-president.

See more: How Many Early Votes Have Been Cast Than Trump Received In 2016

But if congress decides come toss the end the votes that the dead president-elect, no candidate would satisfy the 270 electoral college votes required to win, triggering the 12th Amendment. This way the Senate would certainly be in charge of picking the vice-president and also the house of to represent would pick the president.

"We just don't understand what would certainly happen," claimed Fortier, "and it's a dangerous duration because that that."