Wednesday, November 30, 2022

We explain: what you need to know about the US elections

WASHINGTON — If you’re coincident with Election Day in the United States, voting for the midterm election will end on Tuesday after voting closes.

Millions of Americans have already voted early, in person or by mail, and millions are preparing to cast their vote at their polling place.

Here’s a guide to the 2022 election to get you up to speed as the country waits to find out who will take control of Congress in January.

What contests appear on the ballot?

Voting is to be held this year for all seats in the House of Representatives, as well as about a third of the Senate seats. At stake is control of both houses of Congress, both of which are currently under Democratic leadership.

Voters will also elect governors in most states this year. The governor will be in office in 2024, when the next presidential election is held, and may affect electoral laws or vote certification.

In addition, various state legislative officers and local officials will also be elected.

How does the count work?

The United States has a highly decentralized electoral system in which local authorities are responsible for counting the votes, while the states certify the results.

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Not all states vote in the same way. Some only specifically allow a vote by mail, while others allow a vote in person or by mail. Others also allow an individual early voting period.

How long can it take?

There is no federal government agency that allows the country to win elections immediately, and states may count ballots at different times. This means that in some places the winner may take longer to be declared. You also need to keep in mind the different rules on the dates of recalculation or second round.

For example, some states, such as Pennsylvania and Wisconsin, do not allow officials to begin the mail-in ballot verification process until Election Day. Others provide a grace period for accepting votes as long as the stamp is before election day.

This means that there is a high chance that we will not know the winners of all contests on election night.

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The Associated Press announces the winners after a clear winner is determined. But no state delivers full and final results on election night, nor has this ever happened in modern history, experts say.

What are the possible outcomes and what would they mean?

Democrats and Republicans may split control of the House and Senate, or one party may take control of both chambers. Democrats have been in charge of the House of Representatives since the 2018 elections during the administration of former President Donald Trump.

Because of voters’ frustration with the economy and favorable redistribution, Republicans are the favorites to win the House. A Republican-controlled House of Representatives would put a damper on President Joe Biden’s agenda.

The Senate, which Democrats control by the smallest margin, can be held by anyone. At stake is control over judges and cabinet officials as well as overseeing presidential appointments such as bills.

As president, Biden will retain his veto power, regardless of who gains control of Congress.

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