When Does The US President Take Office?
2020 race for president between Biden and Trump. Photo: The Scotsman

It’s an election unlike any seen before, with the Covid-19 pandemic having thrown many aspects of the race into uncertainty but will it alter when the next president takes office? Here’s everything you need to know about election day and beyond.

When will the results be announced?

This year, the election will be held on Tuesday, November 3. Thanks to the early voting system, over 75 million Americans have already cast ballots - more than a third of registered voters - but millions more will still vote on the day. The mountainous task of counting the votes begins later that day.

In 2016, the election was called at 2:30am EST on November 4 as Trump won Wisconsin, which pushed him over the 270 votes he needed to beat Clinton.

This year, due to the sheer volume of mail-in ballots, the clear winner might not be known until a few days after Election Day. Pollsters and media outlets are expected to publish projected results on the night, along with live state updates, but these predictions are provisional until postal votes have been counted. Most mail-in ballots must be received within a couple of days of November 3, with each state beginning to certify its results from November 10 - and all recounts and challenges must be resolved by December 8, as reported from The Scotsman

When will the next president take office?

After Election Day (November 3), the Electoral College will meet on December 14 to cast their official ballots for president. On January 6, 2021, Congress will meet at 1 pm to count the votes and declare a winner.

The newly elected or re-elected President and vice president of the United States begin their term on January 20, and by tradition, take the oath of office during an inauguration on that day. If January 20 falls on a Sunday, the president is sworn-in privately that day, and then again in a public ceremony the next day, according to The Economics Times.

The vice president-elect is sworn into office first, followed by the president who takes the oath of office:

“I do solemnly swear (or affirm) that I will faithfully execute the office of President of the United States, and will to the best of my ability, preserve, protect and defend the constitution of the United States.”

This is then followed by the president’s inaugural address. It’s traditional for the president to speak to the country and outline their plans for the next term.

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